ONLINE COURSES ON MEDITATION

LIVE

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

An introductory course

UNDERSTAND YOUR MIND

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.

The program:
✦ 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.

An advanced course

THE SPACE OF MIND

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.

Teacher

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.

An introductory course
Tuesday evenings (Europe)

September 10, 17, 24, October 1, 8. 

17:00-19:00 GMT;
20:00-22:00 Jerusalem, Helsinki, Moscow, Istanbul, Sofia, Athens;
19:00-21:00 Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Johannesburg;
18:00-20:00 London, Tenerife, Tunis;
14:00-16:00 Sao-Paulo, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile;
13:00-15:00 New York, Caracas;
12:00-14:00 Lima; Mexico City;
11:00-13:00 Costa Rica;
10:00-12:00 Los Angeles, Baja California. 

An advanced course
Monday mornings (Europe)

September 9, 16, 23, 30, October 7. 

06:00-8:00 GMT;
09:00-11:00 Jerusalem, Helsinki, Moscow, Istanbul, Sofia, Athens;
08:00-10:00 Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Johannesburg;
07:00-9:00 London, Tenerife, Tunis;
23:00 (the day before, Sunday)-1:00  Los Angeles, Baja California;
11:30-13:30 New Delhi, Sri Lanka; 
11:45-13:45 Kathmandu; 
13:00-15:00 Thailand; 
14:00-16:00 Singapore, Taiwan, China; 
15:00-17:00 Tokyo, Seoul; 
16:00-18:00 Sydney, Melbourne; 
18:00-20:00 New Zealand.

Study process

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

Interactive mode 

6-12 people in a group. You participate using your webcam and your mike so that the teacher can see you and observe your reactions while you perform tasks. Understanding and correct application are checked through the dialogue of the teacher with each student at least twice per session. Besides your own dialogue with the teacher, you can also listen to the other students' dialogues which helps to find answers for the different kinds of questions and to get familiar with a variety of possible experiences in the same exercise. You can also leave your questions and comments in the course log.

Guest mode

Your webcam and mike are off but you can see and hear both the teacher and the interactive students, you can leave your questions and comments in the course log and have an access to audio recordings. If there's spare time during the session and/or some of the interactive students are missing the class, you can also be occasionally invited to switch into an interactive mode for the time being to have a dialogue with the teacher.

PARTICIPATION FEES

Price for one course

INTERACTIVE

  • € 100
  • $ 115
  • ₪ 400

GUEST (NEW STUDENTS)

  • € 60
  • $ 69
  • ₪ 240

GUEST (OLD STUDENTS)

  • € 50
  • $ 58
  • ₪ 200

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.

CONTACTS