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University of Creation Spirituality
Doctor of Ministry Degree/Certificate Program

July 2004 Intensive CA
July 26-30 2004

Seminar: Creative Power:  Writing and Living from Soul - # 60069

Instructor: Charles Burack, PhD; (510) [email protected]

Faculty Bio:  Dr. Charles Burack is on the faculty of UCS and Naropa University, Oakland, where he teaches interdisciplinary courses on sacred literature, writing, Jewish mysticism, Jewish poetry/prayer, and the reinvention of work.  An award-winning literary scholar and widely published writer/poet, he is on the editorial board of Tikkun magazine.  Chuck also teaches at UC Berkeley, St. Mary’s College, John F. Kennedy University, and California Institute of Integral Studies.   He is a spiritual counselor and career consultant and directed the Chaplaincy Institute’s Interfaith Spiritual Direction Program.   Chuck is also a freelance writer, editor and creativity/writing coach.

Course Description: In this course we’ll examine the multifaceted nature of the creative process, especially as it relates to the writing process.  We’ll read about the lives of creative artists, mystics, scientists and entrepreneurs as well as study psychological, philosophical and religious perspectives on the nature of creativity.  Meditations and experiential exercises will help us express our own creative energies through writing.  There will be opportunities to write poems, stories and brief essays.  Special attention will be given to Kabbalistic insights into the creative process.

Course Objectives: To deepen understanding of the creative process.  To appreciate how creativity works in the arts, sciences, religion, education, business.  To examine how creative energies operate in the universe.  To liberate your creative powers.  To introduce various methods for composing and revising poems, stories and essays.  To gain a deeper knowledge of literary form and technique.  To enhance your power and confidence as a writer.

Required Reading.  Charles Burack’s Creative Power, Mahalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s Creativity, Howard Gardner’s Creating Minds, Brewster Ghiselin’s The Creative Process, Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, Deena Metzger’s Writing for Your Life.

Recommended Reading.  Frank Baron’s Creators on Creating, Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, Stephen Nachmanovitch’s Free Play, Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook.

Pre-Class Writing Assignment.  Two options:

1) Write a 5-page essay or story about some aspect of your spiritual journey.  Try to make it focused, concrete, specific (i.e., don’t write a summary of your spiritual life).  OR

2) Write three poems about your spiritual journey.

Post-Class Writing Assignment.  Two parts:

1) Write a 2-3-page essay that discusses creative insights and practices learned in the course that you plan to use in your life.  AND

2) Write a 7-10 page essay or story–or write five poems–about your spiritual journey.  If you are interested in playwriting or screenwriting, you could write a 7-10 page scene.

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