The Great Spring: Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life

by Natalie Goldberg

Hardcover, 2016




Shambhala (2016), 224 pages


The "great spring" of this book title refers to the great rush of energy that arrives when you think no life will ever come again-the early yellow flowering forsythia, for example. It also refers to enlightenment- obstructions shatter, pain cracks open, previously resisted truth releases, an acceptance of transiency flows through. Natalie Goldberg shares the moments that have sprung from her own life of writing, teaching, and Zen practice-moments of searching, wandering, zigzagging, losing, and leaping where she has found herself and her voice. In these pages, we watch as Natalie "makes positive effort for the good"-one of the guiding rules of her writing life-and we see that if we can stay attentive in our lives, even in the middle of the ruins, "we can hear the sound of a songbird in a Paris chestnut tree." Whether we know if the song comes from inside us or out doesn't matter. Thirteen of the twenty-two essays in the book have been previously published (often in a different form). Those publications include Yoga Journal, Shambhala Sun, Five Points,and Creative Nonfiction.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member debnance
Natalie Goldberg has always been this wonderful mishmash of an all-too-human person with a saint. And she uses this wonderful combination of self to explore writing and Zen.

Apparently, she has very quietly had an experience with cancer that brought her right to the edge of life, but she’s come back to center, and now she has pulled together some of her essays that all wend a bit around ideas of the return of life, the great spring. It’s a lovely collection, and I was happy to read it.… (more)


Original language


Physical description

224 p.; 5.7 inches


1611803160 / 9781611803167

Local notes

literary studies
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