Request for Donations for Writing Retreat


What the funds are for: Writing retreat with Dani Shapiro

Hey there friends, I’m asking for a little financial assistance for doing some healing work with meditation and writing. I’m planning on going to Kripalu (the oldest yoga center in the US, I think…) this February 5-7 for a writing and meditation retreat being led by totally amazing writer, Dani Shapiro. The thing is, this needs to happen by January 3rd because otherwise the retreat will be sold out.

If 53 people donated $10 each, or if 24 people donated $25 that would make up the entire remaining dollars needed to get registered! I’m ecstatic to say that a kind friend already gave me enough frequent flier miles to go on American Airlines, YEY!


What you get for donation: A full-day writing and meditation retreat just for you!

As a thank you for your donation, you are invited to attend a full day meditation and writing retreat at Calm Chicago, probably in March, where I’ll do my very best to share what I’ve learned from Dani at her February event. For those who can not attend in person, you’ll be able to access online materials, handouts and guided meditations, so that you can be part of the retreat as well.

We’re going to dive right into the wreck, as Adrienne Rich would have it, and see what our mind, body and heart are holding for us and how we might do a little compassionate exploration and unpacking through writing, meditation and mindful movement of what’s there and bring some of that out onto the page and do some healing of our deep inner wounds.

Dani Shapiro is author of several amazing books, including most recently, “Still Writing,” which to me, is one of those books a writer must have and read over and over, especially when the writing road gets kinda rough.
Shapiro’s work resonates with me like nothing else. Perhaps it’s that we both grew up in households with somewhat similar conditions. Jewish, marital strife of various kinds…not “looking Jewish,” feeling unsure about where we fit in all this world. Or perhaps, some of our former self destructive tendencies are frighteningly close…ahh, speculative thinking – that addiction of the gerbil wheel of the mind.


The Healing power of writing.

I gave up writing fiction of all kinds for a number of years as I tried to resolve narrative story telling with my newly developing spiritual practice. Those years were agonizing beyond description. Seriously. I felt like I’d hacked off a limb or excised my heart.
Well, finally, I came back to my writing and it feels like coming home.
Better than that. It feels like, I am myself again. I rest in natural presence for who I am in my true heart and authenticity. Last year at a 10-day Vipassana retreat, I literally felt as if I’d gotten my life and my voice back. So many memories which had been lost were regained. Injured places healed.
This is a long road of healing, and tears…many many tears but great joys too. All of which to say, that when I saw this retreat with Dani Shapiro teaching it, it felt like the hand of God pointing the way. Really.
I’m not sure what it will look like 100% yet, but when I want to not only keep going with my own writing but also continue to work with clients, using writing and meditation to help others heal at the deepest of levels. Knowing that Dani has clearly saved her own life through writing, I know there are profound things to be learned at her weekend retreat. I can just feel it.
Here’s a link to Dani Shapiro’s website, so you can check out her books, events etc.
Here’s a link to the Kripalu website for the event:…/the_stories_we_carry_meditation_and_wr…

So, please, if you think you might want to be part of this and want to support this work of healing through writing and meditation, send me a message, call or email. I can take cash, checks, Square, Chase Quick pay, Venmo, or Paypal.

Thanks so much from the bottom of my sitting writing heart for considering this. Thank you. Thank you.


Author: Hillary Johnson

Improvisational documentary and fine art photographer.

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