Pulsations: The Reiki Pulse Blog

lotus Great Teachers: Natalie Goldberg

true-secret-coverNatalie Goldberg has been one of my main “book teachers” since I found Writing Down the Bones in the Waldenbooks of Latham Circle Mall when I was about 16.


She introduced me to a world of wild mind and free writing and Zen and spiritual engagement and arty-hippy Taos and living with great presence and freedom.


To my burgeoning suburban teen self, this was a huge eye- and mind- and heart-opener. It changed my form.


It’s interesting reading her most recent book, The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language. She has clearly grown, matured, stripped down, and settled over the years, deep in her dual practices of writing and Zen. So have I in my own way, so reading this book feels like Natalie and I are old friends meeting in a different place.


Here is a one-page chapter I keep coming back to:


“Seven Attitudes of Mindfulness”


“Mindfulness means to be aware, awake. To be alive, attentive, receiving as we move through our day. Not brittle, blind, disjointed, out-of-touch, stressed, nervous, excited – or at least aware of these states and even having a bit of compassion for ourselves. This list is a reminder of another way to be in the world – really a relief, a way out of distress.


1. Nonjudging
2. Patience
3. Beginner’s mind
4. Trust
5. Nonstriving
6. Accepting
7. Letting go


“These seven attributes are the state of mind advantageous for writing, sitting, walking. Also for approaching your employees, your boss, friend, lover, enemy. A way to carry yourself. And we can so easily forget. Put the list on your refrigerator.”


I haven’t printed it for the fridge yet, but I think I will. How about you?






Like what you read here? Leave a love note in the Comments, subscribe to future posts, follow the blog with bloglovin’and join our community by clicking Like on the Reiki Pulse Facebook page.

10 comments on “Great Teachers: Natalie Goldberg

  1.   Susan Michael Barrett

    Wild mind and living with presence and freedom. Oh yes. I want to practice that and this list, Alice.

    I’m adding Goldberg’s new book to my list. She’s one of my favorite writers, too.

    1.   Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse   Post author

      Hello, Susan!

      Great to see you here. 🙂

      If you read it, let me know what you think – especially if you, too, feel that Natalie (Ms Goldberg? Seems so formal for an “old friend”) has dropped down to a more settled place.

      The book is largely about these incredible-sounding Write-Sit-Walk retreats she does. I am already dreaming of doing my own version of them, with writing practice and sitting and walking Reiki meditation practices interspersed. So inspiring.

      With love,
      Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse recently posted…The Temple of YouMy Profile

  2.   Frans Stiene

    Hi Alice,
    Like the 7 steps of Mindfulness, Thich Nhath Hanh writes very nice about these as well.


    1.   Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse   Post author

      Hi, Frans!

      Thanks for visiting. Always nice to see you here. 🙂

      Thich Nhat Hanh is another one of my most beloved Great Book Teachers. Similar (universal, wonderful) messages, different voices.

      This book of Natalie Goldberg’s is largely about these Write-Sit-Walk retreats she has apparently been doing for years. Now I want to go to one AND adapt them for my own students, combining writing practice with sitting and walking Reiki/Japanese practices. Fantastic.

      Love flying back to you from California,
      Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse recently posted…The Temple of YouMy Profile

  3.   Karen Main

    Alice, love love this. Adding this book now to my Amazon wish list and thanks enormously for sharing.
    I will be adding the list to pin board today.

    1.   Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse   Post author

      Karen, how delicious to see you here!

      Let me know what you think of the book. Have you read any of her previous books?

      Enjoy that list! (Whoops, I haven’t printed it for myself yet!)

      Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse recently posted…Isn’t Reiki a Bit Out There?My Profile

  4.   Theresa Alberti

    Hi Alice– thanks so much for posting about this… I’m a big Natalie fan, got to study with her several times, and I had no clue that she’d put out this book a year ago! It looks like a good one, and I”m eager to read it. And I could use some mindfulness.

    1.   Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse   Post author

      Hi, Theresa!

      How wonderful to see you here.

      I’m not surprised you’re a Natalie fan, too, makes sense!

      I am really enjoying this one. As someone who has been doing writing and meditation practices for a long time, combining them in a retreat sounds fantastic. I hope to adapt the idea for my own students (and me).

      Come back and let me know what you think once you read it.

      With love,
      Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse recently posted…Clarity of MindMy Profile

  5.   HeartSong Reiki

    Great fridge material! Thanks for sharing it Alice.
    Can’t wait to read the book.

    1.   Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse   Post author

      Thanks, Kelly! That’s the same list I shared in your telepractice call last month. I keep going back to it. 🙂

      Lots of love,
      Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse recently posted…Is It Fear or Is It Love?My Profile

Welcome to the Reiki Pulse community!

Share your e-mail to get access to an audio mini-collection on Anchoring in Earth Energy.

You will also receive occasional e-mail updates from us, always filled with love.

May they serve you and your light.