I had a great group at Esalen for this year’s Writing To Awaken Workshop. Forty-five participants in the brand new Aldous Huxley room above the newly refurbished main building, and what a group it was! The intimacy, trust, and mutual respect that can form among a group of total strangers in a weekend’s time never ceases to amaze me. Folks wrote on a variety of topics — “The Mother’s Gaze,” “Awakening Genius,” “Locating the Sacred in Everyday Life” — challenging subjects that helped them break new ground, psychologically and spiritually, sharing their writing and experiences with the larger group. Thanks everyone for your commitment, creativity, and courage! I hope that our paths cross again soon.
It was a pleasure to return to Hollyhock this summer to teach Writing To Awaken. This year’s group was inspiring and wonderful, as was Cortes Island itself. This small island off the coast of British Columbia is home to a fascinating community of artists, seekers, and cultural icon who spend time in this exquisite, peaceful place. One night, Rupert Sheldrake, the famed biologist and author, was interviewed by a well-known priest on the subject of “Pilgrimage in Contemporary Life.” Another day, our friends Chloe Goodchild (“The Naked Voice”) and Oriane Lee Johnston invited us on a boat trip on the beautiful sailboat, Misty Isles. Hollyhock is a superb location to do deep writing and I look forward to returning against next August.
I’ve been getting a lot of responses to my latest blog for Contemplative Journal, The Virtue of Vice. “As much as I craved order, boundaries, and moderation, I deeply needed abandon, too—a chink in my character to let off steam, a wicked outlet to spice things up,” I write in the piece. “Without room for transgression, the days grew overly predictable, stupefied by their own too-goodness, like a row of tight-lipped ladies nodding off in church.” http://contemplativejournal.com/2016/08/virtue-vice/
It was wonderful to read from “When You’re Falling, Dive” at Watkins Books in London. Watkins is a venerable, hundred-year-old institution that has hosted some of my favorite teachers and colleagues, from Eckhart Tolle to Rupert Sheldrake, and it was an honor to be invited. Here is a video of my reading and the Q/A that followed. I hope you enjoy it. Watch the video here.
I talked to my friend Mark Wolynn about his eye-opening new book, It Didn’t Start With You, for Psychology Today. Mark’s book is a groundbreaking approach to transforming traumatic legacies passed down in families over generations. Mark is Director of The Family Constellations Institute and an expert in healing inherited trauma. I learned a lot from our conversation.