a dreaming-while-awake journey exploring the Wayfaring poets of old

Welcome to The Poet’s Dreamingbody — a place for exploring a particular “formula” for creative and spiritual practice that was passed on to me by my late teacher, Darion Kuma Gracen (1949-2007), a rascally Wayfarer who combined the practice of silent illumination meditation in Nature, forest-hillwalking (what some moderns now call shinrin-yoku [forest bathing], and the practice of the contemplative arts.

The “formula” is simple:

Nature + Meditation (and Mountain Hillwalking) + the Contemplative Arts = Wayfaring

It’s an ancient way of being that can be traced back to even before Tang Dynasty China and Edo Period Japan, yet it’s a heart-mind stream of activity that even influenced the “rucksack revolution” of certain Zen and Beat poets of the West.

As we travel together in this way, I curate poetic verses and offer certain concepts from the Wayfarers of old that act as a breadcrumb trail of contemplative living. I do so with the hope that it enriches your own life path in some way.

Along with posts of poetry, quotes and pith phrases for contemplation, and other curated content meant to inspire, other transmissions of the poet’s dreamingbody include reflections on the lives and written works of various Wayfaring poets of old, who — as a lineage-stream of “art mothers and fathers”

— offer us inspiration and “practice-hints” for the paths we walk.

In addition to encountering some of my own poetic offerings along the way, readers will be introduced to a variety of themes and topics that are embedded within the Wayfaring tradition of contemplative living and poetics.

If you ever have any questions or suggestions you would like to throw my way, topics you would like to share or see explored, etc., feel free to reach out to me at: hiddenmountainstudio@gmail.com

the dreamingbody as concept

In the words of Arnold Mindell, who first coined the terms dreambody and dreamingbody: “The dreambody is a multi-channelled information sender asking you to receive its message in many ways and noticing how its information appears over and over again...The dreambody is your wise signaller, giving you messages in many different dimensions. When it signals to you in the body, we call it a symptom (or sensation). When it signals to you through a dream, we call it a symbol.”

I would add to Arne’s idea that when signals are registered by the dreambody (from psyche/soul, world, spirit, or Nature) and find their way to the canvas or the written page, it is a special kind of art or poetry. In the words of Walter Inglis Anderson, “The third poetry is sometimes never written; but when it is, it is written by those who have brought nature and art together into one thing.”

As we journey together in this way, we will hold a couple of “traveling instructions” within heart-mind that come down to us from the Japanese poet-sage Matsuo Bashō, a prime innovator of the poetic awareness practices of haiku and haibun. We will heed his suggestions to “become a companion of the four seasons” and to “seek not the paths of the ancients” but rather “seek that which the ancients sought.”

Frank Inzan Owen

who curates the poet’s dreamingbody?

Frank Inzan Owen is a Wayfarer of a Nature-oriented contemplative path that exerts a strong influence upon his poetry and evolving creative life.

In addition to mountains, forests, rivers, and the teachings embedded within the four seasons, his poetry draws inspiration from dreams, the Jungian view of the soul, and "practice-hints" found in the lives and works of various Wayfaring poets, primarily of the Far East.

Frank is the author of three books of poetry, all on Homebound Publications, The School of Soft-Attention, The Temple of Warm Harmony, and Stirrup of the Sun & Moon. He resides in the north-central Georgia Piedmont ("foot of the mountain"), near the Chattahoochee River, in the ancestral territory of the Aniyvwiya (Principal People), ancestral lands of the Cherokee. When not hillwalking, and practicing zazen, he facilitates a form of Jungian-inspired life-path exploration, spiritual companioning, and innerwork he calls contemplative soulwork through his organization that bears the same name as his first book of poetry, The School of Soft-Attention.

Share the poet’s dreamingbody

I first encountered the concept of “art mothers and fathers” from dancer and teacher Barbara Dilley, author of This Very Moment: Teaching, Thinking, Dancing. Similar to the notion of one’s “milk-line” (those whom we are not related to by bloodline but who have nourished our spiritual lives in some way), the “lineage stream of art mothers and fathers” is anyone part of your creative-spiritual lineage who has shaped your life as an artist.


Frank Inzan Owen
Frank Inzan Owen is a Wayfarer of a Nature-oriented contemplative path, a three-time published poet, and a facilitator of a form of Jungian-informed inner work he calls contemplative soulwork.