Registration for this course is now closed.
Click here to see our other courses!
We respect your privacy. Your information will never be sold, nor shared without your permission.
With Bestselling Author & Teacher
Mark Matousek
New Live Audio Training Starts
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Discover a powerful, transformative writing practice that will help you overcome the inner and outer forces that are holding you back and fuel your creativity, free your authentic voice, and bring greater clarity to your unique genius.

Experience more authenticity and 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.


Do you wish you could better express your true self in your actions, in your relationships, and in your everyday life?

Do you feel like the real you, with all its remarkable gifts, is trapped behind a veil of mystery that may forever be beyond your reach?

Do you feel weighed down by challenging circumstances or the craziness in our culture right now?

Writing can be your pathway to freedom — freedom to be authentic, express your truth, and live into your highest gifts.

Make no mistake — you were born with original gifts, and an authentic voice waiting to be heard. The ancient Romans called this genius, referring to a guiding spirit whose sole purpose was to lead a person to their inborn potential.

This genius has nothing to do with I.Q. or external achievement; rather, it points to the unique, never-seen-before brilliance with which every soul is endowed. Regardless of the work you do — artist or housewife, bus driver or entrepreneur — this creative originality is within YOU.

Once you learn to tap into this personal source, and access the power of what’s inside you — the talents, passions, dreams, and vision that are yours alone — your life will transform.

How do you do this? Through a spiritual practice that may surprise you — writing.

Bestselling author Mark Matousek has taught students worldwide the discipline of writing as a spiritual practice — in a way that’s profoundly liberating and very enjoyable.

A regular writing practice can not only guide you in the journey of healing the past, overcoming adversity in the present, and discovering your personal gifts, it can unleash your creative spirit while cultivating an expansive mind, open heart, and authentic relationships.

Safely exploring your raw emotions, uncensored thoughts, and wildest ideas through a writing practice 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.

Open to an Exciting New World of Power and Potential


In Writing to Reclaim Your Essential Gifts, Mark will be your expert guide on a step-by-step exploration of your inner landscape, and the world of possibilities that lie dormant inside you.

Using targeted questions and self-inquiry through writing, you’ll explore all of the inner voices, doubts, and fears that might be holding back your untapped possibilities and discover how to truly listen to your inner guidance, whose wisdom transcends limitations and fear, and opens you to a new world of freedom, inspiration, and courage.

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 your 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.

When you know how to follow this “genius” voice, you discover that the treasure is already within you — and that what you have to offer the world is a gift beyond measure.

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, expand your inner resources of love and compassion, and connect to the genius within. This is at the core of resilience and your ability to overcome adversity.

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:

  • Gain a powerful tool for your spiritual path — one that’s always available to you
  • Uncover and heal some of the traumas, limited stories, or patterns that have been subtly holding you back
  • 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
  • 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 — and in touch with their life-enhancing gifts.

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 now...

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 (for luminaries like Ram Dass).

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.

And now you can join Mark for his upcoming, one-of-a-kind 7-week course, Writing to Reclaim Your Essential Gifts.

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's discipline as in “disciple” — a disciple does what she or he 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 Reclaim Your Essential Gifts, Mark will take you on a structured journey through many 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.

In this 7-week online program, you’ll emerge with:

Deeper access to your spiritual identity Greater understanding of your authentic desires Increased your resilience and capacity to handle adversity in your daily life Enhanced ability to discern the ego’s voice from your soul voice Greater patience, wisdom, and trust — in both the animating force of the universe and in yourself Increased self-knowledge that is also compassionate for the parts of you that might have felt ashamed of The ability to make conscious choices that align with your truest intentions Greater access to intuition and right-brain creativity Deeper connection to the source of your own being 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 nondual 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 upleveling your focus and flow Expanded access to your personal and creative genius A deepened ability to express your innate gifts in the world The liberating gifts of the shadow

What You’ll Discover in These 7 Weeks

Course sessions are on Wednesdays at Noon Pacific.

During this 7-week 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 — so you can discover, embody, and express your unique genius.

Each weekly LIVE 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.

Module 1: The Landscape of Desire (March 14)


The journey of discovering your personal genius begins by exploring the landscape of desire. Desire is the lifeblood of creative life, the fuel that brings our gifts into the world. “What makes the engine go? Desire, desire, desire,” wrote the poet Stanley Kunitz. Unfortunately, many individuals never acknowledge the full force of their true desires nor the life-changing wisdom they carry. Revealing your authentic desires is the first step to accessing personal genius.

In this module, you’ll discover that:

  • Desire is the lifeblood of creativity; when you acknowledge your desires and connect to the power inherent in them, you awaken the genius within
  • We’re frightened of the power of our own desires, fearful that if we follow them, our carefully controlled lives will be threatened
  • Desire is a neutral universal energy (Eros) that can be channeled in positive or negative directions depending on your intention
  • Suppressed desire tends to manifest in unskillful ways, including addiction, depression, and dissociation
  • Once we acknowledge the force of our desires, we can choose how to respond; we do not need to indulge our desires, necessarily — what matters is that we become conscious of the ENERGY of desire, in order to utilize it with creativity and imagination
  • Ambivalence is the enemy of desire and the thief of personal genius; it leaches us of energy and puts us at cross-purposes with ourselves — by exposing what we’re afraid (and ashamed) of, we resolve ambivalence and increase productivity and joy

Module 2: Gifts of the Shadow (March 21)


To fully connect with personal genius, it's necessary to explore the shadow, that off-limits part of the psyche where we conceal aspects of ourselves that threaten the “authorized version” — the status quo — of what we want to the world to see. Taught to conform, behave, avoid risk, and not stand out from the crowd, we bury (all too often) our originality, uniqueness, passion, and non-conformism in the shadow, along with our gifts. As Buckminster Fuller put it, “Everyone is born a genius but the process of living de-geniuses us.” The shadow is where we store this disowned power.

In this module, you’ll discover that:

  • The shadow is that unacknowledged, off-limits, taboo part of the psyche where we conceal things (both positive and negative) that cause us discomfort
  • In order to earn acceptance and love, to be part of the group (the inner circle), and avoid alienating our caretakers and those whose opinions we value, we tend to hide our gifts in the shadow
  • We’re taught from an early age to conform, obey, behave, and conceal what is most original and risky within us
  • You cannot know yourself, fully, nor gain access to your authentic power, without exploring the personal shadow; this is enormously rewarding and allows you to reclaim your disowned and discarded parts
  • Acknowledging the gifts of the shadow increases courage, heals shame, and connects you to your core strengths
  • This reclamation of our neglected originality and power is our coming-of-age as creative people on a path of awakening — “You do not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious,” wrote Carl Jung

Module 3: Trusting the Gift (March 28)


Acknowledging your gifts and learning to trust them are different. Like love, genius isn’t something you choose; instead it chooses you, and accepting what you’re born with is the next crucial step in self-realization. Many people reject their genius (just as many people reject love) when it doesn’t fit their ideal of what the gift should look like. When you betray the truth of who you are (and what you’re born with), you miss the opportunity to become your most authentic self, and bring what’s within you into the open. As with any spiritual practice, awakening genius (like loving another) requires both trust and surrender.

In this module, you’ll discover that:

  • We’re often surprised by the contents of the shadow and what actually inspires us, which may contradict the image we present to the world (and, even, the person we want to be)
  • It requires patience and wisdom to accept your gifts, which may not be the ones you might have chosen (if you were God) — in the same way that you can’t choose who you love, you cannot choose your native gifts
  • When given the gifts of shadow, we may react in negative ways; we may attempt to deny what we have seen, but attempting to do so is futile and destructive — prime examples of this are sexuality (which, when closeted, turns toxic) and vocational aptitude (which may not align with personal will), e.g. a poet who longs to write the Great American Novel
  • Learning to accept and trust your authentic gifts requires humility, flexibility, and imagination
  • You gain enormous energy through this acceptance, like finding the socket of your original light switch — suddenly, your inner world is illuminated, allowing for insight and self-knowledge in all areas of your life
  • By leaning into your natural affinities (gifts) and surrendering to a power greater than yourself, you connect to veriditas, the greening, animating, energizing force that animates the entire universe (including yourself)

Module 4: Choice & Intention (April 4)


Once you’ve learned to accept the gift, the next step is manifestation: the art of bringing your genius to life. For this to happen, you must learn to make conscious choices that align with your truest intentions. When you master the art of choosing well, understanding that every choice determines what matters to you and what doesn’t, you come to see that a gifted, inspired life depends on the ability to say YES to what liberates and empowers you, and NO to what keeps you stuck and afraid. Each time you do this, you strengthen your ability to focus on freedom, and the joy that comes with a creative life.

In this module, you’ll discover that:

  • Once you learn to accept the gift, the challenge is: How do you manifest your genius in your life? How to bring forth what is within you? A gift unshared is a waste of magic, a masking of beauty, a missed opportunity to connect with others
  • Intention is the channel we create to guide our genius into the world. Intention — and her emotional sibling, commitment — are necessary for self-actualization
  • Intention is honed through personal choice; your choices are the building blocks of personal meaning — with every choice you make, you decide what matters to you and what doesn’t
  • When we choose to open, we stop shutting down; when we choose to risk, we cease shrinking from power; when we choose to embody our gifts fully, we grow in emotional and spiritual stature
  • Goal-setting is not the same as intention-setting; though valuable, goals are achievement-specific and can sometimes interfere with our true intentions — for example, if your intention is to be your most original, courageous self, but your goal is to be admired and popular, these motivations may cancel one another out
  • The intention to “live your genius” will focus your choices and relieve conflict and stress in your life

Module 5: Focus & Flow (April 11)


You cannot enter the state of flow without first learning to focus. Many gifted people never succeed in finding their path for lack of one-pointed attention, the inability to stick with their best intentions. Distraction, ambivalence, resistance, uncertainty — all forms of confusion — deplete your resolve and the energy required to live as a gifted person. Personal genius (like love) does not come for free; it requires faith and diligence, and the willingness to drop bad habits that interfere with personal growth. Fortunately, there are tools for strengthening focus and flow that can help you on your chosen path.

In this module, you’ll discover that:

  • Creativity requires focus; without one-pointed attention, you cannot manifest your gifts in the world
  • Focus requires discipline, not self-tyranny; when you use discipline as an ally (a disciple follows her or his teacher or tradition out of love), and develop a zero-tolerance policy toward self-bullying, you align with the “teacher within”
  • Using one-pointed attention, you can learn to say no to distraction and the saboteurs of ambivalence; you can then abandon the myth of multitasking and conquer the habits of trying to do too much at the same time
  • Focus creates a sacred space within which manifestation can occur — a refuge for the creative spirit, just as one-pointed attention allows meditation to occur during practice
  • With focus comes the state of flow, a blessed state of union with personal genius, when time seems to stop and we’re aware of being exactly where we’re meant to be; this brings ease to the mind and opens the channel(s) of possibility
  • Flow is identical to presence, the unified state of being that is the aim of all spiritual practices

Module 6: The Power of Play (April 18)


Playfulness is one of the powerful tools that can help you strengthen focus and flow, though you’re rarely encouraged to cultivate it. Without play, there’s no freedom to push the envelope, experiment with fresh ideas, open new doors (that both scare and excite you), or risk the possibility of failure. Without failure, there can be no growth; without entering unknown territory, mastering the art of “not knowing,” a creative life is impossible. Through the power of play, you learn to transcend the limits of know-it-all mind (the enemy of inspiration and rebirth) and enter into the mystery of all that has yet to be revealed.

In this module, you’ll discover that:

  • By connecting to presence, and allowing your gifts to emerge, you can rediscover the power of play to liberate and nourish you
  • Play counteracts the confining nature of ego and frees you to be childlike in how you relate to your gifts, and to other people
  • When you learn to play, you heal the child within who may have been silenced too young, and so lived with regret or a sense of being ignored or invisible
  • Play gives you access to intuition and the powers of right-brain (irrational) creativity; you come to see that “making sense” has its limits. Logic can be a straitjacket when you lean on it too heavily. “We are poor, indeed, if we are only sane,” wrote the psychologist D. W. Winnicott
  • Play also frees you to investigate areas of life, and yourself, that are too threatening to the defensive, grown-up ego-mind — you cease taking yourself so seriously, which paradoxically makes you more formidable
  • Play helps you transcend fixed, conventional boundaries, false dualities (and oppositions) that lock us into lives of excessive caution — you learn “risk is extra life”

Module 7: Coming Home to Yourself (April 25)


Uncovering your unique gifts is a spiritual homecoming. Recognizing the voice of your genius, the wisdom messages of your personal muse, connects you to the roots of existence, your very reasons for being alive. Thus grounded in personal meaning and power, linked intimately to your own true nature, your life is transformed from one of confusion, frustration, wandering, and struggle to a life of clarity, comfort, and joy. Having revealed and accepted your gifts, you’re no longer a stranger to yourself. You’ve learned to live like an artist, to bless the creative spirit inside you, to choose “the road less traveled,” knowing that wherever it leads you, that is exactly where you belong.

In this module, you’ll discover that:

  • Accessing personal genius is like coming home to yourself, and rediscovering the source of your own being
  • When you feel at home in the world, life becomes friendlier and more hospitable; the grief of separation (from yourself, others, God) comes to an end
  • In the light of homecoming, shame and envy have no place; you feel sufficient just as you are, which brings a new kind of peace
  • Connected to your desires and inspiration, you move toward growth and efflorescence, discovery, and surprise; you’re no longer frightened by “not knowing” and recognize mystery as your greatest ally
  • You no longer silence the truth within; instead, you learn to be more honest, forgiving, and tolerant toward your own contradictions. You see that you’re “many voices” brought together in one house. “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes,” wrote Walt Whitman
  • Making room for your own complexity, allowing your “chorus of selves” to unite, you become a force of truth in the world, helping others to recognize their own chorus and grow into their own blessed fullness

The Writing to Reclaim Your Essential Gifts Bonus Collection

In addition to Mark’s transformative 7-week virtual course, you’ll receive these powerful training sessions with leading visionaries and teachers. These bonus sessions complement the course — and promise to take your understanding and practice to an even deeper level.

What the Shadow Knows: Discovering Our Secret Knowledge
Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Thomas Moore


The psychologist and “godfather of soul” talks to Mark about the role of the shadow in creative and spiritual life.

Thomas Moore is the author of the classic bestseller Care of the Soul, a #1 New York Times bestseller, and 18 other books. He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and, for over 30 years, a psychotherapist practicing archetypal therapy with a spiritual dimension. His books appear in over 25 languages and he lectures in many parts of the world. For 15 years he has taught psychiatrists and has worked closely with medical schools, hospices, and hospitals. He also speaks often at C. G. Jung societies. He has won awards for his teaching and his books, including an honorary doctorate from Lesley University and the Einstein Humanitarian Award from Yeshiva University.

Making Art & the Practice of Awakening: On the Cushion & Off
Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Jane Hirshfield


The award-winning poet discusses with Mark the pitfalls of the creative process and the need for personal authenticity in artistic life.

Jane Hirshfield is the author of eight books of poetry, including The Beauty; Come, Thief; After; and Given Sugar, Given Salt. She has edited and co-translated four books presenting the work of poets from the past and is the author of two major collections of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World. Her books have been finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award and England’s T. S. Eliot Prize; they have been named best books of the year by The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Amazon, and Financial Times; and they have won the California Book Award, the Poetry Center Book Award, and the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry. Hirshfield has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the Times Literary Supplement, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Poetry, Orion, Discover, The American Poetry Review, McSweeney’s, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and eight editions of The Best American Poetry. A resident of Northern California since 1974, she’s a current chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Thankfulness as a Spiritual Practice
Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Mark Nepo


The poet philosopher talks to Mark about the creative path, and the role of spiritual wisdom in artistic self-discovery.

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry, health, and spirituality for 40 years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he’s published 14 books and recorded eight audio projects. Mark has appeared with Oprah Winfrey on her Super Soul Sunday program on OWN TV, and has also been interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages. Mark keynotes regularly for conferences and corporations; works with healing and medical communities, including chaplains and therapists; speaks and offers workshops for colleges and universities; and leads spiritual retreats. A cancer survivor, Nepo writes and teaches about the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship. The heart of that journey and its aftermath has greatly informed his work.

Transforming Anger Into Mindfulness
Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Mark Coleman


The meditation teacher and author offers advice on how stand up to our inner bullies, and become the allies of our own minds.

Mark Coleman has devotedly studied mindfulness meditation practices for three decades. He’s passionate about sharing the power of meditation and has been teaching mindfulness workshops and meditation retreats in six continents for the past 15 years. Mark holds a MA in Clinical Psychology and works individually with people as an executive coach and consultant, drawing on his extensive experience in working with people as a therapist. Mark is a senior meditation teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, a renowned leader in the mindfulness field, and teaches regularly with pioneering teachers such as Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg. Mark founded The Mindfulness Institute, where he has brought mindfulness trainings to Fortune 500 companies and the nonprofit sector across North America and Europe. Mark is writer and author of Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Help Free You from the Inner Critic, and Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery. Mark, an unabashed nature lover, likes nothing more than sharing his passion for integrating meditation and nature through his organization, Awake in the Wild. He has led wilderness meditation retreats from Alaska to Peru, taking people on inner and outdoor adventures.

What Graduates of Mark’s Previous Courses Are Saying...

Gill Bolt: “It’s Like Being Reborn”

Toby Needleman: “I Feel So Much Lighter”

Emma Jarrett: “An Unending Source of Wisdom and Exploration”

Cathy McBride: “Not Just a Way to Heal, But a Way to Transform”

Stacey Cohen: “I Began to Show Up in the World as an Empowered Adult”

Cathy Roberts: “The Writing Seemed to Be Flowing Through Me”
“Mark helped me dig deeper”

The framework Mark provides for considering key aspects of your life and development, and his questions, are very valuable and effective tools. I’m a lifelong journal writer, someone for whom writing has always been a part of spiritual exploration. But Mark helped me dig deeper. I’ll be continuing to work with the ideas and “writing prompts” I got from this course.
— Susan, New York, New York

“I have started to get a better sense of where to direct my ship...”

This course was a blessing to me as I navigated some stormy waters in life. After relocating to a new city and being without work, I was able to use this course to pull my life stories apart and get a good glimpse at where I’ve been. With that insight, I have started to get a better sense of where to direct my ship for the next course of this life adventure... Thank you, Mark, for your guidance and enthusiasm in sharing this practice!
— Eric van Leeuwen, Portland, Oregon

“I accessed parts of myself which I had never known before”

Mark Matousek is a compassionate, wise, and transformational teacher. Through the class and his guided questioning, I accessed parts of myself which I had never known before. Although a clinical social worker, I’ve never taken a course with such personal and professional growth in such a short time! I would highly recommend to anyone who desires to break through old patterns of behavior, ideas, and beliefs through developing a daily writing practice.
— Mary Agnes R., Orlando, Florida

“Amazingly deep reframing of goals and commitments”

The benefit I experienced from this course is a clearer understanding of mental roadblocks by great probing questions and shared experiences of insights gained from being “real” about them. This resulted in amazingly deep reframing of goals and commitments in life that really led to completing and realizing my own freedom and happiness and, hopefully, helping others do the same.
— Mary Stone, Kalaheo, Hawaii

“I discovered a portal to a brighter, more enlightened future”

I took this course to jumpstart my writing process and am beyond pleased. Mark Matousek is part life coach, part meditation master, and part writing teacher. The course was well organized and with Mark at the helm, the murky waters of my past became more of a clear-running stream than a dank, stagnant swamp. The community page was also a great way to connect and share with others. I really loved this course and the camaraderie, compassion, and confidence it generated. I feel like I discovered a portal to a brighter, more enlightened future.
— Lisa Miller, Los Angeles, California

“Supportive and perceptive guidance...”

It was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Mark’s extensive experience, compassion, and wisdom shone through the course content and his live presentation. His exposition in each module was clear and comprehensive, always illustrating what he said with case studies or examples. I was particularly moved and impressed with the way Mark responded to participants’ questions in the Q&A sections of each module: his acuity and sensitivity to the participants and the supportive and perceptive guidance he gave in response to the issues they raised.
— Gisela, Sydney, Australia

“Forgiving the universe and moving towards my true destiny”

We need to wake up to save the world. First we need to wake up to ourselves, all parts of ourselves; best and worst. Mark’s course helped awaken me. During the course of this lovely course, I was aided into forgiving the universe and moving towards my true destiny.
— Steve Minion, Manitoba, Canada

“I now know what I want to do...”

I’ve experienced many surprising benefits from taking this course. I’ve learned that writing can be a wonderful truth-telling tool. I now realize how important it is that I consciously create my future... with meaning, joy, and creativity at the top of the list. Thanks to Mark’s perceptive insights, I now know what I want to do, how I want to live, and what direction to go in. I experienced Mark as perceptive, non-judgemental, and constructive. He created an atmosphere of safety and respect that allowed me to explore much deeper territory and move beyond the obstacles I had thrown in my way.
— Anonymous

“Gave me a new way of looking at the story of my life...”

Writing to Awaken gave me a new way of looking at the story of my life in a supportive and structured way. It allowed disconnected parts out into the openness of the page... It’s not an “easy” course. It’s up to the participant to do what’s suggested to get the benefit. Every participant will have taken away something different for their own journey and I am appreciative for this next step.
— Nerida, Phillip Island, Australia

“A powerful experience in opening up new pathways...”

I found that Mark’s compassionate and insightful interactions, his discourses on the week’s topic, and the writing exercises created for me a powerful experience in opening up new pathways into myself.
— Derek, New Zealand

Join the Global Community


Writing to Reclaim Your Essential Gifts not only offers some of the most advanced online teachings currently available, it’s also a thriving global community of learning and practice.

Join your fellow students and practitioners from across the world in the live interactive conference calls or in our online community to support and learn from each other while you deepen your spiritual development through writing.

This international community is also at the leading edge of a global movement of people who are committed to manifesting a better world for all beings. This emerging planetary movement is rooted in an open heart, and stands for the principles of mutual support, cooperation, harmony, and reverence for all of life.

Here’s What You’ll Receive


Seven 90-minute Class Sessions With Mark Matousek

Experience a rare opportunity to be mentored and learn with renowned author and writing teacher Mark Matousek — from the comfort of your own home. Each class session guides you to learn the specific skills and abilities to awaken your spiritual potential. Course sessions are on Wednesdays at Noon Pacific.


Seven Audio Recordings of Class Sessions

After each class, the audio will be available for you to download in high-quality MP3 format. You’ll never have to worry about missing a session, and you can listen anytime and anywhere — on any connected device and at your convenience.


Seven PDF Transcripts of Class Sessions

In addition to the high-quality MP3 audios, you’ll also receive the entire class transcription in PDF format after each session is completed. You can then review, print, and highlight the most important insights and practices you were given.


Seven 30-minute Interactive Group Practice Sessions

With live class attendance, there will be a 30-minute optional interactive practice session directly following each class. You’ll be placed in an intimate group with several other participants on the conference call to interact, share, and do additional practices to help further integrate the weekly lessons. If you’re unable to attend the calls live, the Online Community group allows you to connect with each other to find alternative times to interact.


Writing Prompts for Deep Self-inquiry

After each lesson, you’ll receive a list of powerfully crafted writing prompts to accelerate your learning and integrate each week's lesson.


Online Community

Our exclusive Facebook online community is the perfect place to continue your discovery process after each class. Here, you can continue the discussion about deepening practices and interact with your fellow students to take your exploration to an even deeper level.

The Writing to Reclaim Your Essential Gifts Bonus Collection

  • What the Shadow Knows: Discovering Our Secret Knowledge
    Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Thomas Moore
  • Making Art & the Practice of Awakening: On the Cushion & Off
    Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Jane Hirshfield
  • Thankfulness as a Spiritual Practice
    Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Mark Nepo
  • Transforming Anger Into Mindfulness
    Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Mark Coleman

An Unprecedented Opportunity to Experience Writing to Reclaim Your Essential Gifts

We feel honored Mark Matousek has chosen to partner with The Shift Network to offer this exclusive LIVE online training. This is a rare opportunity to interact directly with a bestselling author, teacher, and expert in the art of personal awakening through writing.

Through this powerful online format, you’ll not only save time and money on workshop costs (plus travel, accommodations, and meals — which would cost thousands of dollars), you’ll be able to benefit from Mark’s incredible teachings and exercises from the comfort of your home — and at your own pace!

If you’re serious about discovering how to use writing as a means for awakening and personal transformation, then you owe it to yourself, your loved ones, and our world to take this one-of-a-kind training.

If you’re ready to take the next step in evolving yourself, click the register button below to reserve your space now.

More Praise for Mark Matousek...

“His classes will change the ways in which you examine your life...”

Mark Matousek’s writing instruction is transformative. His classes will change the ways in which you examine your life, and how you think about yourself as a writer. He approaches your work with a deep sense of empathy, allowing him to help you tell your story in your voice... No matter what stage of the process you are at, time spent with Mark will yield extraordinary results.
— Libuse Binder, Author of Ten Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties

“Mark Matousek is a truly gifted writing coach”

Mark Matousek is a truly gifted writing coach. With an interviewer’s ear, he listens deeply and hears what people have to say. With the determination of a midwife, he helps them give birth to themselves through their words. As my “book whisperer,” he is showing me that writing is truly a spiritual path, leading not only to publication but personal transformation. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from him!
— Gwenyth Jackaway, PhD, Associate Professor, Fordham University

“I’m deeply grateful for the experience”

The writing course I took with Mark Matousek was an amazing journey into the soul of each who took it. We found we were able to trust each other, thanks in large part to Mark starting our first class with the words, “You’re all here for a reason, even though you may not know what that reason is.” Over the course of just a handful of short sessions, I’ve come to realize that not only was I there for a reason, but that this reason was more important to my wellbeing and self-understanding than I could have possibly fathomed when I first signed on for this class... I’m deeply grateful for the experience.
— Brian Carr, President, Solid Threads

“Allows me to access what I’ve got to share”

Mark is more of a midwife than a teacher. In addition to his innate grasp of and experience with storytelling, what makes Mark so great to work with is his very present presence — it’s what allows me to access what I’ve got to share. I’ve been meeting regularly with him for the past six months for help on the story I am writing and the process is so enjoyable I’d rather it not end.
— Jeannie Demers, freelance writer

“I know myself so much more deeply than ever before”

Mark Matousek is a masterful teacher. Being able to ask questions and listen as he answered others and worked with others in the class inspired so many insights in me as well. I am writing more and I know myself so much more deeply than ever before.
— Charlotte Ciraulo, Los Angeles, California

“Has returned me to a practice of daily writing...”

I have enjoyed the course and found it stimulating and growthful. Participation in the program has returned me to a practice of daily writing which I find highly beneficial... As well as the benefits I have gained, I would recommend the course for the excellence of the content, the graciousness of the presenters, and the positive effect of being held in a structure for the duration of the course...
— Frances McDonnell, Dublin, Ireland

“A true gift of listening to his students”

Mark’s an amazing teacher, always teaching in a powerful way with a big heart and a true gift of listening to his students and offering his insights and wisdom in a profound way.
— Judy, Ashland, Oregon

“Many gems and gold contained in these classes”

Mark is so knowledgeable; being in his class was exceptionally empowering... so many aha moments of inspiration you’ll receive, just by being open to listening. There were many gems and gold contained in these classes...
— Anonymous

“I find myself saying what I truly think...”

I felt knots untying inside. I could breathe easier... I have been surprised by aspects of myself that I was not aware of, both positive and negative. I find myself saying what I truly think, things that I did not have the courage to say, and these are kind things!
— Beverley Manley, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

“A rite of passage for writers”

[This course] should be a foundation course for truth seekers. The insightful exploration is a rite of passage for writers; the outcome will be life-changing as it was for me.
— Anonymous

About Mark Matousek


Mark Matousek is a bestselling author, teacher, and speaker whose work focuses on personal awakening and creative excellence through self-inquiry and life writing. He’s an award-winning author of five books, has worked on The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and collaborated with Andrew Harvey on Dialogues with a Modern Mystic. His first book, Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story, became an international bestseller that was published in 10 countries and nominated for two Books for a Better Life awards.

A featured blogger for Psychology Today, Purple Clover, and Huffington Post, he’s contributed to numerous anthologies and publications, including The New Yorker, O: The Oprah Magazine (contributing editor), The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Yoga Journal, Details, The Saturday Evening Post, AARP, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and many others.

Mark, who’s on the faculty of Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and the New York Open Center, teaches transformational writing workshops around the U.S. and in Europe, and is the Creative Director of V-Men (with Eve Ensler), an organization devoted to ending violence against women and girls.

He brings three decades of experience as a memoirist, editor, interviewer, survivor, activist, and spiritual seeker to his penetrating and thought-provoking work with students. His workshops, classes, and mentoring have inspired thousands of people around the world to reach their artistic and personal goals and transform their lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a virtual course?
A: It’s a great way to engage live teachings and each other from the comfort of your home! All you need is a phone line (or an equivalent voice service). If there is more than one person in your household taking the course, you will each need your own line. We use MaestroConference to make it just like an in-person event, where you can ask questions, participate in groups, and deepen your exploration of the course themes.

Please note that dialing MaestroConference from your phone is a regular toll call to California; your telephone service provider will charge you according to your existing long-distance calling plan. Other options include calling cards and discount long-distance carriers. You can also use Skype to connect to MaestroConference at no charge, and we offer a webcast which is free to use from anywhere in the world.

I have never participated before in an online course. The packaging, presentation, inclusion and Facebook postings created a wonderful, safe cocoon to participate. I haven’t seen a course so well put together ever — not in all the years of taking college classes — and I had my doubts about doing an online course. The wealth of organization and ease of learning materials and support made this fun as well.
– Claudia F., Medford, MA

Q: Can I get benefit from the course if I miss the live classes?
A: Absolutely! You can download the recordings and transcripts of all course sessions from our online media archive, so you never need to worry about missing live calls. You can also engage the full community and leaders on our private community website.

Q: Can you tell me about the Private Course Group?
A: We will have a private community group for all course participants on Facebook that will support you in making connections with others, sharing insights, engaging in discussions, completing homework assignments and exchanging information about events and other activities that can supplement your transformational journey. You’ll have the ability to share your experiences, projects and growth throughout the Course.

Q: Are there scholarships available for this Training?
A: Yes, we always make a certain percentage of spaces available for partial scholarships, giving preference to those in developing countries or doing important but underpaid work to which they can apply the training material immediately. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please review our guidelines, which include a link to our online application form.

Q: What is your refund policy?
A: Your satisfaction with The Shift Network and this course is our highest priority! We offer a satisfaction guarantee so that you can sample the course risk-free. The deadline to receive a full refund is March 28, 2018. To request a refund, please click on this refund request form and submit your request. Your refund will be processed within five business days and we’ll send you an email confirming your refund. However, we’d love to have a chance to address and resolve your concerns first. If there is something we can assist you with, please email us at and we’ll be happy to help! (No refund requests accepted after the above date or with scholarship awards.)

Q: How can I reach Customer Support?
A: Please visit our Customer Support Center, where you should be able to find the answer to your question or the solution to a problem. And if you can’t, you can submit an online request form and we’ll get right back to you.