Dharma, Poetry, & Practice: An Interview with John Brehm

Dharma, Poetry, & practice - Thumbnail Art by Duane Toops

A couple months ago the lovely folks over at The Tattooed Buddha sent me a book to review called The Dharma of Poetry by John Brehm. To say that I simply enjoyed the book is such a dramatic understatement that it simultaneously demonstrates the limitations of our language to express the multitudes of meaning that we each contain, while also proving just how much we need poetry in order to do it.

In the book Brehm sets out to examine poetry not only as a vehicle for delivering spiritual teachings, or a vessel for containing spiritual teachings, but also as a source of spiritual teaching, in and of itself. Brehm highlights that reading and writing poetry are always-already spiritual practices that invite us to deeper moments of hallowed attention and sacred awareness. And, if you’ve followed any of my own work for any period of time, I’m sure you can tell how much this topic resonates for me. For me, the creative process and the spiritual path are one and the same thing. It was exhilarating and affirming to read of another thinker coming to and sharing the experience of the same conclusion.

Shortly after my review was published on the Tattooed Buddha website and I released an audio version of the review, I was invited to co-host an interview with the Author, John Brehm, for an episode of the Tattooed Buddha podcast. It was both an incredible opportunity and incredible conversation. We delved deeply into the subject matter of the book, examined and probed our personal experiences and reflections regarding literature, poetry, and spiritual practice, and so much more.

If any of these themes, topics, and subjects are in your wheelhouse of interests, I highly recommend John Brehm’s book, The Dharma of Poetry, and I definitely recommend that you give this episode a listen.

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