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.
What a wonderful week we had in France. The Writing To Awaken: The Story of Your Life retreat prompted excellent work from our group, who hailed from around the world (Australia, Iceland, U.K. U.S.) and supported each other famously. Thanks to all for your wholehearted participation. And to our hosts, Mike and Susie, for welcoming us again at Le Perchoir des Paons in Gindou and to Florence Lombard for welcoming us into her home again. Hope to see you again next year!
I can’t wait to return to Hollyhock in August for WRITING TO AWAKEN: Memoir As A Path of Transformation. Cortes Island is one of my favorite places and Hollyhock is a unique center for learning and creative exploration. The retreat will give me a chance to spend a good deal of one on one time with students in the splendor of the Pacific Northwest. Have a look at this video about Hollyhock to get more acquainted. I hope to see you there!
I’m looking forward to my upcoming events in London and hope I might see you at one of them. I’m honored to return to St. James Church as part of Alternatives’ Speakers Series. On Monday, May 23, I’ll be presenting, The Negativity Bias: Why Human Beings Are Born To Say No. St. James’s Church is such a historic place (William Blake was christened there) and I love the energy in this beautiful church. On Friday, May 27, I’ll be reading and signing at Watkins Books for the first time (another venerable London institution) and on May 29, I’m offering an day-long workshop for Alternatives, Writing To Awaken: Overcoming the Fear of Freedom. Last year’s daylong workshop in the parlor room overlooking Hyde Park was one of my favorites and it will be great to be there again. I hope to see you while I’m there! Visit my calendar for more details.
I’m delighted to be partnering with Contemplative Journal to teach Writing To Awaken starting on February 29. In this four-week online course, I’ll guide students through a unique process of self-examination through writing that leads to personal insight, creative enrichment, and spiritual awakening. Whatever spiritual path you’re on, this course will equip you with a wide array of skills to help you use “writing to awaken.” I hope you can join us. Click here for more info & registration. Click here to watch a video introduction.