Mark Matousek - Writing to awaken
Discover a powerful, transformative writing practice that will fuel your creativity, deepen your personal relationships, and bring greater clarity to your life path.
Experience a profound sense of freedom by pouring your heart’s deepest truths into a journal or personal piece of writing… tapping into your true feelings, “taboo” thoughts, and the gifts of your darkest shadows and boldest visions.
Our innermost vulnerable truths often aren’t ready (or even appropriate) for public sharing, yet they still need to be expressed, felt and released in some way…
Safely exploring your raw emotions, uncensored thoughts and wildest ideas can be profoundly liberating. Gaining a deeper understanding of who you truly are, loving aspects of yourself you once found unlovable, and healing past hurts can lead to spiritual awakening.
A regular writing practice can not only guide you on this path of healing, freedom and awakening, it can unleash your creative spirit while cultivating an expansive mind, open heart and authentic relationships.
Your journal can actually serve as your trusted confidante, Zen master and psychotherapist — all rolled into one.
On the other hand, if you don’t know how to foster a truly transformative approach to writing, you can get stuck in unresolved wounds, emotional entanglements and negative thinking.
The difference between writing to vent and writing as a path of liberation lies in treating writing as an actual spiritual practice — one that is every bit as powerful as meditation, prayer or yoga. In fact, writing can help free areas of yourself that most conventional spiritual practices never touch.
When you start to view writing as an opportunity for deep inquiry — exploring who you are, your soul’s purpose and unconscious blocks — is when you begin to tap into your true power.
The words that flow onto the page are portals into your greatest depths — the wellspring of true love, creativity and awakening.
Writing for Transformation
It’s not enough to simply write anything that pops into your head…
Unstructured writing can reinforce that which binds you, rather than help you discover that which frees you.
A truly liberating practice uses writing as a way to probe your depths — chipping away at the ego, exploring buried feelings, and accessing your vulnerability. As a result, you’re able to tap into Spirit and expand your inner resources of love and compassion.
A transformative writing practice takes skillful inquiry, as well as the kind of discipline we usually associate with other practices dedicated to spiritual growth. And as you venture into areas that generate resistance, it takes courage to continue moving forward instead of sticking to comfortable, more familiar terrain.
The rewards of a deep and powerful writing practice are immense — providing you with a way to access and examine revelatory insights, powerful truths and your innermost Self.
More than anything, you’ll discover your unique genius, a path for manifesting it in the world, and how to transform any blocks into breakthroughs.
When you discover how to realize the transformative power of writing, you simultaneously:
- Gain a powerful tool for your spiritual path — one that’s always available to you
- Access your truth so deeply that it opens doorways to your boldest visions and your highest purpose
- Explore your inner depths in ways that greatly enhance how fully you show up in the world — making you a more compelling teacher, leader, activist, coach or entrepreneur
When you know yourself fully, you’re able to relate from your authentic center — being more heartfelt, insightful, truthful, funny and creative. And others find that compelling, as they also yearn for more freedom and integrity in how they engage.
When we sense someone is integrated and at peace with themselves, we trust them more and are drawn to interact and work with them.
People respond more powerfully to someone who is clear, authentic and whole.
The Importance of a Master Guide
As with any genuine spiritual inquiry, it’s vital to have a master guide — one who knows the territory and can keep you on track (plus help you avoid the many pitfalls that emerge along any transformational journey!).
Fortunately, such a guide is available to you…
Over the last three decades, Mark Matousek has become one of the world’s foremost chroniclers of the spiritual path — as an author (of the bestselling Sex Death Enlightenment), journalist (for publications such as The New Yorker and O), collaborator (on foundational books like the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying), and editor.
Mark is a master of language and, more importantly, a genius at marrying the depth of spiritual practice with the practice of writing. He’s a dynamic, funny, self-revealing and profound teacher whose practices and disciplines can help you fashion a liberating, lifelong writing practice.
He’s taught students worldwide the discipline of writing as a spiritual practice — in a way that’s profoundly liberating and very enjoyable.
And now you can join Mark for his upcoming, one-of-a-kind, 7-module course, Writing to Awaken.
Writing as a spiritual practice requires not only a sincere, heartfelt commitment and the intention to live a more authentic, liberated life, it demands a deep commitment to showing up and putting pen to paper — no matter what happens and no matter what emotions rise to the surface.
It’s a discipline, however, that’s not cruel or burdensome. On the contrary, it is discipline as in “disciple” — a disciple does what he or she does out of love for the practice.
When you commit to a regular practice, even for just 15 minutes a day, the practice takes on its own momentum, and it becomes easier and more inviting to sit down and do the work.
Indeed, the pleasure of self-discovery quickly becomes self-motivating… every “aha” moment beckons you to go deeper; each exhilarating revelation leads to another; every writing session, no matter the length, ends too soon.
During Writing to Awaken, Mark will take you on a structured journey through seven key areas of writing, which can help free you from old limitations related to your identity, your relationships and your innate genius.
Mark is direct and will hold you accountable — in a loving and healthy way. He’ll challenge you to strive for a level of emotional intimacy beyond your current capacity. Yes, you may find yourself on the outer limits of your comfort zone, yet waiting on the other side of your discomfort is the liberating realization that you were as strong and as brave as you hoped you would be.
Under Mark’s patient, compassionate guidance, you’ll enter a safe container for honest self-inquiry, inside a supportive global community.
You’ll be in good hands to take a deep dive into healing, freedom and awakening through writing… discovering skills you can draw on for a lifetime.
What You’ll Discover in These 7 Modules
During this 7-part transformational intensive, Mark will guide you through the fundamental skills and competencies you’ll need to create a daily writing practice that cultivates a more authentic, self-aware and spiritual you.
Each contemplation and training session will build harmoniously upon the next so that you’ll develop a complete, holistic understanding of the practices, tools and principles you’ll need to sustain your spiritual writing practice.
You’ll emerge with:
- Deeper access to your spiritual identity
- Greater understanding of your authentic desires
- Enhanced ability to discern the ego’s voice from your soul voice
- A wider angle lens on your “life myth”
- An inner refuge that you can turn to for wisdom and advice
- Greater freedom from shame related to your shadow (and understanding of its wisdom)
- A higher comfort level with your secret passions and fears
- Increased discernment about where fear is blocking desire in your life
- A non-dual approach to desire
- A more profound understanding of your personal source of meaning and purpose
- The ability to focus your intentions, stop procrastinating and practice discipline with kindness
- Tools for healing from deep wounding in your life
- Expanded access to your personal and creative genius
- Deepened ability to express your innate gifts in the world
Module 1: Who Am I?
Accessing Your Soul
Every life is a work of fiction. Behind your worldly mask is an essential self — a soul identity — whose powerful voice communicates your unique truth and deepest desires. Many of us suffer from mistaken identity. Until we access this soul awareness, we’re split off from our own true nature and distanced from our gifts, passion and purpose. In this module, we’ll be exploring the gap in our lives between how we show up in our writing (and the world) and our true authenticity, and how to examine it through self-inquiry.
You’ll discover how to:
- Gain access to your soul identity
- Identify your authentic desires
- Discern the ego’s voice from your soul voice
- Listen to creative counsel from within
- Consider your life myth from a soul perspective
Module 2: The Secret Life
Finding Your Inner Refuge
The first step toward authenticity is surveying your secret life. Without exception, each of us has one — that vicinity of self that is yours alone — filled with memories, totems, obsessions, longings, dreams and vulnerabilities. This inner refuge contains a wellspring of inspiration and self-discovery. The soul loves specificity, intimacy and subjective uniqueness. In this module, we’ll be inquiring into our own secret lives, and how they provide us with wisdom and balance.
You’ll discover how to:
- Build an inner refuge of wisdom
- Examine the obstacles to this refuge
- Transcend shame about your shadow
- Connect with shadow wisdom (this is where the juice is)
- Identify your secret passions
Module 3: Fear & Desire
Liberating Your True Passions
The tension between fear and desire determines your quality of life. To live passionately, you must learn to walk this edge between both. But how is this possible? Our impulse toward control often prevents us from venturing through fear toward our deepest longing. How can you surrender control and abandon yourself to desire (without hurting others in the process)? When is it wise to listen to fear? Why are you afraid of things you crave (and vice versa)? In this module, we’ll be looking at the interface between fear and desire: how we walk the line — and sometimes tumble over it into passion — and the role of moral conditioning in the dance.
You’ll discover how to:
- Identify where fear arises
- Isolate where fear blocks desire in your life
- Step outside the moral matrix that binds soul to ego
- Practice the “art of abandon”
- Understand a non-dual approach to desire
Module 4: The Quest for Meaning
Finding What Truly Matters to You
From a soul perspective, what does your life really mean? Do you wonder whether you matter or not, and for what purpose you have been born? Our quest for meaning is hardwired in us. “We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” wrote Joan Didion, and from these stories, we derive meaning. Without meaning, life’s tribulations lose their power to transform us. As Viktor Frankl famously taught, suffering without meaning equals despair (S-M=D). In this module, we’ll look at what our existence means (to ourselves and the world), where our sense of purpose comes from, and how to harness our energies to reach higher goals.
You’ll discover how to:
- Locate your personal source of meaning
- Overcome obstacles to meaning in your life
- Strengthen your commitment to purpose
- Connect your personal meaning to the greater good
- Reconstruct your life myth to accommodate authentic meaning
Module 5: The Mystery of Love
Deepening Your Intimate Relationships
When Viktor Frankl was in Auschwitz, it was the hope of seeing his beloved wife again that gave his life meaning. The power of love enabled this great psychiatrist to survive. Love is the greatest mystery — our very reason for being. Why, then, can it be so enigmatic, unstable, unpredictable and challenging? The answer is that love is a practice. Like every practice, it is often difficult and requires discipline, commitment and tolerance of discomfort. This is how love yields its joy, “against the grain,” in the Buddhist saying. In this module, we’ll be using our writing to plumb the mystery of love in its myriad varieties — passionate, platonic and familial.
You’ll discover how to:
- Access your soul’s power to love
- Heal from breaches of love in your life
- Appreciate the variety of love relationships you have
- Accept the shadow in love
- Reaffirm love for your precious existence
Module 6: Intention & Power
Creating From Your Inner Sourcee
The soul is a power source. We plug into this source through intention, which shapes and guides us through life, holds our aim, and keeps us on our path. The world is full of brilliant people whose lives would improve dramatically if only their intentions were focused. Without concentrated intention, creativity suffocates and dies. Manifestation requires single-mindedness. In this module, we’ll learn practices for focusing and strengthening our intention in order to reach our goals.
You’ll discover how to:
- Focus your intentions
- Find the path of least resistance to what you desire
- Stop procrastinating
- Practice kind and consistent discipline
- Commit to your own dreams
Module 7: Awakening Genius
Discovering Your Unique Gift
Each of us is born with a unique gift. The Romans called this gift our “genius,” and explained that we come into this world with a “tutelary deity” that guides us toward our own fruition. The deity is our soul itself. When we free this soul, we liberate our inherent creativity and the inborn offering waiting to be born. If you do not offer your gift to the world, it will never truly exist. But what is your particular genius? What will the flowering of your soul be? In this module, we’ll learn about efflorescence (what Christian mystics called “viriditas”) — poet Dylan Thomas described it as the “force that through the green fuse drives the flower” — and how we fuse with this power in daily life.
You’ll discover how to:
- Identify your personal genius
- Understand what its voice is telling you
- Fuse with your creative genius
- Manifest the gifts you were born with
- Connect these gifts with the world around you