People’s lives are changed dramatically by coming to these intensives. Their lives become more honest, truthful and free.
In these intensives we explore the paradox of the recognition of your true nature as Life itself, and also the living of that in your daily life. We examine and investigate any concepts, hopes, dreams, fears and assumptions that we may have about this, and in the process we are, more and more, left with the naked and simple truth.
People come for all kinds of reasons. Often it is to wake up out of the dream of thought, and the pain of living like that. Sometimes it is for a confirmation of what they already recognise in their own knowing, or a love of the expression and further investigation. Mostly it is because they want to acknowledge their deepest longing, which is also their deepest fear. Diving into the root of what we fear and long for most, is challenging, but brings such freedom.
What is the format of these intensives?
We have 3 sessions a day with the group. Usually 2 of these are meetings with talks, dialogues and group sharing. These sessions are the space to deeply inquire and investigate, in words, in silence and energetically. The third session can involve another form of exploration involving music, movement or playful art. These sessions are a way of including the body in our investigations, and use play to move a little further beyond our comfort zones. The afternoons are usually free time to reflect, integrate, rest or to take a walk or have a swim. Usually there is an optional morning yoga or Tai Chi session.
We limit the group size to a maximum of 16 people. This is so that everyone gets as much one-to-one support through dialogues and group work, as possible. This small group size creates a sense of intimacy and safety to relax and explore whatever comes up.
Are they silent retreats?
No, and yes… These intensives are about waking up to who you are, and then integrating this into our daily lives. Therefore we usually have silence for the first 3/4 days (in between sessions), and then we start speaking again for the rest of the intensive. The silence encourages a deeper exploration in which you are alone with whatever you are going through. After 3/4 days when we start speaking again, it becomes an opportunity to explore how we are in our interactions with other people. All kinds of old mechanisms and identities get triggered when we are with other people. Being in an intensive is a safe environment to begin to be more aware of how these mechanisms play out, all the while acknowledging our true nature beyond them all.
When we start speaking again, I ask participants not to discuss the content of the meeting sessions outside the meetings, so as to maintain a sense of safety and intimacy within the sessions.
Are the intensives very intense?
Yes. They are not meant for those who wish to just have a taste, or who wish to just play with words and concepts. Throughout the 10 days together we go on a journey, individually, and as a group, where our most fundamental believed-in identity, unravels more and more. For some people this can provoke all kinds of emotions and sensations. Everything is allowed to be here, and everything that happens is another opportunity to explore.
Why 10 days?
I find that 10 days allows time for full immersion into the energy and direct pointing, that undermines the beliefs, assumptions, and old mechanisms of thought. Of course, 10 days is not necessarily enough for some people, but after this, it is good to take a break from the intensity, to discover how we can start to integrate this simple truth into our lives. People are always welcome to come to another 10 day intensive later on.
What if I don’t have a question?
You don’t have to have a specific question in order to attend an intensive. You may discover that you can relate to other people’s questions or sharing and that they may trigger your own. However, I would encourage you to be honest about why you don’t have a question. Some people think that they already know it all, or that the questions they have are not important. These are both areas worth investigating in an intensive.
How do you create an environment where people feel safe to open up?
I ask all the participants to commit to being at the intensive for the whole 10 days and to attend all the sessions and meals together. This creates a sense of safety within the group so that everyone can start to relax together. The groups are generally small numbers, so each person gets a lot of individual attention and support. We usually stay in a beautiful and peaceful place which supports a feeling of intimacy and safety. The daily pointing to who you really are, beyond what you think, provides the real safety to dive deeper into what we truly long for, and fear the most.
Is there any fun at these intensives, or is it all serious?
Although the intensives are intense, they are not all serious. There is nothing that you need to remember or understand. Nothing that the mind needs to get serious about. After a few days the group usually starts to lighten-up, and in response to this we use more light-hearted ways to continue our explorations, such as music, movement and art. The intensives are also an opportunity to meet other ‘like-minded’ people. Often people have made deep and long-lasting friendships at these intensives.
Can I come to just part of the intensive?
No. I ask all participants to commit to coming to the whole intensive and to attend all the sessions, on time. This maintains the group energy that allows us to open up and feel held by the knowledge that these people are all going through the process together. Each member of the group is important in this way, no matter what they are going through.
Do you offer any follow-up support for participants after the intensive?
Yes. For all participants of intensives, I offer a weekly online group session for the following 6 weeks after the intensive. This is to support the integration of what they have discovered in the intensive, into their daily lives.
All participants can join also a secret Facebook group only for those who have participated in these intensives. This is so that participants can continue to share and meet each other after the intensive.