Philosophy, Therapy & Creativity.


It is said that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’. Whether or not this is true, philosophy provides numerous ways to examine life’s meaning. In particular, existential philosophy uncovers the problems we encounter by virtue of simply being alive. During the course, we will explore these problems together, through the theory and practice of creative writing. For anyone interested in these subjects, and/ or coming to understand a little bit more about who you are.

Saturday 5th January 2019

Institute of Continuing Education

University of Cambridge

Madingley Hall


CB23 8AQ

Click here for more information…

Hope to see you there 🙂



IEW5R e f l e c t i v e   W r i t i n g   S e r i e s 

*** Currently NO spaces available***Currently NO spaces available***

New for 2019

January: 13, 20, 27
9.30am - 12.00pm

£60 per session or £150 for all 3.
(includes all materials and refreshments)
Anstey Hall, Maris Lane, Trumpington, Cambridge CB2 9LG
Series facilitated by Julie Webb MA; MBACP
For booking information click here to email Julia Bailey

A workshop combining the practice of Proprioceptive writing and Zen meditation.

For anyone interested in:
* writing * self-awareness 
 personal development * reflective practice *

small group of maximum 12 participants only

The two practices complement each other as each are concerned with surrender to the moment of experience which we might call intimate talk.  In a way, each practice is without goal or set agenda, and so all we are required to do is arrive to the space with an open mind and listening heart.

  • Being receptive – to the unfolding nature that you are.
  • Immersion – surrender to the moment and deepen experience. 
  • Enquiry – listen to thoughts and feelings which your body-mind system generate.
  • Reflection – upon the words produced to help clarify thoughts and feelings.
  • Opportunity – to develop a trust in the organic process of experience.   
  • Development – a practice of creativity with curiosity,  compassion and acceptance. 
  • Writing – a practice of writing what you hear from within yourself



We will engage in Zen meditation in the spirit of Shikantaza (a condition of openness) – just sitting without focus, goal or judgement for 15 minutes.

This will be followed by the practice of Proprioceptive writing. 25 minutes to engage with what is uppermost in our minds at the time.  The writing, known as ‘the write’, will be punctuated by the frequent asking of the proprioceptive question: 

‘what do I mean by ______?’

Each time we ask this question we get closer to ‘getting out of the way’ to allow ourselves to see what is already there.  In line with the proprioceptive tradition, and to aid and encourage our listening ear, music will be played throughout the write.  

Experimenting with a variety of non-verbal music is a way to explore the evocation and subsequent impact of thoughts and emotions which can produce valuable material for personal reflection.  Liking the music or not is of no consequence as we are only concerned with hearing our thoughts and feelings.  Our thought may well be ‘I hate this music’, from which we might ask ‘what do I mean by hate?’  Answering that question might be very rich indeed.  

After our 25 minutes there are 4 questions to aid further reflection and perhaps grounding.  Once we have attended to these in whatever depth we feel is right in the moment, we will then engage in our second 15 minutes of Zen sitting in order to round off the reflective practice. 

Finally, in the tradition of Zen practice we will break for tea and informal chat.

All materials will be supplied: a candle, paper, pen, and folder for each participant to house ‘the write’ and take home for storing, reflection, or further development.



Confidentiality is highly valued and rules of confidential engagement will be discussed in each session and adhered to throughout.  In line with my profession I trust that groups can form and bond in natural and creative ways, if compassion, respect, and consideration are present. There will be no expectation to share writing unless someone expresses a wish to do so.

Please note that this workshop is not a therapy group.  However, by its very nature, it may well prove therapeutic.  You may become alert to deep emotions and surprising thoughts.  As such, using all my experience as a psychotherapist and trainer, I will take on the role of facilitator and will support the group, through any developmental process as required. Click here for more information…

A bit about proprioceptive writing

Linda Trichter Metcalf, a professor of English and Humanities in New York, pioneered the practice in 1976 and has been teaching the method ever since to students, writers, psychotherapists, psychologists, teachers – anyone with an interest in their own self-awareness, personal development, thoughts, feelings, and imagination.  She runs a Proprioceptive Writing Centre in California with Toby Simon, with whom she wrote the book, Writing the Mind Alive: The Proprioceptive Method for Finding Your Authentic Voice.  Click here for more information…

A bit about Zen meditation

Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty (7th-10th century).  Zen is a practice in meditation, insight, and expression.  The practice is to understand our unfolding nature and to accept with compassion this understanding through the experience of our moment to moment unfolding.  To accept the notion of our birthing in each moment is also to accept our moment to moment dying – they are hand-in-hand and we hold this tension throughout our life.  Our life that is right here, right now.

Moment after moment, everyone comes out from nothingness.
This is the true joy of life - 
Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Seeing form with the whole body and mind, 
Hearing sound with the whole body and mind, 
One understands It intimately - 
Eihei Dogen

When you sit, don't get involved in any side-business - 
Taizan Maezumi Roshi

Further information about Zen Buddhism:

Books –

The Zen of Creativity: cultivating your artistic life – John Daido Loori                                                                                           Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind – Shunyru Suzuki
Not Always So – Shunryu Suzuki
No Mud, No Lotus – Thich Nhat Hanh
Appreciate Your Life – Taizan Maezumi Roshi
Zen Questions – Taigen Dan Leighton

Websites – Click here Click here Click here

Location: The Library at Anstey Hall, Cambridge CB2 9LG


The workshops will take place in the library of Anstey Hall, a former country house built in the 17th century.  It is a Grade 1 listed mansion at the edge of Trumpington, on a quiet lane, a mile from Grantchester. For further information click here…

Julia and I look forward to welcoming you to the Reflective Writing Series.  If you have any queries don’t hesitate to get in touch email Julia here

Bye for now,

Julie & Julia