What You’ll Learn
While waking up out of our limiting egos is a liberating first step on the awakening journey, it is in honouring all the parts of ourselves that we fully embody our innate wholeness. Over the course of ten days, we will cultivate the skills necessary to welcome all the disowned parts of ourselves. We will begin by resourcing ourselves for the waking down journey: connecting with our True Self, cultivating presence, discovering our innate peace, grounding in the body and opening to the infinite capacity of the heart. Next, we will meet and transform our neglected selves. We will end by exploring tools for bridging the gap between our practice and everyday life.
Lesson 1: Connecting With Our True Self
The first essential tool on the waking down journey is discovering who we really are. By getting acquainted with our true selves, we will create the space necessary to meet all of our disowned voices. While moving from identification with ego to consciousness is a gift of grace, we can make ourselves grace prone by practicing the ancient art of self-inquiry. Who are we when we are not thinking ourselves into existence? By systematically releasing false identities, we will connect with our eternal true nature. We will abide as primordial awareness itself and grow intimate with the silent mystery which pervades all being.
Lesson 2: Cultivating Presence
It is difficult to meet our shadow selves if we are not first in touch with our innate wholeness. In this lesson, we will connect with the physical embodiment of our essential nature: the alive field of presence in our body. How does the body experience the mystery that we are? Through guided meditation, we will awaken our inner presence field and connect with the three presence signatures of the body: the clear, awake space in our head, the overflowing warmth in our heart and the radiant darkness of our belly.
Lesson 3: Embracing Effortless Effort
Meditation is where we establish the skills necessary to meet our disowned selves. Yet our practice can easily devolve into another act of doing, driving us further from our natural state. Where is the peace we seek before we go looking for it? Do we really need rigid meditative techniques to rest as our true selves? By allowing the meditator to fully relax, we will unravel the revelatory implications of these questions. As we let go of effort and control, we invite spaciousness to open up and allow presence to emerge as our natural, uncontrived state.
Lesson 4: Grounding In The Earth
By letting consciousness dissolve into the body, we receive the fullness of its nourishing support. We will learn to anchor presence in the body to counteract our default tendency to be swept up in limiting mental beliefs. By cultivating a somatic receptivity and grounded readiness, we will prepare to meet any neglected selves that arise.
Lesson 5: Opening To The Infinite Nature Of The Heart
After grounding awareness in our body, we may become more sensitized to the shadow parts of ourselves. Where can we find the capacity to be with these hurt inner voices? By dropping the numbness, armouring, tension and pain over our heart, we discover an infinitely spacious openness at its centre, capable of holding all of experience. We get out of the way and allow the love that we are to embrace all the parts of ourselves.
Lesson 6: Making Our Descent
Having resourced ourselves with the necessary tools for our journey, it is time to make our descent. We will incorporate a distillation of key somatic therapy principles into five simple steps we can take anytime we are in emotional distress. In this lesson, we will welcome our disowned parts by shifting our perspective from being the one who is caught in distress to being the conscious awareness which can hold it.
Lesson 7: The Flame Of Transmutation
In this lesson, we will introduce our third powerful practice for meeting our disowned selves: placing a gentle hand on where it hurts. When we do this, we bring an available quality of “having dinner” with our shadow selves. We will then use the tools of presence and grounding to sense our pain and describe its felt experience in the body.
Lesson 8: Clearing Away The Ashes
We are ready now to introduce our fifth and final step for emotional healing: allowing our infinite heart to touch our pain. When our disowned parts receive this flow of compassion and understanding, their thirst is finally quenched. We can feel them opening up and receiving what they have been longing for.
Lesson 9: Honouring Our Inner Child
When our shadow selves are not met, they can go underground and become saboteurs. One of our most neglected selves is our inner child. The child we once were lives in the subconscious as images and can be healed through visualization. In this lesson, we will unearth and reprogram the innocent and mistaken conclusions we came to as children and practice showing up for our younger selves as the wise, loving adults we needed.
Lesson 10: Reflecting Back On Our Journey
In our final session, we will reflect back on our journey and synthesize our practice into a toolkit to use whenever we are in distress. We will explore practical tips such as breath work, belief inquiry and affirmations to bridge the gap between our waking down journey and daily life. We will also explore the balance between resting in our true nature and doing our emotional processing work. Having reconnected with our previously disowned selves, we will celebrate and radiate the fullness of our true being.