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Who is Sarah Marshank?

Sarah is the founder of Selfistry and the author of the unorthodox memoir Being Selfish: My Journey from Escort to Monk to Grandmother. To find out more about her book, go to Sarah lives in the Pacific Northwest, traveling worldwide to teach, mentor, and inspire.

My life is about exploration and transformation.

I am devoted to exploring the essential human nature that lives in each of us, and nurturing the unique human expression of that mysterious essence. I serve this dedication through my ongoing learning and development while teaching, mentoring and inspiring others.

I began my career with a Bachelor’s degree in Alternative Education, followed by a Master’s Degree in History and Philosophy of Education. I've always been interested in education. While other little girls were playing house, I was playing teacher.

As I began teaching in my early twenties I found, within a short amount of time, that though I knew I wanted to support others in their personal development I had hit a wall in my own. While I felt academically competent for the job, I felt personally unfit.

I wanted to teach my students not only academics, but how to be human. I came face to face with the humble realization that my personal compass for right and wrong was unstable. I could not embrace the paradigm my parents taught me, nor could I carte blanche accept the liberal values I grew up with. It was obvious that I needed to grow myself up first, before I could help grow others.

Because the educational system in this country, including the private sector, was inadequate for the course of self-knowledge I was seeking, and because every religious institution and ashram and new-age community I researched felt too insulated and myopic, I chose to find my “school” outside of all systems. I pursued a self-guided study of human wisdom teachings, spending ten years in retreat studying, contemplating and practicing various tools for transformation.

I did not work in those years, nor interface with the outside world much beyond grocery shopping. My curriculum included study and contemplation of traditional religious texts, esoteric teachings, and philosophy. I practiced Yoga, Pranayama, and meditation daily. I experimented with more extreme asceticism including austerities such as fasting, voluntary simplicity, and long periods of silence. I explored the teachings of Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Native Peoples, Advaita Vedanta/Hinduism, Tantra, Toltec Wisdom and the Tao. I sought to glean the gold from each and weave them into my personal understanding of the human condition and the right way to live.

This ten year period of transformation was a gift.

It was as if the universe was saying to me, “Okay, you want to know the Truth, here is your chance. Stop looking outside of yourself. SIt down. Shut up. And listen.”

I struggle with how to communicate what I discovered during those years, but one way of saying it concisely is, “I was able to strip away religious rhetoric, new-age jargon, and every other feeling or idea I had about truth or enlightenment and listen within for the answers to my ceaseless questing: who/what am I? why am I here? what is this all about?”

The best way of articulating the answer I got is, “God/Truth exists. But not the God you have been told about. God is more akin to Essence or Consciousness. But not the same as our human consciousness...except, our human consciousness is God, too. Sort of.”

It goes on something like this, “Your personality and personal life is an expression of that Essence, but also mysteriously distinct from it. I can not explain to you how this is so. Or why. It just is. In order to find the inner peace and contentment you long for, rest in knowing that you are, fundamentally, that Essence. Then, listen for guidance from inside as to how to move in the world.” There are no rules of how to do this. No right or wrong way to do it. No heaven or hell at the finish line.

After a few years of settling in to this knowing, deepening my sense of self in relation to Essence, I left my retreat to see if I could stabilize this realization within the chaos and messiness of life out in the real world. This is where you meet me now. Twelve years later.

Feeling moved to share my experience and insight, I picked up where I left off as an educator, and created Selfistry.

What is Selfistry?

Selfistry is a smart, sensible way to discover who you really are, why you’re alive at this critical moment in human history, and what only you can offer the world. Experience the best of Eastern and Western traditions synthesized into a single philosophy and simple method for our time, stripped of outdated dogma, rhetoric and rituals. Authentic learning happens when the student is held in a container of acceptance, safety, and wisdom, and then given the opportunity to discover their own knowing. Selfistry will support you to find your self and your quality life. Selfistry teaches the artistry of being human. Are you ready to find peace, purpose, and your unique path? Know thy self. Become your own guru. Begin now.


What can you expect to experience?

  • Engagement with the 3 domains which hold the key to Selfistry's art of personal development.
  • Learn Selfistry’s unique Embodied Integration Practice.
  • Discover your Personal Self Mastery Protocol.
  • Personal Mentorship.
  • Peer Reflection and Support.
  • Practical and realistic approaches to changes in beliefs, attitudes, and actions
  • Stopping and slowing down.

What can you hope to gain?

  • Greater confidence.
  • Clear approach to self, work, and relationships.
  • Growing sense of inner security and strength, not based in stuff, money or power.
  • Greater sense of self worth.
  • Ability to author your best life.
  • Ability to view anything from multiple perspectives.
  • Stronger self identity.
  • Clearer sense of life mission.
  • Mindfulness in all areas of life.
  • Greater presence in all relationships.


What can you expect to achieve?

  • Connection to self as Essence and as a personal self.
  • A true understanding of selflessness.
  • A clear experience of the power of selfishness.
  • Ability to objectively witness one’s self.
  • Ability to identify unwholesome beliefs and behaviors.
  • Embodied awareness of self and other.
  • Deep connection to others.
  • Greater self knowledge.
  • The ability to unapologetically give yourself care and attention.
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What turns a nice Jewish girl into a sex worker who becomes a celibate monk?

Being Selfish is an inspirational, illuminating, and intimate memoir by Selfistry founder Sarah Marshank. Her unorthodox story, told with unflinching candor and wry humor, will appeal to all those interested in the messy business of finding their unique path and purpose in life.

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