This course will be offered starting on October 21st, 2019. Registration will begin in early July for it, and a link will appear here when registration has started.
One of my favorite descriptions of the purpose of meditation is “the art of modulating consciousness” by Hazrat Inayat Khan.
As someone who has explored the art and toolkit that meditation provides for over twenty years now, what I can say is how life-changing it is. How many of the things that we hear popularly about it are true– it leads to enhanced perspective, the ability to traverse life with more stability and capacity, that it calms the mind and body.
That especially in the modern world we are so filled with noise, with information, with doing, that we are drowning in a sea of stress, with nervous systems that are continually “on”, that have lost their integrity, which impacts everything from our physical to mental to spiritual health.
Meditation is certainly not a panacea for all that ails. What it is is a toolkit. It is a series of practices that allow for us to come into the present moment, to understand our motivations and reasons for being, and that allow for the understanding and tools to traverse even the worst of suffering that life has to offer.
Most of all, it is mental training. Our minds are naturally unskilled and lack tools. We are led by our mind and emotions blindly. Without the type of toolkit that meditation offers, we are like the waves of an ocean. When the ocean is choppy (life throws difficulty at us) we become choppy; when the ocean is smooth, we cling to this smoothness, hoping that it will remain permanently. But life is ever-changing, and ever-flowing, and so it doesn’t.
Meditation allows for us to move to mid-ocean, to deep-ocean, to see and experience those waves from a different perspective.
It allows for us to examine the nature of the ego-mind and its layers of reactions, protections, its “loops”– the repetitive behaviors that naturally emerge out of trauma and/or ignorance. It is by learning how to look at our way of being in the world, through self-inquiry and shadow work, that we can see our largest blind spots, our needs for healing, how what is within is without– what isn’t working in our lives shows how we are out of balance, if we learn how to look and listen and sit with questions that lead to clarity.
Spiritual knowledge when coming to the West tends to be quite segmented. In this segmentation, much of its original meaning is lost. Meditation is an entire toolkit– it is not just “being in the present moment”, or meditating silently away from society as if we were monks.
Present moment consciousness is a lovely tool. One of many. What present moment consciousness and other methods of focused meditation offer is like sitting at a lake and being in a state of noticing the beauty of the rippling waves.
This tool offers a lot to us, but what it does not offer us is the type of mental training– the understanding the nature of the mind, its reasons for thinking the way that it does, the reasons that you react the way that you do, the depth inquiry into how and why you interact with others in specific ways. Ways that often bring more hurt, more animosity, rather than peace and regard and health.
Similarly, if we focus only on tools that examine our ways of being, the nature of our minds, it is like we are seeing the bottom of that lake– we can easily become like Sisyphus rolling that boulder up that hill again and again without seeing the beauty of the world.
With a comprehensive understanding and a complete toolkit, we can bring the art of meditation into our daily lives. We can learn how to sit like monks on a hill in complete silence, we can learn how to have tools for when we have only have a moment to ease our anxiety before a big presentation, we can learn how to traverse the dreaded family dinner with an obnoxious relative.
Meditation should allow for us to become more embodied, more joyful, allow for our bodies to truly learn how to enter deep rest and relaxation states, as well as to become more conscious. Meditation is not an act of separation, of denying reality, and is not something that can only be done in complete silence or far away from society.
It is a set of tools for learning to become more present, more embodied, and more aware of what is blocking us from attaining self-realization. Meditation is required for anyone who is seeking to become more conscious, or to maintain states of heightened (or expanded consciousness). This is because without training, our minds naturally create and lead us blindly based off of our wounds (prior trauma), based off of our conditioning (what society, our parents, etc. have told us to be), and creates significant illusion to separate us from ourselves, to lead us towards what we know, towards recreating our trauma and habitual patterns of being. Our minds will naturally reject what does not fit into our wounded, restrictive ideologies.
It is by examining the mind, understanding it, that we can move beyond being blindly led by our emotions and wounding patterns, that we can retrain our minds to focus on clarity, on becoming more conscious, or on sustaining awakened states that continually deepen and expand us beyond the restrictive wounds and ideologies that we call “reality”.
This course is five weeks long, but really I should call it a “five segment” course. It is a course that has a lot of material and practices, intended for individual wishing to learn a substantial toolkit that they can take into their lives, either for individual or clinical reasons (to offer to patients, clients, and so forth).
It most importantly goes over the “hows and whys” of meditation. How does meditation offer stress relief? How does meditation improve health, or move us beyond being continually reactive to the world and the people in it? There are basic misunderstandings about meditation that have emerged in this world because of basic misunderstandings in regards to how meditation actually works, and what its purpose is.
The course is a combination of audio, video, and written. Every week a new section of the course will be available. This course is self-paced. There are no specific meeting times or times you need to be available for the course. As a part of this course, students are able to interact with other students through a Facebook group. I am available in that group to answer course-related questions during and after the course. If not on Facebook, the ability to ask course-related questions through the course website is available. As a part of signing up for this course, you are agreeing to the policies and boundaries listed below the course description.
The Five Weeks
Week One: Understand the purpose of meditation, how to meditate, postures and meditation, and typical responses to meditation. How to meditate in the world, how to meditate in a way that balances your individual needs with what is “correct”. Why progressive relaxation is the first meditation that most people should do, what it can offer, and a short and long version of progressive relaxation.
Week Two: Focusing, grounding, and centering. Learn about the true purpose of grounding and centering, how to do it accurately, the purpose of focusing and present moment awareness meditations (with exercises), and the common blocks that prevent people from becoming more self-aware. Learn how and why meditation is “mental training” and how we can retrain what we notice about ourselves, and about reality, to set up different filters and a different experience of reality.
Week Three: Learn about the nature of the breath, how to use it as the “vehicle of consciousness” simply and accurately to move through substantial blockages and lack of flow in the body and life. Learn about boundaries– not just from a psychological and emotional perspective, but also from an energetic-spiritual perspective. How to set up energetic boundaries, how to understand the topic of boundaries with nuance. A discussion of spiritual emergency, or why you hear about people having difficulties with meditation, and what to do about it (hint: blaming meditation is incorrect, people misunderstand how meditation works). Learn to work with breath in a variety of ways and in a variety of scenarios to bring more energy, flow, and vitality into your life.
Week Four: What is self-inquiry? Self-inquiry is understanding our mind, understanding our reasons for being, for examining how and why we react the way we do, and in that, we can change our reactions and interactions. Learn the “ten questions” to ask, how and why we should use self-inquiry, and why enlightened and conscious individuals consider self-inquiry to be pivotal to awakening. Learn about “loops” or repetitive behaviors that arise out of trauma and how to break them down to experience more of our potential, to move beyond simply living out our trauma again and again. Also, a discussion on how meditation leads to clinical and spiritual success, and how meditation leads to clarity and compassion in daily living (and what compassion truly means in a healthy system).
Week Five: Working with our shadows. Learn what shadow work is and how to do it. Awakening in the world offers so much– it offers us the continual opportunity to see what lies unhealed within ourselves “played out” through our projections onto others, through the scenarios we find ourselves in, through what we find ourselves reactive to again and again. Learn about “ocean floor” patterns, or patterns that make up the basis of our reality, and limit who we think ourselves to be. Learn about the “webs” or the true realization of oneness, which is a seeing of ourselves in one another, grounding in our humanity.
Policies for the Course
This course is intended for people who are emotionally stable to do work of substantial depth. If we are drowning in our lives, that is the time to reach out for support, not to take a course that will cause for us to substantially shift our reality and way of being.
This is an adult learning course where people are expected to be at a point of treating others (including fellow students and their teacher) with equanimity and respect.
This course is foundational, meaning that technically anyone can sign up for it. But I would recognize that it is expected that you are at a point of consciousness where you can regard others (their time and energy), and know the impact of your energy on others.
This course is immersive, and it is for people truly interested and ready to do the work. Work like this requires openness, willingness, curiosity and a dash of humility, as well as the sort of stability and conscious awareness already described.
This course requires basic technological knowledge. If there are difficulties in navigating a website, or posting comments, it is expected that you will ask someone in-person to assist you.
This course is to build a specific toolkit. I am happy to assist you in doing so. I do not do healing work, divination work/readings, and am not a therapist. My time is focused on assisting people in developing a substantial toolkit (meditation), and my job as teacher is to point you within to develop awareness and skills– not to tell you what your reality should be, to take your power/be in an unbalanced relationship (guru projection), to be an emotional or energetic dumping ground, or to teach a bunch of unrelated (non-meditation) related things to you.
It is unfortunate that I have to spell such things out, as most of my students are incredible people who are quite considerate of their energy, but being a teacher in this space for a long time, I find it is better to be crystal clear about this, rather than have expectations be out of line with reality.
I am more than happy to assist individuals who are at a point of conscious awareness to develop substantial tools and to navigate the terrain of learning how to meditate.
As a part of this course, it is expected that you are healthy enough to understand that should the need arise, an in-person therapist, bodyworker, or other professional should be reached out to.
Your ability to contact me in this course is limited to either Facebook or the course website. I am not available via Facebook messenger, Skype, Phone, text, and expect that if you contact me via email, that you are in an adult space of brainstorming with me (adult consciousness) rather than expecting me to heal, take on, problem solve, tell you what to do, etc (child consciousness).
If you do become a part of the Facebook community, it is expected that you are mentally healthy enough to know how to treat others with equanimity and respect, that you can see the impact of your energy (no energy vampires, please), that you are not endangering yourself or others, and that you have basic social aptitude to be able to be a successful member of that community. A link to the Facebook group will be given the first week of the course.
If you are not able to be a successful member of the Facebook group, you will be able to ask course-related questions through the website.
The course website when you sign up sometimes on occasion sends an email prior to the course starting (one that says summary or something similar). You can just ignore those emails.
There are no refunds for this course beyond week one. No exceptions.
I am truly excited to teach this course. It has so much material and in presented in a way to get people to really understand meditation, what it can offer, the mechanics behind meditation (why it does what it does), how it can awaken or bring expanded insight and awareness our lives, and meditation as a comprehensive toolkit.
The course is $180 US. Payment for the course can be processed through the course website. If you are having difficulties processing payment, please send me a message and I can send you a direct link to pay via PayPal.
My courses have limited seating and do fill quickly.
If you are a continuing student (you have taken a course with me before) you can scroll down and use the $140 US payment option. This option is only available for prior students.
This course will be offered next in late October 2019. I will post registration in early July for that section.
I would also be aware that I will be teaching an Advanced Trance (Modulating Consciousness) course in January 2020, and the pre-requisite will be this Meditation course.