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Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by ali56, May 15, 2012.

  1. samsaraspath

    samsaraspath Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks Mr. Monkey, and Polyanna, for your comments as well.

    I will try to rough this out a bit more in my head, going on the information you provided as a starting point.

    I have to ask though: isn't "that which observes" still just your mind? What I mean is, (and it could just be my over-active synapsi) I can't have "the errant thought" and think "That was an errant thought" at the same time.

    One stops while the other is 'experienced." For me, usually, the "errant thought" ("WOW! Can s/he actually be that stupid") is quickly followed by "that was not very compassionate. How do you know how her/his life got them to there?" which is right quickly followed by: "Sure, but no one ever took that into consideration for me, and s/he *DOES* look pretty damn stupid."

    And on and on and on the arguement goes. My point being, though, that both can't occur at the same time - for me at least.

    So is my "that which observes" still in there somewhere, watching my"self" argue with my"self"?
     
  2. samsaraspath

    samsaraspath Member

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    enough for now

    While I was replying to Mr. Monkey and Pollyanna your reply came up Giles.

    That sits a bit easier with my ego, so I'm not sure if I should accept it! lol.

    That'll do for now... back in a day or two.

    Thanks all.... it's greatly appreciated.

    ps. I started into Buddhism a while back, but quickly dropped it due to the heavy use of angels and spirits and demons. Same with Christianity, and all the others I looked at (about 10-12 years ago) and gave it up as a bunch of superstitious mumbo-jumbo.

    I find it VERY difficult to give any credence to people who claim to see and hear things which don't exist. Perhaps it is arrogance. Perhaps it is part of what hinders me. But untill I see one, or one talks to me - they just do not exist.

    What I need to do (on reflection on that last paragraph) is quit throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    Judge no philosophy by its abuse.

    yada, yada. Anyway, thanks again all... time to digest some of this.
     
  3. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Did you investigate Advaita Vedanta as well ?
     
  4. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Thanks Giles :)

    No worries, actually in a way I should be thanking you because this is a good way for me to explore/examine/test my own outlook/perspective.

    Yup it is, I thought it might make things initially seem too complicated/confusing, but Giles managed to get the point across. The mind is helpful tool but also it’s a bit power hungry. Rather than just be a faithful servant it wants to rule the roost, which is why I guess it builds/supports/feeds the ego, so it can attempt to control the person.

    I think you’re thinking here that the observing mind will point something out to you and give you guidance in a sequential way, a bit like a helpful guide. This isn’t really the case, the observing mind is what everything occurs within.

    I still get thoughts like “Arrrgggghh, that bloke is a **&^%!” with the accompanying feeling of anger, but I can sometimes observe or ‘detatch’ from it and watch it, rather than start swinging random haymakers about. That’s not to say the anger magically disappears and that the thought isn’t to some extent accurate, but this way I have a choice in how I react. I can exercise or something to get rid of the adrenaline and just let the thought go.

    I thought I’d throw in a couple of analogy’s as they tend to help me:
    • Imagine you’re the spectator watching the game, you can’t see yourself, but you have a choice to become emotionally engrossed in the game or objectively observe it.
    • If your thoughts were written in ink, your observing mind would be the piece of paper they were written on, it experiences both the word and the space between and around them.

    Similar too above, in that you expect the observing you to intervene and say “Oi! Stop being naughty”, this isn’t the case. The observer is simply the space in which ALL thoughts occur (otherwise how would be aware of them?). It won’t tell you what’s right or wrong, good or bad – it just lets you be aware of how you are reacting. In this case they seem to just be judgements/thoughts appearing in your consciousness/awareness – it seems your mind is trying to get you to buy into your ego by claiming someone is stupid (so of course you MUST be better!).

    Also, I know you mentioned you weren’t keen on religion and there are aspects I’m not too keen on, but to write off all the teachings is probably a touch baby out with bath water… Dig out a few clips of Tolle and Mooji on Youtube, they don’t shove anything at you and if there not your cup of tea, just stop watching, no biggy. ET tends to guide/talk you though things, Mooji seems more about helping people explore themselves. These are two guru’s that resonate with me, but there are many others around, Jeff Foster comes to mind but have a look for non-duality on youtube and you’ll probably get a raft of stuff.

    Right, enough from me for a while, I’ve been hitting my keyboard that much recently its almost in tears :eek: :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  5. samsaraspath

    samsaraspath Member

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    @Mr. Monkey. Thanks for that explanation, but I'm still not quite clear on the whole observer/Ego thing. It's pro'ly just me looking for more than there is... already "convinced" that I'm not going to get it kind of thing.

    Near as I can tell, Ego is just a way of saying "the undisciplined mind" or "the animal brain" or (no offense, lol) "my monkey mind," and "that which observes" is the same thing, but disciplined.

    Or - more accurately - the Ego lives and operates (and for most (99.99%?)people) at the level of the more primitive (lizard portions of) brain, and that which observes (still the brain, still all part of my mind) is the higher-functioning portions (cerebreal cortex???) of the brain.

    For most people - though all are capable - that higher (not to make "me" better, just to distinguish the two; higher meaning closer to the outside of the brain) portion is either never heard, is ignored, or whatever.

    Is that (more) acurate?

    @Edwin: Nope, don't recall even seeing those words, let alone studying it. Did the 3 main (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) as well as Buddhism, N.A. Indian tradtions (not all - most are the same or very, very similar anyway) and took a very brief glance at Hinduism.

    All those "fathers" of their respective religions/perspectives spent a lot of time talking to burning bushes, snakes, many headed and armed demons..... sorry, but 'till I have some evidence, it is all Saturday morning cartoon stuff to me.

    We allow our children to outgrow the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause for a reason.... they ain't real.

    Gave up at that point and dismissed religion as a means of finding any solace from my issues. Just returned recently to Buddhism, as it rang truest (the whole "go ahead and test it for yourself" caveat beat the others hands-down even with the Gods and demons thrown into the mix) in a re-attempt to find some escape from the (pain? anger? humilliation? hurt? saddness? depression? AvPD? etc., etc., etc.) which was all exacerbated by the recent (Dec. 12, 2011) departure from my life of the woman I thought I'd die next to in bed 40 years from now.

    And now I've got to run. Reality is rearing its ugly head - I've got to go put a new gas-pump in a friends Car.

    Thanks again to all of you. Please excuse the (most assuredly unmistakable) frustration which was leaking through in my earlier writings despite my best intentions.

    yeah....

    best intentions...

    ...still not "good enough" to suit me.

    Meh. Maybe it wasn't my best.
     
  6. samsaraspath

    samsaraspath Member

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    No Babies!!!??? (Ego shrieks)

    Yeah... I'm (Ego) a little weird:

    Two thoughts that have been running in my (not Ego??) head off and on all day while I (Ego) worked:

    1.) If the ideal is to form no attachments at all, then how does one (assuming that one has reached the ideal) find a wife? If you haven't reached the ideal, would you then even want to contemplate a (romantic) relationship, as this would be an attachment?

    As much and all as I (Ego) have stated over and over and over again since December: "I (Ego) will NEVER open myself that much again," the idea of not being able to experience that kind of love again scares the hell out of me(Ego.)

    (So.... apparently I (Ego) do have plans, in the back of my (Ego) head somewhere, to open myself (not Ego??) that much again.... fool that I (Ego) am.... kidding... sorta. Not today though.)

    In some ways, even though the ideal says that a perfect love for all would be there, that somehow (to my Ego, I (Ego) guess) seems to cheapen romantic love. There would be no more emotion behind what you felt for your wife then there would be for a complete stranger.... somehow that seems wrong (to my Ego, my Ego guesses.)

    So if the whole planet reached the ideal, would we just run around, procreating with every/anyone, or would humanity die from lack of babies?

    Yes, an unlikely extreme.... but absurd differences help me (not Ego??) work out stuff.

    2.) I'm (Ego??) splitting hairs (to kind of poke fun), but I (Ego) think it was Mr. Monkey who mentioned playing sports, and being completely unaware of future/past etc., while he played. This can't be, or the ball would hit you in the face every time it was kicked your way... you'd not anticipate where it was going to be as you wouldn't be planning for the future. lol.

    Ps. The whole (Ego) (not Ego??) thing is to remind/teach myself (not Ego?? or dissolving Ego??) to be aware that there is a difference, and to look for it.
     
  7. olmate

    olmate Member

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    Interesting discussion.

    The difficulty I have found with labels like "ego" earlier in my journey is trying to really grasp exactly what and where this thing was and how to recognize its influence. I think you made a similar observation about terminology in many religions.

    For my 2 cents, I found adopting a mindset of seeking to expand awareness seems to cut through a lot of the labels and attaching meanings. By just being curious in a non-judgemental way and noticing in a focused way has helped me greatly to become significantly more self aware. Mmmmm, self aware across a spectrum of strengths, weaknesses, areas I was blind to and even new insights to areas that I thought I knew intimately.

    A particular insight was into emotional responses which relentlessly roll in like surf against a break wall. Working through these through increasing awareness and concentrating on being has chipped away at the dross and trivia that has coated my very being all of this life (and some would say many other life times - but I am still working through that idea).

    As these things fall away, the reality of Love becomes more and more apparent. The seemingly self imposed boundaries between love for self and being a part of a greater Love emerges.

    I guess like me sitting in a class room being taught the theory of swimming - all of the information is all very well and good but its not until I actually dive into the water that the real learning starts.

    Nothing but the best...

    Olmate
     
  8. samsaraspath

    samsaraspath Member

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    Not willing to take a stab at my "non-attachment = no babies" question?

    And what do you do if you seem to have lost directions to find the pool?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  9. olmate

    olmate Member

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    Hey, I live on a big island... there is water everywhere...

    The non-attachment -no baby issue... mmm I would characterize it more along the line of evolving the level of maturity of relationships. For me and the path I walk... letting go of attachment actually adds significant depth to relationships of all forms including close intimate relationships.

    You see, we all operate within volitional freedom. Each decision we make has consequences - seen and unseen. As I let go of attachments, the nature of relationships seems to evolve to one where unconditional Love is the glue for the relationship in contrast to the long list of "things" that seemed important to me when I was a lot younger.

    Not being attached still allows me to make decisions about anything. The motivation that underpins the decision however is vastly different now. Sooooo, if I choose with someone I love intimately to have a baby or marry or buy a house or go dancing or whatever, .... I choose.

    Does that make sense? Being non-attached does not mean you cannot make decisions... volitional freedom carries no attachment. The rational for the decision may change, but the act of deciding continues in freedom with or without attachment.

    Directions to the pool... just walk East, or South, or North or West. Sooner or later water appears. :)

    Olmate
     
  10. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    I agree. Also whilst getting the concepts etc is important, in a funny way not worrying about how much of the ‘theory’ I understand enables me to relax and become more aware of the space within which things take place, rather than try to consistently watch myself to make sure I am doing things ‘right’. This then seems to deepen my understanding on some level – weird s**t!

    I agree, this one has me stumped too – somewhere on another thread I raised this and no-one suggested any ‘solution’ as such, so for the time being I’ve just let it drift, maybe the answer will become apparent later down the line.? :confused:

    Judging by the rocketing population growth on this planet; seems like the 2nd one is not really a worry…. I get where you coming from though, but take a look at the animal kingdom. They just get an urge from time to time and follow it up; they seem to manage to keep a reasonable population balance (perhaps with the exception of those which humans hunt…).

    Hey! Yeah, I got hit in the face a fair bit….still do when I play these days…. But that more due to my ‘inadequate skill level’ (some people phrase it a bit more bluntly, lol) than my past and future majestically disappearing!

    Time still existed whilst I played football; I was reacting to the game within it. But when the ball slapped into my hairy chops, I didn’t stop and wail “Whhhhyyyy meeee, itsss sooooooo unfairrrr!”, I just got on with the game. I may have learnt something along the way (store in mind “use hands not face when in goal” :rolleyes:), but I didn’t turn the event into either a past dwelling on “poor me got hit in the face, isn’t that sad” or a future projection “oh no, I may get hit in the face again, isn’t that a worry”. I just accepted life at that moment, reacted to the moment, learnt something, got on with life at no point did my ego get to project itself into the past or future.

    I’m sure you get the idea, in essence, you can spend your time NOW either living in the now, experiencing the NOW, reacting in the now and accepting everything in it. Or you can create a projection of the past/future and generate feelings from those projections depending on whether you view them as good or bad.

    You don’t need directions, you were born in it and you can’t get out of it. So the issue isn’t finding the pool, it realising you’re in it. This type of response used to drive me (well, ahem, my mind ;)) nuts too :mad: :D.

    Whilst it may help you out, there is feeling to me that the mind might be trying to catch the mind. I think what you ideally want to get to is what is behind the thoughts, rather than adding more thoughts to what is already there, if that makes sense.


    Cheers, Paul
     
  11. samsaraspath

    samsaraspath Member

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    an update

    Since all your wonderful advice and suggestions, I've found myself a life-skills coach, am maintaining a semi-regular schedual of meditation, and today have been completely over-whelmed with the number of "insights," stuff that still makes me want to slap my egoic forhead and say: "DOH!"

    Stuff that made absolutely no sense; stuff I felt there was no way sane people were thinking this stuff (sorry... but some of it seemed WAAAAY out-there and entierly incomprehensible) now seems like logic a four year old could get.

    The funny part is: in most cases, they do!

    The gratitude I feel right now makes me want to burst into tears - the Ego's still keeping the tear ducts turned off, for now - and that's ok. My Ego's going to be there for a good, long time - and that's ok.

    And for the first time in decades I realise - silly as it may seem - that emotion can't hurt you.

    From the bottom of my heart... even if I forget this moment tomorro... thank you.

    (whooops. There go the tears.)

    *correction: My Ego **MAY** be there for a good, long time.
    *correction: ...for the first time in decades I *REMEMBER* that emotion can't hurt you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012
  12. samsaraspath

    samsaraspath Member

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    I'm fricken amazing!

    Yeah... Ego all over that title. Be that as it may...

    A cousin just sent me a question about being frustrated with trying to meditate and feeling nothing was happening. I explained it like this, without even thinking about it:

    You can't "feel" anything happening when you brush your teeth, either.

    The quickest way to benefit from meditation is to just do it like you'd brush your teeth.

    You have the intention to meditate (or brush your teeth) and it is a routine. You don't bother to think of all the benefits you'd get from meditating (or brushing your teeth.)

    When you brush in the morning, do you first - before getting the toothpaste out - stop to think about the fact it will prevent cavities? Give you a nice smile? Freshen your breath? All of those things?

    Of course you don't. Nor should you with meditation. Don't look for a sparkling mental smile. Don't look for a brain free of cavities. Just get out the brush and scrub your brain (meditate.)

    Yeah, easier said than done. But apparently that is the key. Do it as a routine. Look for nothing, and trust that the benefits will be there.

    In an amazingly short time, it's working for me.
     
  13. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Hi Samsaraspath,

    Happy Days :)

    Nice to know you now realise we’re not all nutbars and crazy folk on this forum ;) :D. Well I guess its either that or you've turned into a nutbar during the last couple of days :eek: :D

    I jest of course, I appreciate some stuff seems like it stretching the rational/comprehensible at first, but I think it’s the same for most people. Also it’s natural to have some degree of scepticism; in fact it’s a good thing as it helps to prevent you being taken for a ride. But sometimes an outlook can be so rigid it’s self-sustaining, the outlook only allows what it deems ‘right’ and rejects anything that contravenes it, which just creates a self-limiting perspective. It seems you’ve been able to step outside that and look at things from a different viewpoint, for me (and it seems you) that can only be seen as a positive thing.

    What I find interesting is that (I can only assume of course) you had an underlying feeling/sense which made you come to this site (and the other sites you mentioned) and engage with people (which at the time) you thought were talking some pretty odd stuff and your mind was shouting “Whoop, whoop – Nutbar WARNING, whoop, whoop”. But this same underlying feeling led you to continue dialogue on the forum again even though your brain was still shouting “does not compute”.

    So there must be something underneath/behind the thoughts…. Because in a way; you found your way to this site despite your thoughts/outlook rather than because of them/it…. Just throwing it in the mix; might be something to ponder during a quiet moment. :confused: ;)

    I know what you’re saying, for me emotional pain can still be felt but you now know that it is transient and you are not part of it, it is not you, it will pass. This is just as true for thoughts, thoughts are not you, they are something that drift in/out of your consciousness/awareness. When this clicks it can be quite a comforting realisation.

    If it’s possible I’d suggest it would be worth making it regular, rather than semi-regular (even if it’s only 5 min on some occasions). I believe it’s better to do a little regularly that a lot but on an adhoc basis.

    Absolutely, and your post had a strikingly similar dental theme to this analogy, for me both stand up well.
    Mental Flossing

    What a difference a few days can make ;), maybe something to consider the next time you start getting a bout of the “You’re not getting this fast enough” thoughts, sometimes your closer than you think.

    When I saw the initial couple of posts from you I wasn’t sure how open you’d be to change (or even the possibility of it), but it sounds like a new journey in your life may have started and I wish you well on it, but do go easy on yourself. A great analogy I read from another member (Itlandm) which has stuck with me is “No one ever helped a plant grow by pulling on it”, simple, yet so true.

    Good luck, happy travelling :)
     
  14. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    That's absolutely wonderful, I love your analogy and agree whole heartedly. I was searching for a post I made a long time ago about just being consistant and trusting the results will come. Unfortunately I couldn't find it. When I first began meditating with LifeFlow, that's exactly what I did. I didn't analyse and just accepted whatever happened.

    Noticing changes (big or small) in your daily life is the wonderful reward you receive for your commitment. The sub-conscious mind is an amazing tool for us and helps us so much and so too is the state of meditation. I am truly thankful for both and here's an example why:-

    As I went to bed on Saturday evening I noticed I had not left the small light on in the hall window as I always do. On Sunday morning, I came out of my bedroom with a cup of coffee in my left hand and as I stepped down one of the stairs I also greeted my dog who sleeps outside our bedroom. Somehow (I think because the usual light was missing) I missed my step and within a flash, realising I was going to fall down the stairs sideways, let my cup go, grabbed around the top rails with my right hand which slammed the inside of the top of my arm into the top posts. This stopped me falling down the stairs and for this I am greatful to the instant reaction of my sub-conscious mind :)

    Amazingly my cup did not break, although coffee was all over the white wall and stairs. This is only a tiny incident I know, but before I began meditating, I would have gone straight to clean up the mess. Instead I made another cup, enjoyed it and then proceeded to clean up the coffee.

    The wall still has lots of coffee marks on it so will paint it when I am painting the front gates in a couple of weeks. Until then, it can remind me how thankful I am that I didn't end up with any broken bones, just a big bruise that will be gone in a few days :)

    The sub-conscious mind reminds me of a humoungous filing system. So many of the files help me tremendously on a day to day basis. Some files are useless and a few are detremental or corrupt. Meditation allows the detremental/corrupt ones to be pulled out and replaced with new creative ones.

    Life is really amazing when you can master both of these. I wish you an abundance of peace and joy on your journey of self-discovery :) :) :)
     
  15. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Yep, I've always come from the skeptical side myself, but the proof is in the pudding as the saying goes. These moments of enlightenment arise from time to time and take us by surprise. So... we may come across of odd freakos speaking some really waaaay out stuff to some people, but that's only because they haven't eaten the pudding yet. ;)

    You're welcome.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  16. olmate

    olmate Member

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    As they say - ships are safe in harbour - but that is not what they are built for...

    Bon voyage
     
  17. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Can you recommend any good books/websites for a beginner? Or even better any DVD's or Youtube Clips.

    Thanks, Paul :D
     
  18. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    A lot of what Mooji talks about is based on Advaita Vedanta (search for Mooji on Youtube).

    Advaita means "Not two" which is referring to Oneness or more commonly known as non-duality.

    The actual teachings of Advaita Vedanta are primarily in the Upanisads (alt. spelling: Upanishads) and the Bhagavad Gita, though actually trying to learn from those in terms of our Western minds can be a bit daunting.

    I got a lot of good teaching myself from attending a Practical Philosophy course run by the School of Economic Science (School of Economic Science) who have branches all around the UK and in some other countries too. Sounds like an odd name for a school that teaches philosophy based on Advaita, but that's because it was created in the 1920's to research how to solve the economic problems of that time... which led them to the vedic teachings and to also set up their sister school, the london school of meditation (which was teaching TM style meditation before the TM organisation got set up). Different local branches have different names... such as the one I attended which was called "Midland School of Philosophy". Just looking at the schools website it looks like they also now do a distance learning course too... Distance Learning | The School of Practical Philosophy

    There are other books on the subject, and variants thereof, such as those written by Eckhart Tolle and the like. I couldn't recommend any one in particular as I've read so many and they each support each other and offer different perspectives.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  19. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Thanks Giles, that’s interesting as I never realised Advaita Vedanta was more or less the non-duality teachings of Mooji, Eckhart Tolle etc (or maybe someone has explained it but my memory forget to press the ‘save’ button).

    Some of you guys (and gals) seem to have a good conceptual understanding of the different teachings as well as living the experience (if that’s termed right, lol, hopefully you get what I mean). But I guess whilst that level of conceptual understanding is nice to have its not an essential aspect, I don’t think many people have had to pass an ‘enlightenment exam’ before they are allowed to experience it.

    I’ve seen terms such as “Bhagavad Gita” and “vedic teachings” banded about and haven’t really understood where they fit in and thought perhaps I was missing a trick, but I guess not. I'll just carry on listening to the Mooji, ET and Jeff Foster types, which I’m more than happy to do as I find it quite relaxing, so for me win/win :).

    Having said that… those classes look awesome :D (and a couple of centres are quite close to me), the fact that its practical “test it out” type of teaching makes it that much more appealing.

    Thanks again, I’m glad I asked the question!
     
  20. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    The classes tend to take the format of the "teacher" (using the term loosely as they are just students who've been in the school longer in most cases) who will read the material for that session which will cover a certain aspect of the overall teaching. It includes places for group discussion and questions and puts the concepts forward so that you're not being told "this is the truth and you must believe it", but rather, "put this to the test over the next week and we'll discuss what you find for yourself next week in the group", some people "getting it" more easily than others, but all being supportive of each other and helping each other understand. Typically a relaxed atmosphere and good to discuss stuff in groups. I enjoyed it while I went. There were 9 core terms in total (so done over 3 years, no rushing) and then there's further teachings after that if you want to carry on. Some people just do the first term and get enough out of that... there's no long term commitment required.


    Hugs

    Giles
     

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