As you’ve surely guessed from the name of this website, my name is James Wolanyk. I’m a professional author, international educator, editor, lifestyle coach, and meditation consultant 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 John Yates (author of The Mind Illuminated). 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 rather than arbitrary promotions or busywork.
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 a single second, a single shard of time characterized by indescribable beauty, resulted in a wholesale shift in my view of both the world and my own existence. The burden of past years fell away in that moment. My mind was suffused with love, openness, and goodwill for all sentient beings. This shift has never receded. It informs what I do to this very day.
Since this shift, 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. Think of me as 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 the beautiful mystery of our own consciousness.
Because of this, I consider meditation as the “supreme skill.” It holds primacy in our existence. There is nothing more rewarding or essential than coming to this profound understanding of our relationship to consciousness. Through mindfulness and meditation, we deepen our ability to connect to our work, our loved ones, and the trials and tribulations of daily living. If you think meditation is just about sitting and doing nothing, I’d love to change your mind.
You won’t find me peddling any nonsense about iffy quantum theories or magic rituals, however. I believe in only practicing what can be observed and repeated with consistent results. All of the data that informs my work—as a coach, as an educator, and as a meditator—can be well-vetted by reality and reality alone. No need for woo or chakra spells here. Authentic spiritual traditions, 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 self-awareness, and in doing so, to facilitate access to the same freedom and bottomless compassion that meditation has sprouted in my own life.
With love and metta,
“The coaching James has given me has allowed me to progress to new heights in my physical training and creative expression.”Adam, 26
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.J. K. Rowling
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.Dr. Seuss