The point of our course together is not to get anywhere, not about reaching a goal, not about counting the sessions off nor is it about “completing” the course.The point is the processes you go through, the experiences you feel, the insights you gain about yourself. This is what is going to make a difference to you.
So, how is the course set out? As you can see from the outline it is in four parts with the fourth one being rather open ended…
This first part includes observing your body, your thoughts, your emotions and your wholeness. Learning to focus your attention and relax into yourself.
This second part includes breath awareness, body awareness, using words to stop words, physical objects and visualisation.
In meditation we endeavour to be fully engaged in the moment, in what we are doing without any judgement. We bring our attention either to a physical activity or, more easily, to an object such as our breath or our body. A range of such ‘anchors’ is offered – each of which I hope will be the focus of attention daily for one week. In doing this you will build up your concentration ‘muscle’. As you do this your mind will begin to realise that you are starting to take charge and it will then trust you more. You will then start to think and act less on automatic pilot. Some of the anchors will fit you better than others but give them all a go.
This maybe as far as you wish to go. That is, of course, fine and a daily practice which focuses on an anchor will bring great benefits to you.
Quite a few people who have tried out this course and stopped here have developed a practice which is first thing in the morning and last thing at night for about 10/15 minutes each. Some stay here for a few weeks and then move onto the next stage, some stay with here quite contently. Do whatever feels right for you.
These sessions aim to show you how to focus on healing yourself and healing others who may be in need using powerful visualisations. This can be a truly rewarding time and some people use their skills daily in this endeavour. Do not expect overnight miracles though!
This last part of the course is the ‘nourishing’ phase.
For some people there may be some difficult times here but remember, through difficulties people grow – so persevere with it. These sessions will generally follow this pattern:
This nourishing phase can be undertaken however you wish but it seems most effective when you allow one week per topic. This allows time for the relationship between the topic and you to be fully teased out and explored. I would also recommend that you allow a week in between topics to revisit a meditation practice daily for the week. This could be focusing on your breath or any other anchor that works well for you. Perhaps twice daily if possible – but even a few minutes a day would be great. This pattern seems to be most effective as it allows you time to recover almost between topics.
The topics offered for consideration are wide-ranging – their aim, remember, is for you to gain a greater clarity of insight of yourself, to nourish yourself, to move yourself mentally, emotionally and spiritually towards being more fully you, towards who you could be. To be frank, I hope you find them life-enhancing.
Let me offer one example concerning you and the end of the world. After talking a little about how try we are to our true natureI might ask the following questions and allow several minutes between each for your contemplation.
I hope you gain and I am sure you will gain, great benefit from the course and assure you that it may not always be the easiest of rides but it will be most definitely worth persevering with it.