Testimonials

Some (unsolicited) written testimonials follow ...

Hi Sean, Thank you for your jog to get me back on track! I feel that writing unedited, and this time actually for another to read, was a good thing to do. You are right, the feelings need to be acknowledged and they pass. And thank you for taking the time to understand me and respond in such a thoughtful way.

Hello Sean, Thank you very much for editing my stories and putting forth extra efforts in order to finish commenting on them. Now, I am more aware of the areas I have to work on and the next phase is doing my homework and as you said keep writing and listen to my innermost intuition.

Hi Sean, Just a quick email to say thank you for the workshop on Saturday. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it — especially when a seasoned Fleet Street journalist like Anna said she liked my writing! I think the best thing about the class was that you created a "safe" and "non-judgemental" environment within which to relax, write and exchange ideas. I shall certainly come on some more courses. Very, very many thanks once again.

Took part in another writing workshop with @SeanMMadden yesterday. He rocks! So gentle, so encouraging, so real. Inspiring! 

Good morning, Sean. A bundle of interesting stuff came through for me last night. It was like removing an extra layer of self-consciousness going through a 2d [web] communication and creating one's own energy in one's own space. I was listening in a direct way and the thoughts and ideas which came through from both of you really touched on truths. You are sooo right about us often being the worst judges of our own work. I hope this web forum takes off.

Hi Sean, Hurray for the person who wrote that lovely piece about your course; 'doodling with words' is a great way to convey how freeing and how profound your classes are. I struggle to articulate the impact they've had for me—it's like slipping underwater and discovering that I can still breathe down there, so I go exploring and find all sorts of things I couldn't see when I was standing on the bank. 

Thank you Sean. That course was great—subtle waves of reassurance and supportive stillness with plenty of inspiration. Definitely helped to get my writing pen flowing again. The last session for me had the most depth. To breathe into the now and find a moment of stillness before the pen starts moving gives you a chance to bypass the person who wants to be a writer, and to just write. Much as when I draw—I really don't have an idea of what’s going to appear. To approach writing from a no-mind ‘now’ point lets the words be as free as a doodle. To doodle words in playful creativity with just a gentle expectancy, no pressure, just wondering what’s going to be revealed is as fun and free as drawing.

Hi Sean, This is just to say many thanks for two amazing courses which were very inspiring and deeply affecting. 

Dear Sean, I want to thank you profoundly, dear friend and gifted mindfulness practitioner, because you have been such an inspiration to me in your open-hearted, and honest, accepting presence.

Dear Sean, I think my son and his girlfriend may today be following in our footsteps of yesterday [Mindfully Decadent Monday] so glowing was I about it.

Thank you for today ... always helpful, inspiring and supportive.

Dear Sean, I can think of nothing finer than Rumi and Rilke Behind the Blue Door (or indeed on the riverbank).  Your classes are very special and provide vital nourishment. Please keep me fully posted with all that you have going on. I WILL BE BACK!

Hi Sean, Our [one-to-one] time together more than fulfilled my expectations and has proved extremely helpful with your insights and wonderfully relaxed approach to everything.  I was amazed to find that time had passed so quickly.  Also, this morning's class was vast for me — like a huge weight has lifted from my shoulders in such a warm, accepting and comforting environment.  Thank you so much.

Morning Sean, Last evening['s Looking Beyond Loss & Grief class] was huge for me and allowed me the dignity of grief after all these years.  I was only able to do this because of the safe haven you provide in which to explore, and acknowledge, our feelings of loss and grief.  Intuitively, you allow the luxury of silence and the class takes its lead from you.  The grief was trembling and shaking out of my body, and the blessed silence gave me permission not to do and to just sit with my feelings until they had run their course.  Hugs were not necessary.  Indeed, nothing was.  For in that silence was the support and validation I needed and that was enough — more than enough — for I've found, in the past, that hugs can stop the much needed process, however well meant or intended.  So, I just wanted to let you know what a big step forward this has been for me and to say a much needed THANK YOU.

Hi Sean!  I have been writing and thinking and reading and so have tried to get into a good place for when the new academic term starts.  Please keep me up-to-date with your programme.  Having the opportunity to explore the writing process with you has made an enormous difference to me in a very difficult 14 months since my husband died.

Thank you for using my book [The Living I Ching] in your courses. I'm glad that it can be used in this way. I appreciate you using "The Voice of the Oracle" as a reading because I intended it that way. It's great to see its purpose finally fulfilled. It certainly appears to me that you are living an ideal life helping others, being in nature, and pursuing your own personal path. I'll be interested in your progress and would welcome any feedback you might have in the future. Yours, Ming-Dao
Deng Ming-Dao is the bestselling author of the contemporary classic 365 Tao, The Living I Ching, Everyday Tao, Chronicles of Tao and Scholar Warrior. (published by permission of author)
Dear Sean and Mufidah, I absolutely love your Behind the Blue Door e-mail.  Inspiring.  I want to come to everything.  Am against the clock now but wanted to say how beautifully presented this is and wish you well with a wonderful venture.  I am so glad I found you.  I know sensitive-souled folk will be flocking to the blue door and its salubrious and welcoming environs in the forthcoming months and look forward to sharing with them.  I have some ideal sock shoes for that rustic floor too!!

Hi Sean, Thanks for notification of change of venue to your home for future courses. I think that's a lovely idea to share your home with others. The classes that you offer are so inspiring and rich it seems fitting to provide a warm, loving environment to accommodate everyone. I hope to join you at some point and will be sure to bring my slippers/extra socks.

Dear Sean, Thank you so much for your kind email.  I am much in need of your course and the soothing environs of the Upper Hall!  With gratitude for your patience and huge appreciation of your wonderful teaching style.  I look forward greatly to tomorrow evening and will most certainly be there.  You will see that tomorrow shines as a beacon before me.

Dear Sean, I thought I'd just drop a line to say thanks for the course.  It is certainly freeing up the old writing juices, as a result of which I am at last making good progress with a long work which stalled over a year ago.

Hi Sean, Thank you for running the Writing Marathon -- I found it really useful, and felt strangely energised from it the next day.

Thank you, Sean, for a wonderfully inspiring Writing Marathon!  Lovely.  Come to visit, or let's meet for a walk soon.

Hi Sean, The course has passed quickly, just as I was starting to get into it and warming up my brain cells!  Been a great journey so far.  I'm sure I will carry on in my own fashion of writing for the pure joy of the process!!  Thank you for the opportunity of being in this group.

Hey Sean!  Yesterday's Writing Marathon was terrific.  You were in the flow.  Many thanks for that.

Thanks for the Hastings workshop, Sean -- I really enjoyed it.

The Hastings workshop was very enriching and I felt wonderful afterwards, sort of calm and elated ... just so nice being with such lovely folk. Thank you, Sean and Erica too!

Thanks for a marvellous time!! Would also like to join the Mindful Living Guide group on Facebook, please.

Hi Sean, I really enjoyed writing in Hastings on Saturday. Just trying to organise my Wednesdays -- wondering if the new class will run in Lewes Wednesday mornings in November. If so, can you sign me up and I'll drop the cheque off tomorrow.

Dear Sean, Thank you very much for facilitating such a wonderful day full of great experiences. I really enjoyed the Creative Writing workshop in Lewes and will be signing up for more. I am away for most of September and also away for the Lewes weekend in October but could come on either/both Brighton and Mayfield Saturday workshops in October. I will confirm and book once back from my holiday at the end of September, but you can DEFINITELY expect me at one, if not both of them.

Dear Sean, Just wanted to drop you a line saying how much I enjoyed your summer workshop. I came with both excitement and apprehension. Your teaching is subtle and I enjoyed the ambiance of an artistic forum. This is something that surprisingly does not occur quite in the same way with visual artists and perhaps writing circles are more accustomed. I think I have drawn inspiration from focusing on the process of our creative unfoldings. I particularly enjoyed sharing reading passages and the word hoard. Well, the main thing is you have inspired confidence in allowing myself to explore writing, and links also with the visual.

Thank you Sean and Naomi, and everyone!   [The creative writing & yoga retreat held at Tilton House on 6-8 August] was such a lovely weekend, I know I won't ever forget it.

Dear Sean and Naomi, Thank you so much for organising such an uplifting weekend retreat.  What a brilliant combination!  All you lovely co-participants made it special too.  Thank you to Polly, Shaun, Jo and John [from Tilton House] for their facilitation, hospitality and great food.  I hope all our paths cross again at some time.

Dear Sean, Thank you for a very enjoyable and inspirational writing/meditation workshop on Saturday.  It was good to meet such nice people, and certainly worth waiting for.  I would like to confirm my booking for the next workshop, and enclosed is my cheque.

Dear Sean, Thanks for a great class today. I came away truly energised and inspired.

Dear Sean, Thank you especially for your words of encouragement. I am enjoying the course immensely, and it has confirmed to me that I can endeavour towards writing a book. I see you have a special gift of allowing us to share our writing without feeling self-conscious.

Hi Sean, I'd like to thank you for the workshop, which I found very inspiring and motivating. It was great to be able to enjoy such a range of voices expressing such a variety of life experiences and viewpoints. I found myself coming to writing from a fresh angle, which was exactly what I'd hoped for.

Writing at home was never like this. This is what all of humanity needs.

Dear Sean, I hope we can continue with future creative writing classes. We both have enjoyed them very much, indeed. 

Once again thanks for today.  It was really uplifting and amazing to be in such a space with lovely people sharing thoughts and words.

Dear Sean, I really, really appreciate the space you're holding and will come again in the future.

I would like to thank you very much for everything. You are a wonderful inspirational teacher/guide (whatever you want to call it!) and have very special qualities that I admire greatly.

Hi Sean, I have been having a writing marathon since Wednesday's class and have written a short story and a few poems. Looking forward to continuing the course.

I am currently in my second year of the part-time MA in Creative and Critical Writing programme at Sussex University. Vis-à-vis creative writing, this course is regarded as one of the best in the UK. I have certainly enjoyed it tremendously. I have also been fortunate enough to attend some of your creative writing workshops over the last few months. These have been absolutely inspirational. You're a unique facilitator of free thought and of supportive creative writing practices. Working with you has enhanced my experience, self belief, and enjoyment of writing immensely. I would recommend anyone, not just academics or professionals, but all folk interested in expressing themselves with words on paper, or in any other way, to sign up for your classes.

Dear Sean, Today was great, we both really enjoyed the workshop. I would love to come to your Wednesday class and will check it out on your website.

Hi Sean, I am so grateful for all that you give, and for you being merely you. I am looking forward to continuing the courses and will try to come to a Saturday workshop soon.

Hey Sean, Really enjoyed the workshop today ... thank you so much, for the lovely teaching but also it just felt really nice being around you, very relaxing.

Great workshop yesterday, Sean ... I will be aiming to get to more of your lovely workshops soon ... Love your creative writing classes, and your mindfulness!

Just a quick note to thank you for the workshop last Saturday and to say I really enjoyed it. I am, indeed, stumbling over a few blocks at the moment -- all gloriously stirred by pregnancy hormones, I daresay! -- but feel like I'm getting there. I found writing unselfconsciously in a group a very positive experience and hope that I may get the opportunity to do so again in the not-too-distant future.

Dear Sean, I very much enjoyed Saturday's workshop and found it very helpful.

Hi Sean, Many thanks for a brilliant workshop on Saturday. I've been buzzing ever since!

Dear Sean, I very much enjoyed the workshop, and was certainly inspired and definitely challenged by it. Thank you so much. I'd be very interested in further creative writing classes.

Hey Sean, I greatly enjoyed the workshop, so thanks to you as well! I hope I will be able to use some of those writing starting points in the future.

Thank you, Sean, for all of your help and careful nurturing of our writing. It's something that we really enjoyed and learned from. Hopefully we will join one of your classes again.

We both really enjoy the classes and feel we have learned a great deal; not to mention the great atmosphere of sharing and listening to all the creative writings! Thank you, Sean.

Thanks Sean for your continued guidance and encouragement for us fledglings!

Dear Sean, Thank you so much for your encouragement. I have just got your letter. I was happy to be in the class this week, to meet you and, yes, the group are a sensitive bunch. Thank you, too, for keeping the connection. I am enjoying the interconnectedness with people.

Hi Sean, Often think of you and all the classes I have enjoyed, and I am sure there will be more.

Thank you, Sean. I'm glad I came to your class tonight. You are such a good friend.

Hi Sean, I just wanted to ‘feedback’ to you that I have enjoyed the classes and started to find my writing voice again. I look forward to continuing with future courses.

Dear Sean, Thanks for yesterday and all of your encouragement and enthusiasm. I'm really enjoying the course.

Hi Sean, Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Our collective creative juices were flowing.

Dear Sean, I would also like to thank you for the first course where you gave kind encouragement and inspiration to instill confidence in myself to write prose and poetry. I was able to grow in a tangible productive way of expressing myself on paper. I loved how the lessons were structured in a game-like way.

Dear Sean, Thank you for your lovely email. I can't tell you the thrill I am experiencing by these first tentative steps into both a new world and a known world. This is a perfect start as often when I have tried to write before I have got stuck in my head with a self-conscious sense of someone always peering over my shoulder. I am fascinated by the process and I'm crossing my fingers that I can translate my feelings and thoughts onto the page and find my own voice. Whatever else is happening it feels like I am writing in my own voice but at the same time becoming a conductor of my emotions. My wife and I were walking through the woods this morning and with all the broken trees and foliage on the ground I said how it felt like we were walking across the ocean floor. I know I wouldn't have formulated a thought like that a few weeks ago! So I am very keen to keep exploring without head limits keeping me in check and thanks for that. I would love to continue probably onto the next course when this one finishes and continue to develop whatever it is that wants to come out. It feels very energising and unless there are any particular points of guidance, I'm very happy to keep rattling around with whatever pops into the head and onto the page.

Thank you, Sean. I very much enjoyed the evening and was surprised how easily the words flowed at times ... I even woke up in the night thinking about writing.

I very much enjoyed today. How I love a class! Thank you. I'll see you next week.

Hi Sean, very many thanks for a good workshop on Saturday, and also for the update on various courses in the area. Here is one of the combined poems that we had fun writing.

I will see you on Saturday, and look forward to just being and doing, and possibly a trip to the Buttercup, as the writer-within warms up, and creates a stream of colours and textures and shapes and something as beautiful as it can manage, to hold up to the universe and say "thank you for all you are giving me!"

Hi Sean, I certainly enjoyed the workshop immensely ... It was good to create in an environment that felt safe and yet intriguing.

Realising just how much our writing group is helping me. It seems to enable me to assimilate and integrate thoughts and their process, like being able to live more in the place of imagination where wisdom is more accessible, as though we uncover beautiful ornaments and objects which don't often see the light of day!

Dear Sean, Thank you for a lovely workshop on Saturday, it seemed to me to have been a very good day with a great group of people. I went home and continued the story with the words to the end, in the same fashion, and attach the result, since you said 'Yes, you have to go home and finish it.' Then yesterday evening and this morning I typed it up and let the 'inner editor' in for a few considerations and minor alterations, mainly concerned with how to develop the other characters alluded to, so that one also got a flavour of them, without changing the essence of the first writing. It was great fun, and a lovely way to experience the way it all just 'wrote itself.' Not the kind of writing I usually do, but I think there are possibilities to experiment with the method, with all sorts of possible variations, in terms of the characters that arise.

Hi Sean, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Week 1!  I wasn't really sure what to expect, but it was a lovely session. Thank you.

I would like to thank you for a very interesting day. I have been to other writing classes, found them useful. But yours is really different. I have come home feeling very calm and trouble free, and not feeling I WILL WRITE -- rather, that I want to ... I'll send you a signed copy of my first book ... Again, thank you. 

Hi Sean, My daughter attended your creative writing course last Sunday and enjoyed it enormously. She and I would both like to sign up for some future work with you.

Dear Sean, A big thank you for the workshop today. Your gentle guidance enabled everyone there to achieve a great deal of confidence about the process of writing and to express themselves in an atmosphere of support and trust. As you realise, I am on a very specific and personal journey and the workshop today will help me move forward on that journey.

Dear Sean, You enabled me to feel it was fine to be myself as we worked together on Tuesday. Thank you. I imagine that your students are able to produce writing that they value as truthful in your classes and I hope I will, too.

Thank you for a very special day!

I really enjoyed your classes, and thank you for your help and encouragement.

Hello Sean, I really enjoyed and took a lot from our session on Thursday. Interesting, thought-provoking and incredibly constructive towards my engaging in creative writing. Thank you, also, for being so accommodating. 

Great idea, Sean! I'd gladly continue the Sunday class -- I look forward to this, and have got into the Eastbourne rhythm.

Dear Sean, I had such a wonderful morning yesterday and was a little concerned that you were not going to continue with an immediate follow-on course in Eastbourne. I would love to continue what I feel I have only just begun. Hanging out with you and the others means so much.

Hi Sean, I found the course very calming and also inspirational.

I really enjoyed meeting you and found the Saturday workshop very inspiring.

Hi Sean! Have you got any places on the 6-week course on Sundays in Lewes? I really enjoyed the day I spent with you in Eastbourne and feel that now would be a good time to continue with you.