The Transformative Path of Writing with Mark Matousek

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Your journal can become 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 rehashing old wounds, reliving emotional entanglements, and reinforcing 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’s every bit as powerful as meditation, prayer or yoga. In fact, writing can help free areas of yourself that most conventional spiritual practices never even touch.

When you start to view writing as an opportunity for deep inquiry — exploring who you are, reflecting on your soul’s purpose, and uncovering any unconscious blocks — 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 inner landscape — chipping away at the ego, exploring buried feelings, and confronting your vulnerabilities. As a result, you’re able to connect more deeply to Spirit and expand your inner resources of love and compassion.

A transformative writing practice requires skillful inquiry, as well as the kind of discipline we associate with other practices dedicated to spiritual growth. 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.

What You’ll Discover in These 9 Months

Course sessions are on Wednesdays at Noon Pacific.

In this 9-month transformational intensive, Mark will guide you through the fundamental spiritual skills and competencies you’ll need to successfully navigate your past experiences and mine them for your journey of transformation through writing — which will in turn improve the quality of your life.

Each 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 writing throughout the course and beyond.


You’ll emerge with:

  • Deeper access to your spiritual identity
  • Insight into the history of your personal narrative
  • The ability to access witness consciousness
  • An enhanced capacity to discern the ego’s voice from the voice of your soul
  • A wider-angle lens on your “life myth”
  • An inner refuge you can turn to for wisdom and advice
  • Freedom from limiting beliefs and shame
  • Greater understanding of your shadow — and the gifts and wisdom it holds
  • A deeper connection to your secret passions and fears
  • Increased awareness of where fear is blocking you from achieving your desires
  • A nondual approach to desire
  • A more profound understanding of your personal source of meaning and purpose
  • The ability to focus your intentions, to stop procrastinating, and to practice discipline with kindness
  • Tools for healing from deep wounding from past traumas
  • Expanded access to your personal and creative genius
  • A deepened ability to express your innate gifts in the world

Module 1: Who Are You, Really? (June 7, 14 & 21)


We’ll look at the primary narratives that define your identity and direct your life. When you tell the truth, your story changes. When your story changes, your life is transformed.

In this module, you’ll discover how to:

  • Tell the difference between self and story
  • Debunk old myths that do not define you
  • Open to new possibilities by questioning the status quo
  • Cultivate the witness perspective
  • Use writing as a liberating, spiritual practice

Module 2: Exploring the Shadow (July 5, 12 & 19)


You’ll begin to explore the shadow aspects of your story — the off-limits part of the psyche that you deny, neglect and suppress through fear, guilt, regret or shame. You’ll discover that your shadow contains your so-called negative aspects as well as positive, self-affirming gifts and the potential that had always remained just beyond your vision.

In this module, you’ll discover how to:

  • Identify the contents of your shadow
  • Overcome shame by exposing your secrets (to yourself)
  • Retrieve your disowned gifts and abandoned aptitudes
  • Understand the role of darkness in spiritual awakening
  • Integrate the shadow into daily life

Module 3: The Landscape of Desire (August 2, 9 & 16)


You’ll come to see that desire is the lifeblood of humanity — however often we hide it in the shadows. Desire is the source of creativity, healing and growth. Yet desire is often misunderstood as a culprit in spiritual life rather than a much-needed ally. How can we straighten out this confusion and access the source of our vitality?

In this module, you’ll discover how to:

  • Name your true desires without self-judgment
  • Identify the fear stories associated with these desires
  • Use desire as fuel for self-inquiry and liberation
  • Reclaim the poetry of your life — “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower”
  • Celebrate your earthly nature, knowing that you are a part of God

Module 4: Facing Resistance (September 6, 13 & 20)


You’ll examine the paradox of why illumination (of desires, strengths and paths to freedom) often calls up internal darkness that will test you on the path of awakening. Every spiritual journey includes opponents and confrontations, doubts, temptations and naysaying voices that try to block self-fulfillment and progress.

In this module, you’ll discover how to:

  • Confront your adversaries as difficult friends, not strangers
  • Tap into the inverted power of anger
  • Weaken fear through open awareness
  • Use resistance to strengthen your resolve
  • Practice courage as a form of self-care

Module 5: Original Blessing (October 4, 11 & 18)


You’ll recognize that you cannot transform what you have not first blessed — including (especially) your personal demons. Until you accept yourself “in the round” by including every imperfection, contradiction and confusion, you cannot recognize your original blessing: the essence of your human goodness, the genius you were born with.

In this module, you’ll discover how to:

  • Accept yourself without condition
  • Find inspiration and humor in your limitations
  • Abandon the notion of original sin
  • Be humble enough to be fully human
  • Recognize your original genius

Module 6: Pain & Resilience (November 1, 8 & 15)


You’ll explore the relationship of pain, resilience and self-acceptance. You’ll come to see that true strength goes hand in hand with vulnerability, and that the challenges of life truly do make us stronger, provided we’re willing to learn from pain and to change our stories about what constitutes “good” and “bad” luck.

In this module, you’ll discover how to:

  • Reframe experience by changing the story
  • Cultivate courage in the face of life challenges
  • Practice being “broken open” in order to be healed
  • Dive when you’re falling, to reach greater depths
  • Overcome self-pity with curiosity

Module 7: The Power of Choice (December 6, 13 & 20)


You’ll examine your relationship to choice, and why conscious choosing is inseparable from personal power and resilience. Learning to choose well engenders meaning in your life. Meaning, in turn, bestows purpose and intention, which lead to wellbeing and enduring freedom.

In this module, you’ll discover how to:

  • Recognize ambivalence as a breach of power
  • Overcome guilt, shame and inauthenticity as obstacles to conscious choice
  • Identify and focus personal intention
  • Tell the truth about what really matters (and what no longer does)
  • Be mindful of the link between personal choice and identity

Module 8: Where Is the Love? (January 3, 10 & 17)


You’ll see that the choice to love is the portal to an awakened life. Your earliest understanding of love, attachment, security and trust (in relation to your caregivers as a child) lays the groundwork for all future intimacies, whether romantic, platonic or familial. Once you understand how love has formed you, you enter into a whole new life.

In this module, you’ll discover how to:

  • Identify your attachment patterns in love
  • Recognize the dark sides of love, including jealousy, possessiveness and betrayal
  • Leave space for yourself and the other in intimacy
  • Relax the needs for control and dominance
  • Be vulnerable without shame

Module 9: The Sacred Journey (January 24, 31 & February 7)


You’ll harvest the wisdom — the eternal truth — that love and sacredness are inextricably connected. The purpose of life is to know the sacred, and to recognize existence as a sacred journey — from darkness to light, from amnesia to awe, from being story-bound to knowing yourself as the storyteller. This endows you with wisdom and possibility, and frees you from whatever myths have held you back.

In this module, you’ll discover how to:

  • Frame your life as a pilgrimage to truth
  • Practice beginner’s mind
  • Celebrate the sacred in everyday life
  • Recognize awe as nature’s alarm clock
  • Embrace your birthright as an awakening being