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A 7-step Transformational Journey
with Bestselling Author, Teacher and Speaker
Mark Matousek
New Live Training Starts
March 31, 2015

Access your sacred depths with a powerful, transformative writing practice to cultivate an expansive mind, open heart, authentic relationships, liberated creativity – and a freer soul.

Have you ever felt a sense of freedom from pouring your heart’s deepest truths into the pages of a journal? Or in a personal piece of writing?

If you answered “YES” — you’re not alone. Those of us who are committed to spiritual growth often turn to the written page, where we can explore our true feelings, “taboo” thoughts and boldest visions. We may dialogue with our higher Self, or even examine our darkest shadows.

Often our raw, vulnerable and “out there” truths aren’t ready (or even appropriate) for public sharing, yet they still need to be expressed, felt and released in some way.

Exploring your untamed emotions, uncensored thoughts and wildest ideas in a safe way can be a profoundly liberating experience. You can learn to open to more of yourself, love parts you once found unlovable, heal past hurts – and even access the highest states of consciousness connected to spiritual awakening.

It’s a pathway into deeper relationships, enhanced creativity and more powerful manifestation in the world.

In short, writing can be a potent practice that enhances your life in ways that are both personal and transpersonal, intimate and sublime. Your intimate writing can 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 emotional ruts, feed negative thinking and cycle through old stories in ways that leave you feeling frustrated.

The difference between this and writing as a path of liberation, lies in treating it as an actual spiritual practice – one that is every bit as potent 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 see your writing as a place where you do some of your deepest inquiry into who you are, why you are here and what’s holding you back – that’s when the true power is realized.

When you look back at history’s greatest pioneers – spanning the spectrum, from social change agents like Gandhi, to artists like Michelangelo, to scientists like Thomas Edison – you see that their personal writing journeys are often foundational to their leadership skills and creative breakthroughs.

Your journals and personal writing are portals into your greatest depths – which are the wellspring of true love, creativity and innovation.

Writing for Transformation

It’s not enough to simply write anything that pops into your head, as you might end up rehearsing and believing the old, limiting stories you tell yourself. Unstructured writing can reinforce that which binds you, rather than help you discover that which frees you.

So the liberating practice is to use writing as a way to probe your depths – going beneath the surface truths to the most vulnerable truths, exploring the hurt behind the anger, digging away at the ego to expose the spirit that is orchestrating experiences.

This takes skillful inquiry, as well as the kind of discipline we usually associate with other spiritual-growth practices. As you venture into areas that generate resistance, it can be easier to dismiss them and stick to familiar terrain.

The rewards of a deep and powerful writing practice are immense – providing you with a daily way to access, examine and release your innermost Self, your most profound truths and your most innovative insights.

You can use these practices to bring greater clarity to your lifepath, fuel your creativity and deepen your personal relationships. You can embrace your shadows to uncover their gifts – while expanding the inner depths of love and compassion.

More than anything, you’ll be able to access more and more of your unique genius, and receive profound wisdom for how to manifest it in the world (as well as transform the “blocks” we all experience).

When you learn to utilize the transformative power of writing, you do two things simultaneously:

  • You gain a powerful tool for your spiritual path – one that is always available and essentially free.
  • You access your depths in ways that greatly enhance all of your public writing and speaking – making you a more compelling teacher, leader, activist or entrepreneur (or any profession that requires communication).

Why do you see real shifts in the public arena? Because people respond more powerfully to someone who is clear, integrated and whole.

When you know yourself fully, you tend to be more heartfelt, insightful, truthful, funny and creative. You’re not imprisoned by social roles, but are able to relate from your authentic center. And others find that compelling – as they also yearn for more freedom and integrity in how they engage.

Think of how great actors are able to convey so much meaning with a single glance. They can do so because they are in contact with their rich inner lives, and have learned to be transparent with emotions – which makes them far more captivating.

The same is true of many entrepreneurs. Or therapists. Or teachers. When we sense someone is integrated and at peace with themselves, we trust them more, and are drawn to work with them.

So writing as a spiritual practice will take you into the brightest (and darkest) parts of yourself to experience a kind of liberated wholeness, which is the ultimate goal of spiritual practice. And it also enhances how you can show up in the world – more comfortable with who you are and more connected to your inner wisdom.

The Importance of a Master Guide

As with any genuine spiritual inquiry, it is vital to have a master guide – one who knows the territory and the actual sequence of practice – far better than you do. A master guide can keep you on track, and help you avoid the many pitfalls that emerge along any genuine journey.

Fortunately, you have such a guide available to you for the 7-module course, Writing as a Spiritual Practice. 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 is a dynamic, funny, self-revealing and profound teacher who will be sharing the practices and disciplines that make for a liberating, life-long practice of writing.

He’s also been teaching students worldwide about the discipline of writing as a spiritual practice – in a way that is profoundly liberating and very enjoyable.

Durning Writing as a Spiritual Practice, he’ll 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 genius. In this potent course, you’ll enter a very safe and supportive container for your honest inquiry, within a global community.

You’re in good hands to take a deep dive into your liberation through writing, and learn skills you can utilize for a lifetime.

What You Will Discover in Your Journey with
Mark Matousek

Each module will build harmoniously upon the next, so that you’ll develop a complete, holistic understanding for how to engage Writing as a Spiritual Practice with clarity, depth and transformative power.

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)
  • Comfort with your secret passions and fears
  • Increased discernment about where fear is blocking desire in your life
  • Facility with 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

Course sessions are on Tuesdays at 5:00pm Pacific.

Durning this 7-module transformational intensive, Mark will guide you through the fundamental spiritual skills and competencies that you’ll need to create a daily practice and become more authentic and self-aware in your writing.

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.

Module 1: Who Am I?

Accessing Your Soul

Every life is a work of fiction. Behind our worldly mask is an essential self – a soul identity – whose powerful voice communicates our 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 learn 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 will be inquiring into our own secret lives, and how they provide us with wisdom and balance.

You’ll learn 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 and Desire

Liberating Your True Passions

The tension between fear and desire determines our quality of life. To live passionately, we 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 so doing)? When is it wise to listen to fear? Why are you afraid of things that you crave (and vice versa)? In this module, we’ll be looking at this interface between fear and desire: How we walk this line – and sometimes tumble over it into passion – and the role of moral conditioning in this dance.

You’ll learn 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 hard-wired 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 learn 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 learn 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 and Power

Creating from Your Inner Source

The soul is a power source. We plug into this source through intention. Intention shapes and guides us through life, holds our aim, keeps us on our path. The world is full of brilliant people whose lives would change dramatically if only their intentions were focused. Without that, there’s no creativity. Manifestation requires single-mindedness. Inb this module, we we’ll be learning practices for focusing, and strengthening, personal intention in order to reach our goals.

You’ll learn to:

  • Focus your intentions
  • Find the path of least resistance to what you desire
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Practice kindly 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.” 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 be learning about efflorescence (what Christian mystics called “viriditas”) – the “force that through the green fuse drives the flower” – and how we fuse with this power in daily life.

You’ll learn to:

  • Identify you 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

The Writing as a Spiritual Practice Bonus Collection

In addition to Mark’s transformative 7-module virtual course, you’ll also receive these powerful training sessions with the world’s leading visionaries and teachers. These bonus sessions are being offered to further complement what you’ll learn in the course – and take your understanding and practice to an even deeper level.

Writing, Spirit and Telling the Truth

Audio Dialogue with Eve Ensler

In this intimate dialogue Mark will be talking with his friend and renowned playwright Eve Ensler about the challenges and joys of memoir writing, their different approaches to spiritual practice, Eve’s recent book In the Body of the World, and the transformative power of telling the truth.

Eve Ensler, Tony Award winning playwright, performer, and activist, is the author of The Vagina Monologues, which has been translated into over 48 languages, performed in over 140 countries. Ensler has written numerous articles for The Guardian, Huffington Post, Washington Post, Utne Reader, International Herald Tribune, Glamour Magazine and Marie Claire as well as a regular column in O Magazine. In November 2009, Ensler was named one of US News & World Report’s ”Best Leaders” in association with the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School. In 2010 she was named one of “125 Women Who Changed Our World” by Good Housekeeping Magazine. In 2011 she was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Changed the World” and The Guardian’s “100 Most Influential Women.”

The True Secret of Writing

Audio Dialogue with Natalie Goldberg

In this session, Mark speaks with renowned writer Natalie Goldberg about some of the many secrets she has picked up during her mega-successful writing career. Learn how a good writing practice is like a good business practice — you want to have integrity, know who you are and know what you want. Natalie also shares how getting beneath the surface of our everyday thoughts through writing reveals what we truly think, who we really are and what we want. She also emphasizes the importance of writing with others to help maintain your commitment to your writing practice and shares many ways to access your writer within.

Natalie Goldberg is the author of Writing Down The Bones: Freeing The Writer Within, which broke open the world of creativity and started a revolution in the way we practice writing in this country. The book has sold over one million copies and been translated into fourteen languages. Since then she has written nine other books, including the novel Banana Rose. Her New Book, The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life With Language, is a brilliant distillation of the True Secret workshops that Natalie has been giving for years near her home in Taos, New Mexico and around the globe.

Sacredness and the Writing Life

Interview with Jane Hirshfield

An inspirational conversation with the renowned poet, Jane Hirshfield, about why writing is a sacred practice and the relationship between mindfulness and creativity. This session will be a great complement to your deepening journey.

Jane Hirshfield is the author of six books of poetry, most recently After which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and Given Sugar, Given Salt, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award. Her work also includes a book of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, and she has edited and translated The Ink Dark Moon: Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan and Women in Praise of the Sacred: Forty-Three Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women. Hirshfield has received The Poetry Center Book Award, fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, Columbia University’s Translation Center Award, and the Commonwealth Club of California Poetry Medal. In the fall 2004, she was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by The Academy of American Poets. She has taught at UC Berkeley, University of San Francisco, and Bennington College.

Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story

Audio Book Read by Mark Matousek

Mark reads his 1996 breakout memoir about leaving a fast-track publishing life (working for pop artist Andy Warhol at Interview Magazine) and hitting the dharma trail in search of a meaningful life and spiritual wisdom. Hailed by Publisher’s Weekly as “brave, beautiful, and brilliantly observed,” Sex Death Enlightenment became an international bestseller (published in 10 countries). Like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love and Paul Monette in Borrowed Time, Matousek takes the reader on an insightful, rollicking search for answers to life’s deepest questions in this landmark memoir.

What Graduates of Writing as a Spiritual Practice Are Saying About Mark Matousek. . .

Mark Matousek serves as a master guide throughout the journey of this course. There are no fancy frills or so-called spiritual platitudes in the content. Rather, there’s a starkness, a rawness and a realized truth to what he is saying. You can sense Mark’s honesty and integrity, which is compelling and which gradually seeps into one’s own consciousness in such a way that you find yourself responding in like manner. The writing inquiries are an outstanding feature, a destination – inspiring writing prompts offered each week that move the participant into her/his depths, beyond the repeated responses of the ego, and into the dark corners and recesses to bring oneself not only to light but also to an acceptance and understanding of what is really there, resulting in an expansion beyond so-called perceived boundaries.
Jeanette Meyer, Atlanta, GA

Mark Matousek is one of the most giving teachers I have encountered in the web. When I registered for his course, Writing as a Spiritual Practice, I was expecting something similar to what other online teachers give – a short audio talk, a short treatise, and questions or suggestions for practice. Instead, what we got was a lifetime’s worth of materials – Mark’s audio talks were long and incisive, and gave us so much to ponder upon. The weekly exercises provided touchpoints which we could use throughout the week to hone into our beings the week’s learnings. It was great that his audio talks were transcribed,because I am able to go back to them every now and then. Mark is a great spiritual teacher who prepares his students to get to the point where they can write from their hearts.
Rosanna C. Rogacion

Mark spoke directly to me. His willingness to share his traumatic childhood and how writing had helped him identify and transform the patterns it created was so encouraging.
Jacqueline, Sydney, Australia

Great course for honing my self acceptance, self awareness, self love, and best of all, self truth... I learned how to be truthful with myself about myself, and to let go of the stories which no longer benefit my well being. Enlightenment!
Del, Saskatchewan, Canada

Mark Matousek is a compassionate and wise facilitator that has a gift of deep communication and listening as well as offering to participants guidance so relevant to where they are. He made me feel that everything I contributed, every question I asked, was important and supported by him. His guidance, his heart and his clarity has been truly invaluable for me on my journey. A huge open hearted thank you Mark!
Jennifer Des-Fountain, South Africa

Writing has always been a great part of my life, but after this enlightening course, it is also a compass guiding me to my FREEDOM.
Cassia Afini, Brazil

The Writing as a Spiritual Practice course stimulated me to begin journaling again after a long hiatus. The sessions were so stimulating that I identified the root causes of two major life issues which allowed the healing process to accelerate. I feel much gratitude for this inspiring course and Mark’s personal responses to us.
Wanda Gail, Huntsville, AL

This course transcended all my expectations. Not only were the materials presented interesting, unique and mind-expanding, they were invaluably useful. Through the writing prompts, we were given the opportunity to explore ourselves more deeply than I imagined possible. Many "aha" moments and Mark was with us all the way. Very personal, very transformative, with enough substance to keep us investigating and writing and for a long time.
Cynthia Thorson, Grand Rapids, MI

A very inspiring, deepening and transformational course which has meant a lot for me! Many, many thanks, Mark! I feel your heart and spirit in it.
Marga, Netherlands

I took this course to get myself to write again. Through the course, I realized that writing at this point in my life is about awakening to the subtle truths that time and time again revisit the different chapters and episodes of my life as if waiting to be born into my consciousness... It was inspiring to find myself in a new place each week I tuned in my life through the writing exercises. Even more encouraging was resonating with the experiences of others in the course as they asked Mark their questions. It helped that Mark Matousek as a mentor could so effortlessly help facilitate the expression of different experiences as questions were asked. It helped in owning our experiences and trusting it... Through the ease and clarity Mark walked us through this course, he led us through the wisdom of his own experience which in itself makes this course priceless.
Marisa, Manila, Philippines

I was amazed by Mark’s ability to really dig deep in the lectures and the homework. He was also very sincere, knowledgeable and had an amazing gift of being able to get to the heart of an issue during our Q&A portion of the call. He seemed to care about us all deeply and gave 200%! I would take anything he taught! I got so much out of this course.
Paula, Florida

The Writing as Spiritual Practice course has allowed me to gain some perspective over my 62 year long life/story.The course has provided me with a safe space for self inquiry and exploration; a place to retreat to from the immediacy of everyday life, so as to inquire and write about my life experiences, my unique sense of purpose and meaning.
Carmen Contreras, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The course with Mark has been very enlightening and the questions deep and provocative. I would thoroughly recommend anyone doing this course. The commitment to sit and write a piece and share on the community private Facebook page was a lovely way for me to connect with others in the course.
Geha Edwards, Western Australia

Join the Global Community

Writing as a Spiritual Practice 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 as a practice.

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 Recorded 90-Minute Class Sessions with Mark Matousek

Experience a rare opportunity to be mentored and learn from renowned author and writing teacher Mark Matousek – from the comfort of your own home. Each class session helps you create the specific skills and abilities to awaken your spiritual potential.

Seven PDF Transcripts of Each
Class Session

In addition to the high quality MP3 audios, you’ll also receive the entire class transcription in PDF format after each session is completed. This way you can review, print and highlight the most important insights and practices that you’ll learn.

Writing Exercises for Each Lesson

After each lesson, you’ll then have the option to do related writing exercises in order to accelerate your learning, and integrate each session.

The Writing as a Spiritual Practice Bonus Collection

  • Writing, Spirit and Telling the Truth
    Dialogue with Eve Ensler
  • The True Secret of Writing
    Audio Dialogue with Natalie Goldberg
  • Sacredness and the Writing Life
    Interview with Jane Hirshfield
  • Sex Death Enlightenment:
    A True Story, Audiobook Read by Mark Matousek

An Unprecedented Opportunity to Experience Writing as a Spiritual Practice

We feel honored that Mark Matousek has chosen to partner with The Shift Network on this exclusive training. As you may know, this is a rare opportunity to learn directly from 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 also be able to benefit from Mark and his guest’s incredible teachings and exercises, from the comfort of your home – at your own pace!

If you’re serious about learning how to use writing as a spiritual practice and as a means for 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...

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. Mark’s insight, imagination, and precise instruction will push your writing in incredible directions, both creatively and technically. Mark not only recognized that I had the makings of a book when I brought him my idea for Ten Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties, but his mentorship at every step of the process empowered me to bring the project to fruition. 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 started 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 well being and self understanding than I could have possibly fathomed when I first signed on for this class. Mark’s illuminating assignments, poignant feedback, and seasoned direction within the group setting unlocked many mysteries that had been buried within my psyche. The introspection that resulted was sometimes scary, sometimes difficult, and many times astounding – just what I needed and more. I am deeply grateful for the experience.
– Brian Carr, President, Solid Threads

I am a writing professor at Manhattanville College who had the privilege of taking Mark Matousek’s writing class this past summer. Mark’s style of teaching creates a safe environment that has a unique way of opening his students up to their inner emotions, thus revealing the hidden writer yearning to be released. I do not have enough words to express the enjoyment, the empowerment and the education that I gained by learning from Mark Matousek. I not only learned about my writing from Mark, but I also learned about myself. I am eternally grateful.
– Mary Mingle, Associate Professor, Manhattanville College

Writing under Mark’s expert, gentle, while always insightful, guidance provided a roadmap to deep and positive transformation, allowing me to make meaningful and affirmative changes to my life. The combination of deep self-inquiry, regular assignments and accountability were instrumental in keeping me on track while revisiting my past, busting the old myths and out-dated stories and giving me the faith and confidence necessary to name and face my demons... Today I stand stronger, with more clarity and perspective, and on the path of change to a more meaningful future. It has been the most fascinating and rewarding journey.”
– Florence Lombard, Amherst, MA

Mark’s workshop was remarkable on several levels starting with his gentle introduction to self discovery through writing. . . We found our bliss individually through sequentially planned steps designed by Mark to lead us in sharing our stories in words both written and spoken. This was a powerful exercise exceeding my expectations and it worked for us collectively and individually only because Mark was a patient, humorous and spiritually connected teacher...
– Nick Hahn, Founder, Hahn International

The writing course I took this past summer with Mark Matousek was an amazing journey into the soul . . . We found we were able to trust each other, thanks in large part to Mark’s empathy and direction, and did some incredible writing. At times there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, but that was testimony to the “writing down the bone” as well as the love and support that existed from the very beginning. I can’t over-emphasize what an incredible experience it was... a week of writing and bonding I’ll never forget.
– Alida Albert, Interior Designer

Mark, thank you for the immense gift of your online course! It was truly a unique journey which seemed to run parallel to the lived events of that moment in my life. The safe and inspired place you fostered for me (and our group) enabled me to delve into the deepest corners of my personal story and emerge with something new to share with the world.
Judy Gentile

Anyone taking an online class with Mark Matousek is in for a rare treat, and most likely a life-changing experience. Mark always plans thought-provoking writing exercises that tap into the deepest part of yourself. Through his keen insight, perspective and kind responses to the students’ writing, he offers feedback that helps students focus on and realize their inner truth. This is the fifth class I’ve taken with Mark, and I hope to take many more.
Stacey Cohen

Simply put – if you’re looking to make a change, reach beyond your comfort zone and see the world and your life through fresh eyes – take a seminar with Mark Matousek who is a truly great teacher as well as a great writer.
Mary Jo Shen

About Mark Matousek

Mark 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, he worked with Sogyal Rimpoche on The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and collaborated with Andrew Harvey on Dialogues with a Modern Mystic. His first book published in 1996, Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story became an international bestseller published in 10 countries and was nominated for two Books for a Better Life Awards.

A featured blogger for Psychology Today, Purple Clover, Huffington Post, he has 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 is on the faculty of the The Omega Institute 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, and your telephone service provider will charge you according to your existing long-distance calling plan. You can also use Skype credit/subscription or Google Voice to dial in to MaestroConference, and you’ll need to use your virtual keypad to enter your PIN and to indicate that you want to ask a question. Other options include calling cards and discount long-distance carriers, and we also have a webcast which is free to use from anywhere in the world.

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 April 14th, 2015. 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.