Adult Classes & Workshops

The creative process offers ways to lean into the mystery, acknowledge what we know and don't know, explore metaphor, and celebrate the immensity of our imaginations. It is a great pleasure to witness a technical writer unexpectedly writing a poem, the person who has only written in a journal create a fictional dialog or dream sequence, a child who is identified as a math kid write something beautiful about his imagination, a musician enjoy making a painting.

Working in different settings has encouraged me to be flexible and organize my material into different formats. I have offered writing and creativity workshops as a four hour session, an all day or weekend workshop, a week-long program or a an extended weekly series.

To schedule a writing workshop, teacher inservice, lecture, or reading with Ruth Gendler contact

Current workshops include:

Writing from the Heart/The Heart of Writing
Whether writing fiction or poetry, essay, prayer, or article writing is both work and play. Yet, many of us judge our work before we even put pen to paper, doubt our stories will be interesting, or expect perfection from first drafts. In both ongoing writing groups and one day workshops we explore writing that originates from observation, imagination and wonder;, reconnect with the impulse to tell stories; and focus on listening--to ourselves, to language, to each other.

Attending to Beauty
This workshop celebrates beauty as an essential qualtiy that has been central through much of the world for a long time. As we attend to the way beauty moves in our lives, we begin to expand our definitions and illuminate the more radiant, generous and soulful aspects of beauty. We articulate and re-search what beauty means to each of us. Writing, drawing, listening, asking questions, silence and conversation are our tools.

Childhood Religion, Adult Spiritual Choices
How do the questions that inspired us as children echo in our lives today? How do our experiences of religion, its presence or absence in childhood, the ways our families treated it, motivate and inspire our adult spiritual choices? What about solitude and community, ritual and faith? In this workshop we make a space to listen and remember, explore qualities of soul and questions of the heart.

Time and the Rhythms of Beauty
Our focus is the qualities of time, its relationship to attention, creativity, the senses, light and dark, rhythm and schedule, impatience, gestation, procrastination, and perseverance. We consider clock time, body time, social time, cultural time. We investigate our vocabulary, questions and metaphors for time, examining the intricate dance between our own rhythms and the rhythms and requirements of our time.

Developing a personal relationship to time is a fascinating, mysterious, beautiful task requiring receptivity and intention. (Not a time management class.)

Feedback From Previous Students

"Ruth Gendler doesn't just teach people how to reach into their creativity--she exudes it. Her teaching, like Creativity itself, is fresh, surprising, usually spontaneous and like Ruth's relationship with her own work, is serious and passionate at its core." - Catherine Girardeau

"This writing group has helped me to put myself out there, my ideas and beliefs. I was always a non-writing person--ever since my brother would read my diary and tease me. Now I say more what I think and the pathogens disperse." - Student

"re: Attending to Beauty: I am finding myself appreciating the subtlety of your workshop at Quaker Center. Sometimes after a workshop I feel as though thugs have rushed through my interior shouting and wieding baseball bats. Other times it feels as though thieves have slipped into my basement and rearranged all the furniture. These ain't bad but...last weekend felt as though a few odd corners and nooks were softly illuminated somehow leaving everything looking different the next day. A really lovely experience. I'm sure I will be fed by it in the months to come." - Heidi Jett