The knowledge of one’s own mind is neither a religion nor philosophy. Even though contemplative traditions existed for millennia in spiritual context, the nature of one’s own mind can be explored regardless one’s religious, moral, or scientific believes. Mind cannot be directly observed from outside, therefore, we need contemplative methods to observe it from inside. Certain things are invisible just because we don’t know where to look, what to notice, and lack proper instruments. Meditation is a way to develop mental optics as well as a skill how to use it.
In this cycle of 5 weeks there will be two weekly online courses.
STARTING ON SEPTEMBER 9, 2019
Mindful presence is a capacity to discern and maintain a state of mind balanced between extremes of restless agitation and foggy sleepiness, to recognize mind slipping into one of those extremes as well as to apply methods for correcting such mistakes. It is also a capacity to recognize what my mind is busy with and where your attention is placed at the moment.
The minimal objective of the practice is to learn to perceive the events of one's own mind as distinctly as we can see an apple in our palm, to learn to see important interconnections between phenomena of mind, senses, and body. The chief aim is to discover the void and transparent space of mind, its natural condition. The discovery of such space makes a starting point for profound contemplative practices of various traditions. The course cannot guarantee you achieving such goals in one month but it provides the necessary means to achieve them in reasonable time through consistent and diligent practice.
During this introductory course, we study basic instruments for working with one's attention, the transition from focused attention to distributed attention (so-called 'open monitoring'). A necessary theoretical base for developing individual practice is also provided.
✦ awareness as a mental factor
✦ core principles of one-pointed concentration
✦ discriminating between direction or content of mind and mind's state
✦ main hindrances for meditation and how to overcome them
✦ mindful presence as a balance of mind
Students have access to the course's journal in Google docs that contains syllabus of each session as well as links to audio recordings of all sessions.
Discovering a mental space as an experience and not as just a concept is a crucial point in contemplative practice. This is the point when the practice of meditation becomes very clear and doesn’t require too much effort. This experience is a good foundation for many advanced meditation practices.
The course is intended for experienced practitioners.
✦ recognizing mind as a sense organ
✦ discovering the movement of thoughts
✦ discovering the space where this movement occurs
✦ discovering the natural inborn awareness
This course is the third cycle of continuation and the materials of the previous cycle are also available for the new students. Learning meditation is, in fact, a cyclic process in which we return to the same topics over and over again each time dealing with them based on deeper and broader experience, obtaining new insights from the things that already looked known and familiar. The journey inside one's own mind is infinite.
Igor Berkhin is a long-term meditation practitioner, a Buddhist translator, and a teacher authorized by a prominent Dzogchen master Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. Besides teaching in a spiritual context, he is one of the pioneers of secular mindfulness meditation in Russia who also broadly teaches around the world. His online course on meditation created for Yoga Journal in 2012 immediately attracted 7000 subscribers and is still one of the most popular online courses on meditation in the Russian language. He presented mindfulness to important think tanks in Russia and teaches meditation for the students of Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis as well as to Gestalt Psychotherapy community. One of his projects is about how to apply contemplative practices for recognizing and neutralizing psychological manipulations. He is a co-founder of the first Russian interdisciplinary conference on mindfulness as well as of the association of Russian-speaking mindfulness teachers.
«Really effective course! Igor gives attention to each participant, seeks and gives feedback. In his course, meditation becomes a real practice, I could realise when I'm really meditating and when I'm just trying to do that. Thank you, Igor!»
«Igor gets to the heart of the matter. In this trying time to enjoy the essence of the practices I've been doing for more than 20 years in so direct and clear a manner is a great blessing. Igor is a down to earth teacher who communicates in a totally accessible way enriching the new and uplifting the experienced in a fresh way. Always authentic and respectful of this ancient path. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.»
«I'd like to thank you very much for enabling me, us, to take part in the course, It was of great benefit. Looking forward to its continuation...»
With his patience, dedication, his listening and his knowledge Igor gives the essential base and simple but profound methods allowing us to develop one's awareness through the present moment, observing and paying attention to our own very condition, sensing the present moment rather than getting lost in the constant stream of distractions. Igor's teaching certainly gave me the tools needed to expand my work and approach to meditation.
«Excellent approach of meditation in Dzogchen view and style. Efficient guidance of the process by Igor Berkhin.»
«I'm grateful to Igor for the course in a group: it's a unique opportunity to deepen one's practice being at any location in the world. The course is laconic, logical, technological and decorated by Igor's special irony that makes learning effective and also pleasant. I'm looking forward for the continuation.»
«My aim was to get rid of the fear of meditation and integrate it into daily practice. Igor explained exercises calmly and with humour, discussed individual difficulties, was very attentive with every participant. As a result, due to the knowledge and the attention of the instructor, the meditation became an accessible instrument and is no longer a frightening necessity. I recommend this course both for beginners and for those who wants to refresh the intention to meditate.»
THE COURSE IS ONLINE BUT IT IS NOT A PRERECORDED ONE.
IT IS LIVE.
The course is organized as a video-conference using Zoom application.
Five sessions weekly, 1,5-2 hours each session. The duration of a session depends on the number of people who are participating interactively.
There are two ways to participate:
1) interactive mode
2) guest mode
Price for one course
The prices for the participants from Euro zone are in Euro, for Israel in NIS, for other countries in US$. The payment is done via PayPal. Soon after the registration you'll receive an e-mail with a PayPal invoice. For Israeli participants there's no tax. The payments from Israel are done by a direct money transfer to Leumi Bank, Israel.
Due to the generosity of one of the participants, for the people who are in a difficult financial situation there's a limited number of sponsored possibilities to participate in the course. You can apply for a sponsored participation when you sign in and explain the reasons. You will be notified if a sponsored participation is possible for you.
REQUIREMENTS AND COMMUNICATION
For taking part in a class you need a quiet place where no one would disturb you, a comfortable seat (you can sit on a chair at a desk), a computer or tablet. A smartphone is also possible though it is not convenient.
If you chose an interactive mode, adjust your webcam so as the teacher could see the upper part of your body, at least a head and a chest. You need to install Zoom Meetings app and to create an account using a recognizable nickname (https://zoom.us/support/download, multiplatform).
Technical information on how to connect is in the Googledocs journal, urgent communication is done via Facebook Messenger, there's also e-mail notification from the Google calendar.
For registration, please use an e-mail that is connected to your Google account, it is necessary for having access to the course's log and archive. If your account is not registered to Google, you can do it here.
If the form is filled correctly you'll receive your answers to your e-mail.