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writing &

workshops & retreats
for mindful living

The course was actually life-changing!

-- Esalen participant


The philosophy behind Writing & Mindfulness

A daily writing practice and a consistent meditation practice have the power to ground and center us during difficult times. Writing gives us perspective and helps us make sense of the world. Mindfulness teaches us how to make space for the joy as well as the fear.

These practices also help us become better writer by attuning us more closely to the world we are trying to render on the page. A consistent meditation practice changes our brains for the better, increasing gray matter and improving  concentration. 

And of course, the more you write, the better you write.

Each of the Writing and Mindfulness workshops is designed to give participants the tools they need to cultivate their own daily writing and meditation practices. 

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Janis Cooke Newman

The Writing and Mindfulness workshops were developed by best-selling author and Zen practitioner, Janis Cooke Newman, and grew out of her own experience as a writer and a meditator.

Janis has taught Writing and Mindfulness at both the Esalen Institute and through the San Francisco Zen Center, where she practices. She is the author of a memoir, and two award-winning novels. She is also a long-time practitioner of meditation, and received jukai (lay ordination) in April 2019. She volunteers with the Zen Caregiving Project.

We didn't just acquire some valuable tools and techniques for meditation, and useful tools for writing - for which alone the workshop would have already been entirely worthwhile - you held a rare space for us to share our stories.

- Esalen participant

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