"Intimacy: Not two, not one"
~ September 2017 - March 2018 ~
Waking up to what is
a 6-month online course with Jaya
Nonduality, connection and stillness back to "Online Courses"
Falling into contact with life, and staying.
We will discover and experience non-separation--intimacy-- in and beyond the interpersonal realm, and especially in meditation and in ecology or "place." Other themes include creativity, communication, collaboration, sensuality, relationship, and deep Dharma. The themes interweave, as the course is not a linear project.
Each month will attend to a theme, while also leaving room for what organically arises in our ongoing dialogs and practice.
I will give a live video talk and a live video meditation each month, with occasional more spontaneous video “open office” hours. (You can also listen to the audio recording later.)
We will also enjoy teachings from guest teachers during this course--optional talks and question-and-answer sessions by a different guest teacher about once a month from October onwards.
Some information about the guest teachers is here.
Application for this course is open to anyone who has done a retreat with me. back to top
Scholarships are available.
April-June, 2018: There will be an optional flow-on for those who are interested in continuing the course for an additional 3 months.
Our core practices will rest on the basis of "enoughness"--the "yes" and the "no" of enoughness.
Yes. What if we are already enough--good, and enough, and good enough-- to be here, to belong, to be ourselves, and to be free? What if aliveness is rich enough, and our human tenderness sensitive and open enough for life?
And no. What if --along with this "ultimate enoughness"-- we don't need to try do everything all the time? What if we can also feel our way to say "no, enough," in relative reality, to busy-ness? No-- even to too much meditation.
In touch with "enoughness," the alarm system relaxes. And what is left, when alarm is gone?
What happens when we are not caught up in the sense of "not enoughness?"
Intimacy. Nonduality. A beautiful, intense and peaceful waking up to what is.
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There are 3 levels of participation to choose from.
All participants can join the live monthly Dharma talks and guided meditations.
Check out the list of recommended reading here. Don't worry--it's not required.
You may want to combine any level of participation with meditation months--simply meditating together once or twice a week to support each other's daily practice.
1) Minimal participation—you can be more passive if you want, and just receive the recordings of monthly talks and meditations. Or you can contribute in an online forum with insights, puzzles, and inspirations. If you cannot commit the time to the more intensive participation, the minimal level of participation allows you to be completely on your own schedule but still part of the field of discovery and depth of the online course.
2) Intensive participation—includes monthly meetings in a small group. The small group meetings are the heart of the online course, and make it come alive in a way that a passive experience may not do. The small group is also what makes this online course different from a big anonymous pre-recorded course: with the simplest of tools, such as listening and silence and meeting, there often emerges an unusual and transformative honesty, synergy, companionship, and sacredness.
Commitment and “showing up” is very important for those who participate intensively. Group members can independently help each other get there early and on time. Missing meetings will initiate reassessment of participation.
In my experience of offering online meditation courses over the last 8 years, I notice that just being together in the most simple ways is enough to allow magic to happen.
There is also a chance to share and dialog with Jaya and other participants between meetings—written, visual or recorded insights, experiences, questions, etc.
For scheduling the small group meetings, we had hoped to offer a range of predetermined dates and times for you to schedule around. However, the circumstances that would have supported this system are no longer available. We will try to shape and then schedule groups according to the times you enter on your application form.
3) "Dharma leadership intensive” participation—includes everything from the other levels, such as a monthly small group meeting, and the welcome to meet with Jaya one-to-one. (Please read in the intensive level about the small groups.)
In this level we will also play with several new ways to engage life and the community.
See below the proposed projects in ecology, connection, and creativity.
Being more engaged in these ways-- ways that bring both alignment and creative disorientation--can give more chance to fall in touch with "what is."
Which is very fun.
Please remember that the whole point of this course is for us to awaken to and in what is.
If you love assignments and structure, then you may love the projects below.
If you want more fluidity, or if you want to do a lot in only one of the 3 areas below, then please feel free to propose your ideas to me.
I have a lot of room for your ways of being yourselves.
Or if you simply prefer less structure and/or time commitment, then please apply for one of the other levels of participation.
You are also welcome to bring in a project that you are already into, such as writing a book or creating a series of paintings.
~Ecology: Starting and nurturing an eco- project of your heart's desire. Is there some eco-something you have always dreamed of doing? From building a solar fruit dryer, to focusing in the garden, social action, education, or even research that could support and participate in Dharmaloca or other eco-communities.
We sometimes use the word "ecology" as if it is an extra, optional subject or hobby.
In "Intimacy" we will find ourselves always in the midst of it--in a place, among creatures and qualities and forces at play, meeting and being met, at home.
~Connection: 15 minutes of “inquiry” each week with someone else in the intensive leadership forum.
This inquiry could take the form of what I have occasionally offered on retreats-- person A asks B, “What is love?” or “What is it that sees?” Then person B responds for 7 minutes. Then the roles reverse.
Or participants may wish to meet in groups of 2 or more for writing, doodling while listening to a podcast, etc. Your proposals are welcome, or you can just follow the practice of questioning and listening.
The practice is to be in a meditative interpersonal space each week.
Connection with other people is another fact and need of life that we need but can easily tend to think of as a separate "department"--as in, "here is me in my life and there are my relationships, which I do well or badly." We often think of famous people, such as Henri Matisse, as if they created their art alone--and yet Matisse had a team in his family and secretary, without whom he would not have managed to confront either the practical or the personal challenges the art called for.
Like all mammals and all of life, we are individuals and we are made to resonate with others. How can we allow a new kind of "team" to form that is not based on wife and children supporting husband?
These weekly practices are meant to give us all the chance to tune into more diverse threads of connection-- steadily and deliberately opening to the intelligence and nourishment that can come through in a meditative interpersonal space.
~Creativity: A few minutes each day of “notebook time” for playing with a range of specific exercises I will suggest. In a notebook dedicated to the course, we will also do a 2-minute exercise to start the small-group meetings. No artistic talent required. The type of exercise can adapt to each person and/or group. But the commitment is essential.
Like a tide it comes in,
wave after wave of foliage and fruit,
the nurtured and the wild
out of the light to this shore.
In its extravagance we shape
the strenuous outline of enough.
The organizational costs include donations (on your behalf) to the organizer and guest teachers, as well as payments for the online platform and internet. To cover these costs, we ask participants to pay an initial deposit, and then the remainder of the course fee at the beginning, middle or end of the course (September 15, December 15 or March 15).
We like to give you lots of flexibility about the costs.
All these payments are on a suggested sliding scale.
Scholarships are available from Open Dharma (please write to the course organizer).
And, at the same time, we need to be able to do the course accounts, particularly to plan the invitations to guest teachers.
That's why we ask you to pledge (commit and tell us) now at the beginning how much you will give and on which date. To make this easier for all of us, we have just added this to the application form.
The amount or timing of your "remainder payment" will obviously not affect your application in any way--we just need the information for planning.
deposit $50-100 (43-85 Euros)
remainder is up to you and very welcome
~Intensive AND Dharma leadership intensive participation:
deposit $75-150 (65-130 Euros)
remainder $100-500 (85-425 Euros)
None of the course fee goes to Jaya. As usual, she is offering her teachings, organizing work and facilitation on a completely donation basis. As you know, she lives entirely on gifts like yours to pay for travel to visit family, taxes, school fees, food and clothes for herself and her family, and so on. You are welcome to support her work any time, or set up a monthly payment. Information and links are here.
In the online application form, one of the things we ask you to:
~ write a few lines to introduce yourself to your section of the course, and
~ share a half-page more of simple writing --I would love for each person to write 10-20 lines starting with a phrase such as "Hello" or "thank you" or "good-bye" (or whatever phrase you like)--partly inspired by Padraig O'Tuama's "Hello" poem below. (He talks to his life and God; you are obviously free to go with your own words and path.) Simple is good; spontaneous is good--don't be perfectionist.
If you are accepted to the course, we will send you the access codes to the online platform where you can post your introduction.
How to apply
~ Please apply by the 10th of September.
~We will let you know if you are accepted to the course by the 15th of September. The course begins on the 15th.
~ If you are accepted, we will let you know how to send your payment by the 20th of September (earlier if you have been accepted earlier than the 15th).
~ Once your payment is received, we will send you the access information and codes for the online platforms.
From the 15th of September we will initiate the course, so you are very welcome to register early. You will have more time to complete the process, and you won't miss anything.
..So every morning I sit, I kneel, waiting, making friends with the habit of listening, hoping that I’m being listened to...I say hello to my chaos, my unmade decisions, my unmade bed, my desire and my trouble...I recognise and greet my burdens, my luck, my controlled and uncontrollable story. I greet my untold stories, my unfolding story, my unloved body, my own love, my own body. I greet the things I think will happen and I say hello to everything I do not know about the day. I greet my own small world and I hope that I can meet the bigger world that day. I greet my story and hope that I can forget my story during the day, and hope that I can hear some stories, and greet some surprising stories during the long day ahead. I greet God, and I greet the God who is more God than the God I greet.
Hello to you all, I say, as the sun rises above the chimneys of North Belfast.