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Link to Program Overview   Link to Program method.

Program Description

"One Peaceful World, One Heart at a Time"

The Heartwisdom program is adult education for enhanced emotional intelligence. It calls forth the natural capacities within us and enhances them with skills, knowledge and practices. The grand objective is to empower each individual's to live a rich heart-centred life and to play a vibrant role in the awakening of the Global Heart.

The Program has been set up in four levels, that proceed from the most fundamental through to the most advanced. The levels do not need to be taken sequentially, however if the skills, knowledge and attributes of a more basic level are not present it may impair the ability of the participant to get the greatest benefit from the more advanced work.

Level 1                         Level 2                        Level 3                        Level 4
 


LEVEL 1

Focus
To offer knowledge, skills and to cultivate aptitudes and attitudes that support a strong, healthy and conscious relationship to Self.

Goal
The goal is to cultivate a masterful awareness of basic mental and emotional processes - how we perceive and assimilate information and ascribe meaning to the experiences of our lives. The lens is on the individual Self, but the idea is to connect the student to the universality of these processes as well. Thus helping to connect the individual to their unique manifestation of the process and to see that process in a universal context.

Diagram of the heart-centred cosmos.

Objectives

  • greater understanding of the powers and potentials of the heart
  • understanding the myths and assumption around the workings of the mind
  • fundamentals of identity construction
  • heightened self-esteem through self-compassion
  • authentic response - moving beyond conditioning
  • cultivation of the "witness self"
  • initiating the integration of the shadow
  • awareness of universal human needs and how we compensate for unmet needs
  • introduction of healthy practices that support self-awareness

Duration:
4 full day workshops, typically over a 3 month period.

Dates:
TBA


LEVEL 2

Focus
To offer knowledge, skills and cultivate aptitudes and attitudes that support a strong, healthy and conscious relationship to Others.

Goal
To bring what was achieved in Level 1 into the world of relationships and to expand our skills and capacities to relate lovingly and authentically. Though the focus is on relating to others, it will inevitably at the same time deepen our knowledge of self. This process continues to support the awareness that we are all unique expressions of the same universal experience and deepens the understanding of both.

Photo of participants.

Objectives

  • broaden the definition of love, and deepen understanding of it
  • caring for the opened heart - managing the balance in the "real" world
  • basic relationship knowledge - relationship cycles, modes and interpersonal "systems"
  • proficiency in basic relating skills - communications, authenticity, compassion and boundaries
  • proficiency in higher relating skills - projection, power, mirroring and interdependence
  • understanding the functioning and consequences of morality
  • understanding separation and belonging - the great paradox of the universal/individual
  • higher principles of identity construction - archetypes, personal mythology and interjects
  • introduction of healthy practices that support interaction and relationship

Duration:
4 full day workshops, typically over a 3 month period.

Dates:
TBA


LEVEL 3

Focus
to deepen the understanding of Self and Other through personal inquiry using the wisdom of the chakras as put forth in Eastern Body, Western Mind.

Goal
The goal of this level is to cultivate a deep understanding and appreciation of self and other through studying the system of knowledge outlined in Eastern Body, Western Mind. Further, to apply that system to supporting greater understanding and compassion in relationships. Again the idea of the student studying themselves as a unique expression of universal systems, principles and experiences is fundamental to the integration and application of the learning.

Illustration of the chakra system.

Objectives

  • deep knowledge of personal process
  • understanding the interwoven connections and unity of body, heart, mind and energy
  • strategies for balancing strengths and weakness (chakra excesses and deficiencies)
  • understanding of the chakra system and its relationship to developmental psychology
  • understanding of character structures, how they form and their role in sustaining identity
  • understanding of body energy, charge, discharge, and boundedness
  • understanding of how the chakras, character structure and body energy relate to each other
  • basic body reading; character structure, body energy, boundedness, crumples and splits
  • introduction to understanding trauma
  • comprehensive self-analysis of chakras, character structure, strengths and weaknesses

Duration:
8 full day workshops, typically over a 6 month period.

Dates:
TBA


LEVEL 4

Focus
To inquire into the deeper meaning and mystery of the human experience through spiritual, esoteric and mythic/magic practices and knowledge.

Goal
The goal of this level would be to support the development of a cosmology and belief system that supports a heart-centred life and to cultivate within the individual, meaning, faith, peace and love of life. Further to support the healing of spiritual wounds and illusions that impede a healthy relationship to life and the divine.

Old alchemical illustration.

Objectives

  • cultivate a positive, supportive cosmology
  • loosen the hold of current belief systems and open to new possible world views
  • understand the similarities and differences between human and divine love
  • understand fear and to change the individuals relationship to it
  • deeply explore paradox both as a principle and how it impacts our lives
  • cultivate a felt sense of the love of the cosmos or divine
  • study archetypes, collective consciousness, mythology and personal mythology
  • explore non-conventional wisdom traditions: alchemy, divination, magic and trancework
  • offer practices that support the stated goals

Duration:
4 full day workshops, typically over a 3 month period.

Dates:
TBA


The Method

Each level consists of four full day workshops distributed over a three month period. The intention of this is to provide time for integration, practice and supplemental reading. It has also been found that during the interim periods there has been valuable interactions between members that support growth and learning.

Each full day workshop consists of at least six and a half hours of instruction, practices and experiential exercises, along with a one hour lunch break. Each day begins with a short physical/energetic practice which is chosen to serve the needs of the group on that day (i.e. a focus on grounding, charging or discharging energy, etc.). Following this there are two morning sessions, a lunch break and two afternoon sessions followed by a closing circle. Session lengths vary as needed but no single session runs more than ninety minutes and there are very brief breaks taken as needed between them.

The teaching methods are eclectic with the intention of reaching different learning styles in the group and different aspects within the individual. The focus is experiential and generally relational, though private introspection is also used in the form of meditation, guided visualization and certain movement practices. Forms commonly used include; lecture, demonstration, inter-active and individual questionnaires, dialogue, role-play, art, meditation, breath-work and body movement. These are supported by written and verbal materials, music, video, diagrams, reading lists and coaching.


The Style

The style is learner-centred and respectful, with the needs of the group always being considered before that of the facilitator or the syllabus of the Program. Full and dynamic participation is encourage but within the limits of the individual's capacity to stay safe and secure within their experience. Considering the "comfort zone" of the individual, it is believed growth takes place at its edge - not over it.

The atmosphere of the workshops is informal in structure, with the choice of floor or chair seating in a circle. Dress is casual with yoga or exercise clothes encouraged to support ease of body movement. Lunch and refreshment breaks are flexible within the overall structure of the day.

An overall feeling of caring, respectful intimacy and mutual support is encouraged. The occurrence of intense emotional experiences is supported should it occur, by preparing the group for that possibility ahead of time. Any such incident is processed in the group and firm emotional ground re-established before proceeding to anything else. Overall there is a good deal of laughter and participants say the workshops are fun.


Program Overview

This work assumes four aspects of the human experience, namely; body, heart, mind and spirit. This is an arbitrary splitting of the human experience and is done for the sake of clarity and simplicity it is a model not a literal truth. In this model each aspect is seen as having its own distinct characteristics that are intimately interconnected with the other aspects. One of the characteristics that all four share is that they are each a "seat of wisdom". These seats of wisdom are rich pools of the collective knowledge of our species as it applies to the respective aspect. Generally we're not very aware of this wisdom and a lot of it is either untapped or serves us through unconscious processes.

This program is designed to awaken, evoke and embrace the wisdom of the Heart aspect. In this sense the term Heart covers a lot more than the physical organ. It also covers the energy field the heart generates, the emotions and the unconscious processes of the nervous system and brain. Therefore when mind is referred to here, it specifically means the conscious intellectual processes of the ego-mind the "I" that most individuals identify as themselves.

The focus on the Heart doesn't mean the other seats of wisdom are less important, rather it's intended to address a chronic imbalance in our culture. Since the dawn of the Age of Reason our culture has gradually been devaluing the other aspects of the human experience in favour of reason. This ideal of the supremacy of the rational mind has proved to be very susceptible to corruption by ignorance, confusion and opportunism. Our present era has seen rationalization become almost an art form, with great energy put into convincing ourselves and each other of the rightness of doing whatever it is that serves us, regardless of higher impulses.

While the Path of Heartwisdom values the mind and the capacity of reason highly, it recognizes that to access the potentials of the heart the mind must be mastered. The basic mechanisms of thought need to be consciously understood, the misappropriation of reason addressed, old fallacies corrected and imagined fears put to rest. When this can be achieved we find the heart to be a universally available source of guidance that can be utilized without interpretation by others. It also leads us constantly back to our humanity and a felts sense of unity. There are other sources of wisdom that can be developed 1, but those are usually only successful for the very few who are willing to make great commitment to them, whereas our heart's wisdom is the birthright of everyone and can be readily evoked with a moderate amount of training.

Given the modest effort needed to move along the Path of Heartwisdom, the benefits are huge. For the individual there is a profound liberation on all levels. Freed from illusions, repression and denial the physical aspect enjoys a greater flow of energy. Passion and purpose become accessible allowing us to discover and create the kind of life that we have longed for. Personal relationships become easier, richer and more broadly based with the release of self-hate and the reclaiming of projections. The jewel of the mind is then freed to do its wonderful work of creativity, synthesis and planning. Ultimately, for many, the path is cleared for a more direct and personal experience of the divine.

Given that our world is vexed with war, poverty, social and environmental abuse, can we afford not to cultivate Heartwisdom? Great social, intellectual and spiritual leaders have given their best and still we struggle with ever more complex iterations of old problems and the discovery of new ones. This will only change significantly when we deepen collectively into our hearts' wisdom. It is each individuals task and duty to take responsibility for their own development and thereby the creation of the new world order. This program is intended to support and guide individuals throuth the early stages of the dawn of the Global Heart and a whole new way of relating to Self, Other, Nature and the Divine.

1 There is great power in our spiritual potential, but it is very challenging to develop it to the level where it's consistently useful in daily life. Also very often individual spirituality is subsumed in a religion, and while religion may have benefits it is an entity with its own needs which puts it at odds with the individual. Chief among these needs is for self-perpetuation through authority which asks that the individual put aside personal cultivation of spiritual wisdom in favour the dogma of the hierarchy. The mind as mentioned is also susceptible to corruption by unmet needs, indoctrination and neurosis. The deep mysteries of the body and its huge potential of wisdom are really only available to the yogis and other dedicated practitioners.

 

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