Raised in the tumult of Japan’s industrial powerhouse, the 11 men and women profiled in A Different Kind of Luxury have all made the transition to sustainable, fulfilling lives. Based on Andy Couturier's popular articles in The Japan Times, this lushly designed volume has a wealth of stories about real people who have created an abundance of time for contemplation, connecting with the natural world, and contributing to their communities. In their success is a lesson for us all: live a life that matters. Read an excerpt of the book here or here. Read a review of the book here, here, or here.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The other "inner abundance" I do

Andy Couturier's  first book,
Writing Open the Mind
Once I asked a good friend who knows both of my books whether he saw anything in common between them.  He said, "Of course!  It's the 'inner abundance' part.  Your writing book teaches people one way to find their own inner abundance."

I have chosen to "hide" the me, the Andy Couturier part of my book, A Different Kind of Luxury because I wanted to focus the book, the blog, and the speaking engagements on these people that I have written about, and because far too many books about the East are surreptitiously about the White guy who finds himself there and what he learned.

I do understand why people at my talks ask, "How did you change meeting them?"  They perhaps want to see the way they too could change, not being Japanese themselves.  Perhaps I will write about that some day on this blog.

But now, I would like to share with you my newest project, the launching of a teacher training course through my writing school, The Opening.   I only do this because I feel deeply that the experience of people in these writing classes--connecting with themselves, with other people, with the natural world, with their inborn creativity--is of a piece with the abundance I wrote about in A Different Kind of Luxury.  And I am now offering a course to teach other people how they too can help others discover this.

It is a 100-hour course for one weekend a month from April – October 2012 in Santa Cruz, CA where you can learn: 
* How to create a nourishing, enthusiastic group culture
* Dozens of useable, effective writing exercises
* How to teach improvisation, organization and revision
* A strong theory base from which to ground your teaching

The image to your right here links to an information sheet (pdf) about this program, or you can write to me at andy@theopening.org with your postal address and phone number to receive an information and registration packet.

As I wrote in the very first two sentences of A Different Kind of Luxury: "I have always believed it is possible to live a great life.  [...] There is a larger world surrounding us ... including our potential to live well, to connect with each other, to do meaningful work, to make powerful art and to forge a different kind of future."   This work I do is my own little attempt to do exactly that.

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