As you’ve surely guessed from the name of this website, my name is James Wolanyk. I’m a professional author, international educator, editor, peer mentor/coach, and meditation junkie that was born just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
Throughout my career, I’ve been privileged to study under writing teachers such as Andre Dubus III (author of House of Sand and Fog), as well as consult directly with several distinguished nonduality and Buddhist teachers.
I’ve been working with self-inquiry and meditation techniques for just over ten years. In that time, I’ve managed to release four novels through reputable publishers, marry an incredible woman, start a life abroad, and develop a fulfilling career based upon my core values.
But it wasn’t always that way.
Growing up, I suffered from extreme bouts of panic attacks, generalized anxiety, and overarching malaise connected to my life. I was overweight and sought happiness in sources such as food, video games, and expensive hobbies.
I was directionless and stuck in a rut. Engaging with those closest to me was taxing, and trying to force myself into the world seemed nearly impossible. My anxiety reached such a crescendo during high school that I contemplated filing for disability and spending the rest of my days in my parents’ home, forgoing any hope of dating, getting a driver’s license, or going to college.
One day, after suffering a particularly vicious panic attack, I decided I couldn’t live that way any longer.
That single day prompted me to dig deeper into consciousness, the one domain I’d ignored in my endless rumination. I dove headfirst into meditation, breathing techniques, nutrition, exercise, religious texts, and anything else I could find to better myself. Years went by, all dedicated to the lone task of finding out what life was “all about.”
This task, which culminated in an experience that cast consciousness in a new light, resulted in a wholesale shift in my beliefs about the world and existence itself. The burden of past years fell away, replaced by love, openness, and goodwill for all sentient beings. This shift informs what I do to this very day.
Since this experience, my life has been devoted to helping others discover the same sense of freedom and peace. You may have heard expressions about the kingdom of God being within, or of already possessing everything you seek. These expressions are true.
My only wish as a coach and educator is to bring this knowledge to as many people as possible. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t teach anything; I merely help to reveal it and allow your own mind to do the rest. This can be likened to a “finger pointing to the moon,” as the saying goes. I do this pointing through a combination of techniques that are suited to you and your life, including creative writing, physical exercise, mindfulness activities, and planning, but fundamentally, all of these techniques begin with surrendering to what is already true and ever-present in your own experience.
Because of this, I consider contemplation to be the “supreme skill.” It holds primacy in our existence. There is nothing more rewarding or essential than coming to a profound understanding of our relationship to consciousness.
Through contemplation and recognizing the mind’s innate, ever-pure clarity in every moment, we deepen our ability to connect to our work, our loved ones, and the trials and tribulations of life. If you think meditation and contemplation are just about sitting and doing nothing, I’d love to change your mind.
You won’t find me peddling unfounded quantum theories or “nice-sounding” dogmatic beliefs, however. A genuine practice is supported and affirmed by truth, and truth alone, which can only be verified through your experience. All of the data that informs my work—as a coach, as an educator, and as a meditator—is derived from experience, not hearsay. That means zero woo or fad holistic trends.
Over a decade of experience with both writing and contemplation, well-vetted teachers from a range of fields, and modern science form the backbone of my methodology. My aim for both coaching and creative writing is to point out the inherent majesty of reality and your very existence, and in doing so, to facilitate access to the freedom and bottomless compassion that belongs to every being.
But seriously, who is this dude?
Well, I’m nobody. I’m just a body on a floating rock that enjoys mashing words together. A body that wants to spread an overwhelming sense of love for life, connection, and absurdity. I’m not in anything for money or power; I’m in it because I give a damn, and simultaneously because I think most things are not worth giving a damn about. In short, I’m just like you. Let’s build together.
With love and metta,