The Zen Of Writing with Natalie Goldberg

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This dialogue is a very personal exploration into the life of one of our most popular authors on the subject of writing. It overflows with stories about her family, her schoolteachers, her grandmother, and her Zen master. It includes the place she lives now and places she has visited, pilgrimages she has made, and spiritual lessons she has gleaned - even what it’s like to be a bestselling author. Throughout the dialogue runs the thread of how a writer becomes a writer - not just the basic rules of “keep your hand moving; be specific; go for the jugular,” etc., which she also shares here - but the story of how the life process of a writer enriches and shines through their writings. “Underneath it all,” she says, “everybody has a longing to express themselves and to connect with themselves.” And here we can see just how that process occurs. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Goldberg is an author as well as a prolific painter. She has been teaching seminars in writing as a practice for over three decades. People from around the world attend her life-changing workshops and she has earned a reputation as a great teacher. She has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show for a segment on Spirituality that covered her writing, teaching, painting, and walking meditation. She currently lives in Northern New Mexico.

Natalie Goldberg’s books include:

To learn more about the work of Natalie Goldberg go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Why we long to express ourselves
  • How writing helps us to connect with our deeper self
  • How can we begin the process of writing
  • What are many influences in Goldberg's writings
  • How writing is more than observing basic rules
  • How making a pilgrimage deepens our lives

Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 3/25/1993      Program Number: 2376

Music Included

From Album: Origins
Artist: Radhika Miller
1989 Radhika Miller Music #RMM-1108

From Album: Gems of Grace
Artist: Radhika Miller
1990 Radhika Miller Music #RMM-1109

From Album: Recurring Dream
Artist: Sylvan Grey
1989 Fortuna Records #17063-2

From Album: Silence Is the Answer
Artist: Deuter
1981 Kuckuck Schallplatten/E.R.P. Musikverlag #LC2099, CD #049/50