During the height of the pandemic, I wondered how best to be of service. Staying home didn't feel enough, yet we were being asked to do just that! For the first five weeks, I offered yoga online, and loved maintaining the social connection with others. Then things started to shift and my caterpillar-self began creating a cocoon. I realized there must be millions of others like me, who love to be actively involved in change, yet were being asked to stay away. My identity was dissolving. So I asked, "What skills do we most need to navigate such strange global shifts?" During this quiet, introspective time, where meditation was the backbone of my days, a new project was born...
Transforming the World from Within is a 10-day (15 mins/day) audio course for change-makers who would like to learn inner practices for outward impact. The pandemic has shown us the reality of our global interconnectedness and when we look deeply, our inner and outer worlds are not always that different, after all.
[Order online here]
This course is for all who wish to be of service in building a more inclusive, cohesive and life-sustaining future. We often fluctuate between hope and despair, or get overwhelmed and feel powerless, when looking at the state of our world. Through the archetype of the Spiritual Warrior, we’ll learn to find inner strength, by facing our shadow aspects. Then we can move into the world with courage and compassion. By living with a clear sense of purpose, we can tap into our innate joy and altruism, perhaps even inspiring others to do the same.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
DAY 1: Contemplative Engagement
Contemplative change-makers are seeking to birth a global society that is socially just and ecologically regenerative. In this session, we’ll explore what we can we do, in our individual and collective lives, to be worthy ancestors of the future. More importantly, we ask ourselves, what qualities are needed to engage most skillfully. Two distinct modes of mind are necessary, and we will practice shifting from doing mode to being mode. Cultivating a state of awareness is a creative mode of mind that allows us to solve current problems in our family, society or the world.
DAY 2: Sense of Purpose in Life
This session reveals a guiding truth found in all cultures and religions worldwide. It is known as our calling, raison d’etre, ubizo or svardharma. It asserts that we are happier when we live a purposeful life, using our unique skills, interests and qualifications in the service of others. Through a guided practice, we’ll explore how to find our own purpose. This doesn’t necessarily mean we change what we do in life, but rather change the way we do it. By being clear on our intention, we can benefit both ourselves and others. DAY 3: The Spiritual Warrior
The archetype of the Spiritual Warrior is found in many ancient wisdom traditions. These wise and compassionate beings are awake and aware enough to notice suffering, and courageous enough to take action. They have sufficient inner strength to be vulnerable and stay open to the world around them. Warriors live in the present moment, asking themselves, “What can I do to make this situation better?” We’ll learn about three types of Spiritual Warrior and then practice a meditation for cultivating compassion.
DAY 4: Our Warrior Potential
During this session, we’ll hear a story about the feminist bodhisattva, known as Green Tara. She exemplifies the potential for each of us to be the change we need in the world, and to act to bring about that change. Spiritual warriors navigate paradoxical qualities such as stillness and action, compassion and ferocity, in order to meet the needs of each moment. Once we discover our own innate goodness, it is easy to see that goodness in all others and to offer kindness to everyone we meet.
DAY 5: Circles of Safety
Before moving out into the world, we need to do the inner work of transformation. This can be slow and arduous, and requires us to feel safe. This session identifies our widening circles of safety with others and within ourselves, and offers ways to cultivate them, in order to face our shadow aspects. We’ll identify the emotions that can cause a sense of threat, and find ways of responding to our fight, flight and freeze reactions, with a sense of kindness and understanding.
DAY 6: Transforming Difficult Emotions
While change-makers have a strong commitment to help others, we also have weak spots. These often take the form of strong emotions such as hatred, arrogance or jealousy. This session lays out the evolutionary necessity behind the emotions that we perceive as difficult or destructive, so that our weak spots do not trigger us into harmful actions. We will learn to identify the sequential movements of the mind so that we can self regulate and ensure our actions are as skilful as possible.
DAY 7: Facing Our Shadow
During this session, we’ll come face-to-face with our shadow aspects and observe how the Spiritual Warrior can be subverted into the Military Dictator or Martyr. We come to realize, often unwillingly, that the injustices we wish to address in the outer world, are also taking place within ourselves and our own organisations. Burnout is also a formidable barrier to the sustainability of activists and organisations, so we will learn how to resource ourselves by attending to our feelings and needs through daily meditation.
DAY 8: Dimensions of Engagement
This session reveals that we can bring the same intentions and care to our work, at whatever scale we choose to engage, whether in our own home, community, country or in the world. We find the circle of influence that best suits our own personality or life stage, and commit to that. We also find a role based on our unique talents and interests, by listening deeply to ourselves. This diversity in focus and skillset is our strength, as long as we are united through a shared vision.
DAY 9: Compassion in Action
The most energizing force for change makers is our motivation to help others help themselves. Sometimes we are driven by anger or empathy, but contemplative neuroscience research has revealed that the most powerful and sustaining motivation is compassion. Compassion is an innate quality, which can also be cultivated. It gives resilience and even allows us to find joy in the midst of heart-breaking work. The challenge we face is to ensure our compassion expands beyond our in-group, and encompasses all beings and the world itself.
DAY 10: Joy as Insurrection
The final session invites us to recognize the paradox that working for the benefit of others circles back to bring us a deep sense of joy. It is a virtuous cycle, and makes life better for everyone, ourselves included. When we are doing work that enlivens us, and supports other people, it has immeasurable benefit. Joy has a sustaining power so that we can engage with the sorrows of the world, by allowing our hearts to become tender. By grieving moments of loss, we can wholeheartedly celebrate moments of success.
You can purchase the full course here, for the same price as a book.
January offer: ZAR250 | £12 | $16 using a credit card, Paypal or EFT