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The Urban Monk’s Inner Stillness Training

Dear readers,


I’m honored and proud to announce the release of The Urban Monk’s Inner Stillness Training. It’s the work I’ve been longing to do because the world has been saturated with superficial “how-to” advice and quick shortcuts to enlightenment, peace, happiness, weight loss, and whatever else can be promised.

That’s not reality.

In actual reality, we work to find our inner truth and delve deeply into the awareness that’s cultivated through our practice. It’s a process and it brings us home. The real work is authentic, meaningful, and restorative. It isn’t always easy, but it is raw and it is real.

When I entered dialogue with Sounds True, I laid it out there. I wanted to speak freely about the work and deliver a proper download from my lineage that can help people really get there. They jumped on the idea. I’m proud to say we have produced a very powerful program that “goes there” and doesn’t pull punches. It doesn’t make silly promises and doesn’t linger on the tabloid nonsense. It’s what I got from my teachers and what you deserve—an authentic path toward inner stillness.

The premise of the Taoist alchemical work I’m teaching is about cultivating the light of awareness and turning it around to discover one’s true Self. It is profound and rewarding— should you choose to do the work.

I invite you to take a journey with me and explore the inner realms. There’s so much richness, wisdom, peace, and strength you can draw upon once you’ve found the connection. It’s yours to discover.


Let’s take a walk,

Pedram Shojai, OMD    

New York Times Bestselling Author, Producer, and Founder of

Waking Up and Turning On

Hello dear one,


I suspect you might agree with me that the world has gone stark, raving, totally loony tunes; round the bend; nutty as a fruitcake; not in its right mind; dangerously and absolutely mad—especially in the ways it views women, girls, and the “feminine.”

This insanity compels most of us to hide away and push down parts of ourselves in order to feel lovable, valuable, or be taken seriously.

Which doesn’t work, of course and only ensures we remain unfulfilled, miserable, and at war with ourselves.

But as I’ve discovered—working in depth with women over the past 14 years as a coach, teacher, and mentor (and burning in the fire of my own medicine, of course)—we’ve got it absolutely inside out and backwards.

It turns out that your confidence and joy are actually buried in the very parts you have disowned—that you have literally been sitting on your true power this whole time.

And that even when you feel you have lost your way, there is a path to the woman you are aching to become.

This is the path of Feminine Genius.

  • Learn to trust (and eventually love) the parts of you that you previously warred against
  • Embrace your intuition, sexuality, emotions, desires, and cycles for enormous effectiveness and fulfillment
  • Meet your Oracle, the divine, infallible wisdom of your body—and discover why I affectionately call
    it the Oracle Between Your Thighs
  • Navigate your “dark” and work with painful, difficult experiences in healthy ways
  • Brighten your everyday with hands-on practices
  • Tap into your inner knowing so you can stop second-guessing yourself and get clear about your next steps
  • Explore the history, physics, theology, and biology of a universe built for harmony between “masculine” and “feminine”
  • Look in the mirror and see the face of the Goddess gazing back at you

In a world that might tell you ten thousand times a day how you are deficient and wrong, Feminine Genius will remind you that you are just right.

I am honored (and tail-wagging-ly happy) to invite you to dive into my new book, Feminine Genius: The Provocative Path to Waking Up and Turning On the Wisdom of Being a Woman.


I’ll see you inside,


P.S. Come visit, where you can get bonus training with me when you order the book: a masterclass on finding your Oracle to source your clarity, deepen your confidence, and inspire your next moves. You’ll also receive your very own Book Club Kit to support you to journey through the book in a group and practice getting lit off of other women’s brilliance.  I’ll see you there!

The Way Under the Way

Over the last few years, I’ve been collecting, evolving, and refining over 20 years of my poetry, which includes 217 poems collected in this book. These poems cover much of the ground in which I’ve been learning and growing with regards to the inner life.

One poem that is fundamental to the book is “Being Here.” When I was young, I found it hard to be here and to move through the world. Like many romantics, I wanted to transcend out of here. Of course, experience only landed me deeper into life. After my cancer journey, it became clear that there is nowhere to go, nowhere to transcend to but here. The image of sweeping a path though there is always more to sweep became a great teacher for me. That image led to this poem, which helps me stay on the path of living the one life I have to live.


Transcending down into
the ground of things is akin
to sweeping the leaves that
cover a path.  There will always
be more leaves.  And the heart
of the journey, the heart of our
own awakening, is to discover for
ourselves that the leaves are not
the ground, and that sweeping
them aside will reveal a path,
and finally, that to fully live,
we must take the path and
keep sweeping it.

For me, the poems are the teachers. They arrive with their wisdom and become my guides. What they surface becomes my inner curriculum and by staying in conversation with them, I grow. We’re all drawn to what we need to learn, which if engaged with honesty reveals insights common to us all.

My hope is that the arc of these poems will be aids in living, listening, and beholding each other. I offer them as small wonders found and cared for through the years. I hope you might find one that, held close to your heart, will serve as a guide.

By Mark Nepo

Empathy, resonance, and the mysterious dance of lover ...

On my flight from Denver to Oahu yesterday, I sat next to a lovely couple who must have been in their early to mid 70s. I was struck by how attuned they were to one another – the slightest cue from one was met by the other and responded to. I could literally feel in my body that they each felt fully contacted by the other, while from time to time they would go silent, return to their own individual activities, infusing the environment between them with a warm, tender space. They remained connected, but separate simultaneously – and would meet each other’s glance from time to time as if to assure the other that all was well in the world. No words needed. It was as if I could feel their mirror neurons coming online together, empathically in resonance with one another, tuned into just what was needed in a given moment.

For some reason their dance, their play, their love… it really touched me, so much so that I actually found myself crying. I didn’t want to make a scene or make them uncomfortable so kept to myself as much as I could (I know, those that know me, it’s not like me to ‘not make a scene’ or refrain from ‘making others uncomfortable,’ especially when it comes to tears, love, vulnerability, and falling apart. I really was trying to behave; it was only 45 minutes into a long flight after all).

It was then that they pulled out their video player and were going to watch a movie together. I was curious how they would be able to remain connected and do this as there was only one headphone jack on their iPad. Would they alternate? Knowing them (as I had for about 20 minutes now), I was sure one would just sacrifice the sound for the other, and they’d switch periodically. Before I realized exactly what was going on, the gentleman pulled out a Y-shaped thingy which allowed them to both plug their headphones in at once. I lost it. It was so perfect – and so them. Just more attunement and connection, this time taking shape as some weird looking modern electronic device. The tears flowed even more in reveling at their sweet connection.

They finally glanced over at me, my intention to not create a scene lost to the crushing power of love that flows between two people. They both just smiled at me and the man patted me on the shoulder, his eyes near bursting into tears himself. We all just shared a moment together, outside all time and space, with me so grateful that they allowed me into their sacred world for just a moment, and into the mystery of lover and beloved as it unfolds here, into eternity.

Postscript: I just shared this post with them (couldn’t help myself). Now the three of us are just sort of silently weeping together, holding hands… as we descend into Waikiki… three new friends, held by the beloved and her mysterious ways, and the sweetness of a Hawaiian sunset. I feel quite confident I could die now. To know even one sliver of this love… I’ve been given so much more than enough.


Wake Up San Francisco! Live March 28, 2015

How can we stay sane, resourceful, and connected to the limitless depths of our being, right in the midst of our busy lives? Is such a thing possible? Is spiritual awakening reserved for people who travel to retreats and monasteries, or is it possible that we can touch that and the depths of the human heart right in the midst of the chaos of our lives? Wake Up San Francisco is a one-day event on Saturday, March 28th that immerses participants in the awakening of the human heart. Bringing together spiritual teachers, poets, musicians, yogis, psychological researchers, healers, and lovers of life, Wake Up San Francisco promises to be a day of reflection, new insight, and transformation.

You are warmly invited to join pioneering spiritual teacher Adyashanti and music sensation Alanis Morissette for a one-of-a-kind dialogue about waking up in the midst of everyday life. The author of books including Emptiness Dancing and Falling into Grace, Adyashanti is one of today’s most sought-after teachers, especially when it comes to his rare public appearances. Alanis is most recognized for her album Jagged Little Pill (which still ranks as the number one top-selling debut album for a female artist). The dialogue will be hosted by Sounds True founder, Tami Simon, and will be followed by an intimate concert with Alanis Morissette.

In addition to Adyashanti and Alanis Morissette, presenters at Wake Up San Francisco include:

  • Caroline MyssNew York Times bestselling author and leading voice in the field of energy medicine
  • Mario Martinez, clinical neuropsychologist lecturing worldwide on how cultural beliefs affect health and longevity
  • Sally Kempton, author of Awakening Shakti and Meditation for the Love of It, on the transformative power of kundalini
  • Roger Housden, author of Ten Poems to Change Your Life and Keeping the Faith Without a Religion, on beauty as a portal to awakening
  • Sera Beak, Harvard-trained scholar of comparative world religions and author of Red Hot and Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story

When we touch a limitless sense of being—vast, open, undivided—and do so in an embodied way, we paradoxically become more uniquely ourselves, more empowered, and on fire to bring forward our unique gifts. We wake up to our courage, to our authenticity, and to contributing to the well-being of others in fresh and meaningful ways. We welcome you to join us at Wake Up San Francisco!


Wake Up or Bust!

As I write this blog post we’re days away from the 2014 Wake Up Festival, and I’m thinking about all of the things I have to do before heading up to Estes Park for four days of camping and “WUFing” as we like to call it. But I’m also thinking about what my intentions are and why I am excited to be fortunate enough to be able to attend. Having experienced the last two Wake Up Festivals, I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the unique energy field that is created by all of the participants. You can feel it the second you get out of your car on the grounds of the YMCA. It’s as if the coming together of several hundred people with the shared intention of becoming more conscious, present, and authentic generates the perfect environment in which such aspirations can become reality. It’s powerful and infectious. And it needs to be if it’s going to fuel changes that continue long after the conclusion of the Wake Up Festival. After all, it’s one thing to spend a week practicing with others but another matter to live what we learn when we return to our everyday lives.

So as I deal with the details of packing and travel and so on, I hope that I’m able to remember why I’m going in the first place, to go with the flow once I get up there without attachment to programs and agendas, and to stay present with the beautiful people and surroundings. And if I’m lucky, the energy of transformation that all of us create will indeed support positive developments for each of us as we move toward the end of another year.


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