“No one saves us but ourselves.
No one can and no one may.
We ourselves must walk the path.”

Life is fragile, unpredictable, and heartbreaking, in addition to being a gift beyond measure. We find ourselves often in darkened corners, unable to locate the best path forward, or the truthful witness that exists within us, ready to light our way. In the confusion of everyday life, we long for pragmatic philosophical principles to guide us, a time-honored toolkit of wisdom lessons to cultivate insight, decrease suffering, and increase our level of happiness.
In this Home Study Guided Writing Series, you’ll explore through writing, seven essential aspects of awakened living, as drawn from the ‘perennial philosophy’ at the heart of the world’s great spiritual traditions. These practical, experiential exercises are designed to reveal the guidance within you, the universal Self at your core. When you learn to access witness perspective, you become a light unto yourself, improving your life immeasurably.
Become a Light Unto Yourself will help you:
• Apply universal spiritual principles to your everyday life
• Question your false assumptions about who you are and what your life means
• Separate your perceptions of reality from what lies beneath appearances
• Explore core questions that are motivating you today
• Dissolve false boundaries and separations, and recognize the unity of existence
• Recognize your true Self, whose nature is peace and happiness
These sessions provide a great opportunity to create (or deepen) a regular writing practice, and explore profound questions on the path of self-knowledge, guided by Mark’s insightful comments and personal deepening prompts.

“Mark Matousek opens the craft of writing as a way to dive into the art of self-reflection.
Writing to Awaken will restore meaning and change your life.”

~Mark Nepo, NY Times bestselling author and teacher.

Session Overview

Session One: Step Out of the Movie
In this first session, you consider your life from the outside in, and yourself as a character in a drama that is always changing. Who is this character you play in your life? How did you create this persona (or set of personae), how well does it function, and how informed is it by spiritual awareness?
Session Two: Not Two, But One
In this second session, we reflect on the unity of experience, and how your perspective changes when you recognize false separations and boundaries that bind the heart and limit awareness. Waking up from the lie of the mind (that you are a separate, autonomous being) is a crucial step toward enlightenment.
Session Three: Biology is Divinity
This unifying vision teaches you that body, mind, and spirit are one. The implications of this (re)unification are enormous, as you learn in this third session. Shame, fear, guilt, blame, judgment, and dissociation from the body, all diminish in the light of enlightened awareness.
Session Four: Dig in One Place
Learning to go deep, rather than far, is critical to your happiness. Outward distractions, including the pull to find enlightenment ‘out there’, conspire against wisdom. In this week’s session, you examine how distraction, ambivalence, and self-avoidance operate in your life, and realize that the treasure is already here.
Session Five: The Fruitful Darkness
In this session, you explore the spiritual richness of the dark, and your attitude toward change and ‘unknowing.” Creativity requires a willingness to step from the known into the unknown (otherwise you’re repeating the past). Appreciating darkness, and beginners mind, as things of beauty, opens you to life’s challenges and diversity.
Session Six: Become A Light Unto Yourself
In this penultimate session, we take the Buddha’s instruction to heart, inquiring into how you can illuminate your current life and bring clarity where there is confusion. How can you exercise better discernment? Where are you being less than honest? The light of attention prompted by writing shows you where you’re blocked.
Session Seven: Redefining Happiness
The skeptic’s path to enlightenment leads to a wider, more flexible, tolerant, grateful, and curious definition of happiness, as you learn in this final session. When you know who you are, as a spiritual being, life becomes meaningful no matter what happens; every change in fortune invites revelation, fueling your life with inspiration and courage.
Known for his intuitive, compassionate teaching, Mark creates a welcoming atmosphere for writers of all levels to benefit from this powerful work. You are not required to share you writing in this class. For those interested in interacting with their classmates, participants are invited to choose a writing buddy, post their writing and respond to others on the group page.
Scientific studies have shown that a regular writing practice has the ability to improve physical, mental, and emotional health in dramatic ways. Writing to Awaken has helped thousands of people around the world to reach their creative and spiritual goals. No writing experience is necessary. Curiosity, courage, and the willingness to question your personal narratives are all you need to benefit from these inspiring, supportive class.
Mark describes the power of writing to heal in this essay from The Saturday Evening Post.

I was most impressed by Mark’s command of the subject, honesty, and deep commitment to getting people to write from their core. I was also impressed by his generosity: willing to give individual attention, and time, to everyone, both in class and outside of class. He really knows and believes that our inner stories are precious and we should give them a voice. He made me believe in myself and in my story.

~Caterina, USA
In this books, workshops, and online courses, Mark’s Writing to Awaken method has helped countless people around the world reach their creative and spiritual goals. As an author, seeker, and teacher, he brings 35 years’ experience to his transformational work with students.
No writing experience is necessary for doing this practice. All you need are curiosity, openness, and the desire to live an awakened life.
After purchasing one or more of the session playbacks, you will receive an email with links to watch the video or listen to the audio playback. You will also receive three additional deepening prompts for your continued exploration and the Writing to Awaken Guidelines to reference as you explore the themes in writing.
Session One: Step Out of the Movie
Session Two: Not Two, But One
Session Three: Biology is Divinity
Session Four: Dig in One Place
Session Five: The Fruitful Darkness
Session Six: Become A Light Unto Yourself
Session Seven: Redefining Happiness


“Mark’s illuminating assignments, poignant feedback, and seasoned direction unlocked many mysteries that had been buried within my psyche. The introspection that resulted was sometimes scary, sometimes difficult, and many time astounding — just what I needed and more. I am deeply grateful for the experience.”
~Brian, USA
“I feel lighter and brighter about myself and life and am not taking myself or others quite as seriously as before. This has translated into a wonderful new sense of freedom, acceptance and more creative juices flowing in my writing and daily life. Overall, an incredibly positive transformative program.”
~Anne, USA
“I enrolled in Mark’s Writing to Awaken course with some expectation of how the work might be delivered. I wanted to explore the concept of “Awakening” and how it might impact my writing. To my great joy, my expectations were blown to smithereens and replaced with profoundly deep and insightful questions that challenged me to seek within. I was gently urged to sift through the story I may have blindly accepted, and find the Truth. The exercises built like Legos, one onto the other, adding both clarity and curiosity. Mark offered a space of intellectual dialogue and heartfelt interest. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of something so transformational.”
~Cherrie, Australia