About Gateless

Using creative brain science, ancient Zen and highly effective craft resources, we move you beyond the conditioned, critical mind to a place of limitless potential beyond. 

What Is Gateless?

Gateless Writing is a literary arts organization, that is also a method and a movement, supported by creative neuroscience and ancient Zen. 

Through our leadership training program, online Writer’s Academy, retreats, and one-on-one intensives, Gateless has shifted thousands of lives and acted as the catalyst for new and seasoned writers to generate domain-changing writing that moves a crowd.

Who Is Suzanne Kingsbury,  the Founder?

In 1993 as a Fulbright Scholar studying Buddhism and meditation in Sri Lanka, I began to experience what the Buddhists call Samadhi, a state of presence beyond the conditioned mind, where the meditator enters a limitless landscape. I also experienced this when I was writing, a unique state of being where time and space fell away and I was at one with the act of creation.

In ancient Zen this state was symbolized by the open circle of the Enso and called the Gateless Gate, or Gateless Barrier, which later became the title of a book of Zen Koans published in the 13th century bc. by the Chinese Zen master Wumen Huikai (無門慧開; Japanese: Mumon Ekai).

I began writing in this unconditioned state that she later came to call Gateless and with no formal training birthed two novels, sold them to Scribner to high acclaim, saw them optioned for film, and translated widely abroad.

After enrolling in a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and the Literary Arts at Bennington College, I experienced my first bout of writer’s block. Like all reformative academic processes, writing was approached as broken and needing to be “fixed”.

I watched some writers leave the program never to write again, others described a feeling of fight or flight.

Some had a sense that they had to imitate previously published work in order to survive.

Still others said they were haunted by contradictory rules and a feeling they would never “get ahead” in their craft.

The energy of competition and fear was fierce.

For my senior thesis, I studied the act of creating masterful writing. What was happening in the brain when mastery was being made? I found that the literary masters who made a lasting mark in their field described working from a space of ultimate freedom, where the critical, conditioned mind was not present – a place the Buddhist’s described as “Samadhi”, and ancient Zen referred to as the “Gateless Gate.”

What Is the Brain Science Behind Gateless?

While researching the science behind the creative brain state, I discovered the scientific model of neurotheology developed by Dr. Andrew Herzog at Harvard Medical School and Dr. Eugene D’Aquili and Dr. Andrew Newberg at the University of Pennsylvania.

These researchers found that imagination and creativity are best accessed when activity in the part of the brain associated with negativity and resistance are calmed.

Researchers Charles Limb and Allen Braun at the National Institute of Health found that mastery in creative expression is created when the area of the brain active during self-censoring is deactivated, inhibitions are shut down, and the region linked with self-expression is allowed to be active.

Combining this brain science with potent craft tools, embodiment practices to move creatives into the Zen Samadhi mind (Gateless), and industry know-how, Gateless Writing was born, a model that breaks through creative blocks and provides you with the resources to reach your vision of what you want to do on the page and in your life.

Is Gateless Just for Writers?

Gateless can be used in any discipline at any time. Those certified in the Gateless methodology have found that it can be extended parenting, the therapeutic arts, counseling, medicine, education and so much more.

Not only has this process generated external success, but those who have experienced it become part of a global network of writers, agents, publishers and high achieving leaders in the field of creative expression. The methodology and its community allows you to access a feeling of bliss and flow that goes beyond the confines of the habituated programming of the overarching culture.

For more on me, please visit here. To explore the Gateless model, check out our online Writer’s Academy, retreats, and one-on-one intensives, or become part of our team of teachers by getting certified in the Gateless method in our Gateless Teacher Training Program.