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Writing and the Inner Life

June  7 - 9, 2013


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Lynne KaufmanJean BolenCharlie VaronPolly CampbellSusan GriffinMollie Glick

Writing and the Inner Life

FEATURING...Jean Shinoda Bolen, Charlie Varon, Susan Griffin, Polly Campbell, & Mollie Glick

Language as a Divining Rod

I created the program Writing and the Inner Life for myself and others like me. As a writer, I have, at times, been in 'flow state' and the words and images are sure and strong. At other times, I've been 'stuck,' and writing is difficult -something that tugs at my sleeve and I ignore. When my writing bogs down, it's often because I've lost touch with myself and my passions. What do I believe? Love? Fear? Need to explore? When the impasse lifts, and I find that channel again, I feel, hear, know what story clamors to be told. Most writers experience arid patches, when the well runs dry. Those are the times we need to go inside, find, and reconnect with what truly engages us. The aim of this workshop is to support that process.

Lynne Kaufman, M.A. is a nationally award winning playwright. Her fifteen full-length plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington DC, among other cities. She has also published three novels and dozens of short stories. She teaches writing at OLLI UC Berkeley and OLLI Dominican, This year she had two plays produced in San Francisco: ACID TEST:THE MANY INCARNATIONS OF RAM DASS at The Marsh Theatre and THE COUCH at The Tides Theatre. Her website is


From Conception to Delivery: Giving Birth to a New Book
Jean Shinoda Bolen
Friday, June 7, 7:00PM-9:00PM

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I think of my writing as giving form to feelings and intuition that grow from a seed idea. I get pregnant with a new book. My books occupy very different sections in bookstores and libraries: Women, Men, spirituality, psychology, pilgrimage, trees, opera, illness, circles. The common threads are synchronicity and archetypes, authenticity, individuation, relationships, and lately-heart-centered activism. Love, hope, imagination, perseverance, optimism, absorption, and commitment are the ingredients of creativity and craft which writing is. This talk is an opportunity to reflect as a Jungian analyst upon one major thread in my life and also to use it as a teaching story about what I am learning along the way: about writing and life.

Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. is a Jungian analyst, psychiatrist, author and activist, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and former clinical professor of psychiatry at UCSF. She is an internationally known speaker and the author of twelve influential books in over eighty foreign translations, beginning with The Tao of Psychology, Goddesses in Everywoman, and Gods in Everyman; her last four books, including Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World, and Like a Tree: How Trees, Women, and Tree People Can Save the Planet bring together the inner world of archetypes and symbols with activism in the world. Website:


Say What You Mean Before You Die
Charlie Varon
Saturday, June 8, 10:00AM-1:00PM

The world is not set up for artists to complete the deepest work they are capable of. A few thoughts and techniques to improve the odds.

Charlie Varon's award-winning plays - all created in collaboration with David Ford - have enjoyed extended runs at San Francisco's Marsh Theater and traveled around the US. These include Rush Limbaugh in Night School (1994; revived 2004), The People's Violin (2000), and Rabbi Sam (2009), which the San Francisco Chronicle named one of the year's 10 best plays and which Rabbi Dan Goldblatt calls "the most important Jewish play of our time." Charlie's current project is a cycle of short stories he's writing for both stage and page called The Listener, about elderly Jews living at a retirement home in San Francisco. As collaborator/director, Charlie has worked with Dan Hoyle since 2004, on his hit solo shows Circumnavigator, Tings Dey Happen and The Real Americans, which have all enjoyed extended runs in San Francisco and toured nationally. Charlie is active in his synagogue, Or Shalom, and credits the four-year journey of creating and performing Rabbi Sam with prompting him to originate, in collaboration with Rabbi Katie Mizrahi, a new spiritual form called the News Minyan. Charlie's website is

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What Happens Next? The Inner Life of suspense
Susan Griffin
Saturday, June 8, 2:00PM-5:00PM

Suspense is more than just a way to keep your reader glued to the page. In the best narrative work, whether fiction, non-fiction or poetry, the turns of plot are revelatory at the same time that they are gripping. Whether what happens next is surprising or in hindsight, seems inevitable, when the work is authentic, each development in the plot also develops the characters and the inherent meaning in the work. Griffin will speak about how in the process of writing one can discover, cultivate and refine authentic suspense.

Susan Griffin is an award-winning poet, writer, essayist, playwright, and filmmaker, and has written nineteen books, including A Chorus of Stones, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Her works include The Book of Courtesans, What Her Body Thought, Woman and Nature, Bending Home: Poems Selected and New 1967- 1998, and she is the co-editor of the forthcoming Transforming Terror: Remembering the Soul of the World. A recipient of an Emmy, a MacArthur Grant for Peace and International Cooperation, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Ms magazine, and several other publications. She lives in Berkeley, California.



Writing the Spiritual Blog
Polly Campbell
Sunday, June 9, 10:00AM-1:00PM

What does it take to create an engaging, sustainable blog? How can it become a vehicle for writing exploration and spiritual practice and still inspire readers? These are a few of the things author and blogger Polly Campbell will explore during this workshop. Campbell will take you through blog-writing basics, then delve into the nitty-gritty details of how to sustain a blog based on Big Ideas like faith, consciousness, gratitude, and compassion. Participants will learn how to create a theme, develop post-worthy ideas, write tightly-focused posts, discover their unique voice, and become brave enough to put it on the page. Writers will also learn how to use the blog as a path to self-understanding and exploration while creating tangible, inspiring content from those big intangible ideas. In many ways writing practice aligns with spiritual practice and we will also discuss the intersection of these two disciplines.

Polly Campbell is the author of Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People. She is also a blogger at The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and and her magazine articles on personal development topics and spiritual practices appear regularly in national publications including and Gaiam Life. Campbell is also a teacher with The Daily Om, and a sought-after speaker who has integrated the things she writes and talks about into her own life through practical experience. She lives with her husband, daughter, and two self-absorbed cats in Beaverton, Oregon.


Secrets of Getting Published Successfully
Mollie Glick
Sunday, June 9, 2:00PM-5:00PM

Mollie Glick demystifies the publishing process for writers. She discusses what to do before even approaching agents, how to find appropriate agents and get their attention, query letters and proposals, author/agent and author/publisher relationships, and how to make sure your book reaches the widest audience possible. She will also cover the rapidly changing publishing landscape, self-publishing options and e-books.

Mollie Glick is a literary agent at Foundry Literary + Media. After graduating from Brown University, Mollie began her publishing career as a literary scout, advising foreign publishers regarding the acquisition of rights to Americanbooks. She then worked as an editor at the Crown imprint of Random House, before switching over to "the other side" in 2003. Mollie's list includes literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, and a bit of practical non- fiction. Some of her recent projects include New York Times bestseller Jonathan Evison's WEST OF HERE (Algonquin); Daniel O'Malley's THE ROOK (Little, Brown); Elizabeth Black's THE DROWNING HOUSE (Nan A. Talese); Dr. Tracy Alloway's THE NEW IQ (The Free Press); Lenore Skenazy's FREE RANGE KIDS (Jossey Bass); and Gennifer Albin's CREWEL (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux). In addition to her work as a literary agent, Mollie also teaches classes at Media Bistro and The Grotto, and has written articles on non-fiction proposal writing and query letter writing for Writers Digest.



Friday, 7:00pm-9:00PM | Jean Shinoda Bolen
Saturday, 10:00AM-1:00PM | Charlie Varon
Saturday, 2:00PM-5:00PM | Susan Griffin
Sunday, 10:00AM-1:00PM | Polly Campbell
Sunday, 2:00PM-5:00PM | Mollie Glick


Friday Lecture Only: $15/$12 members (REGISTER>>)
Full Weekend: $275/$220 members
Saturday or Sunday only: $130/$104 members

California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103