Zen meditation and writing have been inextricably linked thanks to Natalie Goldberg, an author who brought the two concepts together in Writing Down the Bones
in 1986 while living in Minneapolis. The book has remained a go-to manual for writers, and Goldberg herself has taught its lessons all over the world during the 30 years since its publication. Goldberg's latest book, The Great Spring
, is an insightful collection of awakenings throughout the author's life, many of them involving experiences from, and the landscape of, Minnesota. Whether it's a chocolate chip cookie-eating ritual at Bread & Chocolate in St. Paul, a road trip to Hibbing to trace Bob Dylan's roots for a documentary film, or mining the wisdom from the late Minnesota Zen Center teacher Dainin Katagiri, Goldberg captures the comforting wholesomeness of the Midwest with authenticity and tenderness. Goldberg, who now calls New Mexico home, comes to Minneapolis for back-to-back nights of readings at Grace Trinity Church on Tuesday and at the Loft Literary Center on Wednesday. It's clearly been too long since she returned; the Loft event is already sold out.