Contemplation isn’t just deep thinking — it is both an art and a skill that can be practiced and improved. To become conscious of something that you were not conscious of before is to expand your experience of being alive. Anything can be the subject for contemplation, and even a small breakthrough is a joyful experience.
In this course you will not only study contemplation itself, but will also take on powerful contemplations to become more conscious of the nature of mind, self, reality, and the experience of your very being. Ultimately we are working to develop skillful contemplation capable of achieving what Zen people call an “enlightenment experience.”
Some participants may achieve this “direct consciousness of the true nature of being,” although such an experience is not guaranteed. Through years of dedicated contemplation I have personally achieved this depth of consciousness and it gives me pleasure to facilitate others in exploring this possibility. Contemplation itself is its own reward, however, and the practitioner is the one who decides how far to take it. All I can do is guide you toward improving the power and effectiveness of your contemplation.
The contemplation we will work on is quite similar to Zen, yet we will not be restricted to any formal posturing or methods. Rather we will set out to directly experience the truth of whatever matter we engage with.
With such profound questioning, mental, emotional, and sometimes even physical barriers may come up as your mind reacts to such confrontation. This is to be expected — simply let it be part of the process. When a deeper consciousness is achieved the barrier will dissolve.
The purpose of the course is to empower you to pursue a deep consciousness about what is true. As you become grounded in the work of questioning and contemplating and become more adept at utilizing the contemplation components, we will progress to deeper and deeper levels of contemplation, moving toward a more direct experience of the nature of Being. Such an undertaking is no light matter — it takes practice and concentration. The good news is that contemplation can be practiced almost anywhere and at any time.
Every week or so you will work on new material and topics, and every day you will have an assignment. Some time will be taken each day to work on contemplating quietly by yourself. But most of the work can be done by learning to contemplate at any time and in any place. No matter how much you may have contemplated in the past, there is always more to learn and deeper to go.
I will be available to answer questions and monitor your progress, and will provide feedback to facilitate your understanding. Your daily contemplation assignments are where the real learning will take place, however, with the goal of either improving your ability to contemplate, or questioning to become conscious of some aspect of your experience of mind, self, being, or reality.
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Duraion: 1 year