Mindsight Intensive2018-08-05T23:04:20+00:00

Mindsight Intensive

The Mindsight Intensive is not focused on an intellectual/academic journey, but is structured to be transformative, integrative and healing.

Fall trimester 2017/18: October 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19 26, December 3, 10, 17 (10 sessions)
Winter trimester 2018: January 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11, 25, March 4, 11, 18 25, April 1 (11 sessions)
Spring trimester 2018: April 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 27, June 3, 10, 17, 24 (11 sessions)

Specifics about the 2018/19 academic year

Please click here for details about this year’s new focus.

Who can take this program?

People who decide to make mindfulness a way of life or who already have mindfulness meditation experience can join the advanced, intensive mindfulness program called Mindsight Intensive. The weekly group focuses in depth on many aspects of mindfulness and runs throughout the academic year for 36 consecutive sessions. In starting this program, you don’t need to be an expert. All you need is a passion for discovering your essence, combined with a dogged determination in actually doing the required work for your own transformation.

What is this program all about?

This program is intensive and provides an in-depth journey for people who want to make mindfulness a way of life and use its power to assist in the longterm maintenance of health. Based on the introductory principles laid out in the extended Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Programs (MBSRP-X), the Mindsight Intensive is a mindfulness meditation program that follows similar workshop techniques as a way of providing an interactive and experiential learning experience. Every session is structured so as to include a guided meditation practice, group-interactive processing, lecture and Q&A periods, during which participants can address personal issues arising from their meditation experiences. This program is educational and not a psychotherapy group. It is open to the general public, and particularly to those who already have some foundational mindfulness meditation experience.

Historical background

The Mindsight Intensives go back more than 6 years, when I had not yet trained in Interpersonal Neurobiology. Responding to people’s requests for an integrated long-term program that would help them develop proficiency in meditation after having taken the time-limited Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSRP), I started teaching these programs I then called ‘Meditation Intensives’. They are unique in that they are fully embedded into everyday life and demand an ongoing long-term commitment, rather than just a limited one like retreats do. They therefore also allow for in-depth study, inquiry and practice like no other existing venue I know of.

After 2 years of training in Interpersonal Neurobiology with Dr. Daniel Siegel, about 5 years ago I began to integrate this cutting-edge knowledge in my teachings in mindfulness and meditation. In fact, two knowledge traditions began to intertwine and come together like never before in my mind, my practice and my teachings: One being the new scientific insights into how the brain functions, the other the empirical knowledge from centuries-old meditation principles developed in different cultural traditions. I then began to integrate them all into new types of programming. Thus came into being the MBSRP-X, the expanded version of the MBSRP, and the Mindsight Intensive, which replaced the old Meditation Intensive. I changed the word from Meditation to Mindsight Intensive, because I realized that, going beyond meditation, our core work is really about the cultivation of mindsight, the ability to be consciously aware of one’s whole being by whatever means necessary.

In the process I also developed a unique approach to meditation I call ‘Dynamic Mindfulness’, which is a clear, precise and systematic meditation technique that takes into account what we now know from science with regards to the way our organism is wired. This approach stresses somatic attention to the conduit of experience and a dynamic observational stance.

How the curriculum is structured

The course’s presentations are embedded in a practice- and interaction-oriented process, ensuring an intensity of training that allows us to settle in the conduit of experience and deeply penetrate the core of awareness.

Each session will include various combinations of the following four elements:
(1) Guided meditations and/or group process exercises with review and further development of the Dynamic Mindfulness meditation technique,
(2) Presentations on various topics, ranging from Interpersonal Neurobiology and the brain, to meditation technique, attachment patterns, consciousness and the unconscious, psychotherapeutic principles, and non-dual awareness with its transverbal aspect of subjective experience.
(4) Question period, including the examination of participants’ meditation experiences and progress.

The program will thus be based on a 5-dimensional view of reality as we explore the 5 aspects of human experience in an integrated fashion:
1. Physical dimension: The brain, the body and behavior as they are objectively explored through science.
2. Somatic dimension: The brain and the body as it is subjectively experienced through somatic sensations and emotions.
3. Psychological dimension: The mind as it is subjectively experienced through emotions, thoughts and narratives.
4. Existential dimension: The sense of an independent and embodied self in the form of a human organism or bodymind within the boundaries of time and space.
5. Spiritual dimension: The dissolution of an independent sense of self as we tap into the nameless, timeless and spaceless essence of transcendence.

Because we express these different aspects of experience through action, one form being language, different facets of consciousness in different experience modes will be expressed in different language modes. The four language modes allowing us to access different facets of consciousness and different experience modes are:
1. Unstructured everyday language: It re-presents and expresses a running commentary on life experience. The criterion of truth is unexamined subjective experience.
2. Left-brain descriptive language: It re-presents external reality as being separate from the speaking subject, and gives us objective knowledge into the physical world. The criterion of truth is out there in the physical world – if it corresponds to something physical and concrete in the world, it must be true. The speaking subject is minimally involved. It emphasizes aboutness. Examples are history, biography and science.
3. Left-brain conceptual or dialectic language: It re-presents internal reality as being separate from the speaking subject, but less separate than in description, and gives us knowledge into the psychological world. The criterion of truth is in its internal consistency or coherence – if it sounds logical and well thought out, it must be true. The speaking subject is more intensely involved. It emphasizes aboutness. Examples are psychology, meditation, philosophy.
4. Right-brain metaphorical language: It presents the whole (internal and external) reality as lived by the speaking subject (no subject-object separation) and gives us knowledge about how to live. The criterion of truth is in its efficacy when lived and compelling sense of wisdom. The speaking subject and the objective world he/she lives in manifest as a whole in the here and now. It emphasizes direct experience and wholeness. Examples are myths and metaphors, sacred stories.

The challenge is to become aware which aspect of experience is being accessed with what language mode. They all express different facets of consciousness that give us clues about the nature of reality. No level of experience is better or worthier of inquiry than any other. They all need to be investigated in an integrated fashion. When we master that, we are not in danger of confusing facets of consciousness, language modes and levels of experience, and we will gain the freedom to access reality in its complex entirety without dissociating any part of it. We will get a glimpse of the whole elephant. And that is the goal of our inquiry in this course.

  1. The program’s core values:
  2. The goal of this educational program is to provide an environment of inquiry, in which people feel safe to explore the most intimate, intricate and challenging issues facing them in their lives. Although this program is not a psychotherapy group, but a meditation training, we honor the fact that the brain knows nothing of such distinctions. In getting to know the nature of the organisms that we are, we always emphasize meeting the person as the wholeness that we are.
    B. My method of teaching is based on imparting knowledge to students in a way that fosters the discovery of experiential reality underlying all conceptual knowledge. To this end I developed a network of knowledge modules that can be accessed from every conceivable angle and help us systematize knowledge in order to orient ourselves in this vast information territory. This provides solid tools of inquiry, so that the student gains confidence in his or her own inquiry. I don’t presume to be the one who has the answers, but rather endeavor to always hone my proficiency in helping us all to ask better questions.
    C. My programs are not designed to be a theoretical course. They invite each participant to put new knowledge in the service of actual daily practice in order to foster real-life transformation towards a life of less suffering. It is therefore a prerequisite to commit yourself to a daily meditation practice.
    D. The way we learn to use dialogue as a tool of mindfulness within the group environment cannot be overemphasized. I put a lot of value in fostering a mindful attitude of openness and non-avoidance among participants as interpersonal exchanges unfold, sometimes with unpleasant emotions to deal with. The courage to manifest who you are, warts and all, within such a supportive and insight-fostering group environment, goes a long way in your development of resilience, mindfulness and wisdom.

The program’s core value

A. The goal of this educational program is to provide an environment of inquiry, in which people feel safe to explore the most intimate, intricate and challenging issues facing them in their lives. Although this program is not a psychotherapy group, but a meditation training, we honor the fact that the brain knows nothing of such distinctions. In getting to know the nature of the organisms that we are, we always emphasize meeting the person as the wholeness that we are.

B. My method of teaching is based on imparting knowledge to students in a way that fosters the discovery of experiential reality underlying all conceptual knowledge. To this end I developed a network of knowledge modules that can be accessed from every conceivable angle and help us systematize knowledge in order to orient ourselves in this vast information territory. This provides solid tools of inquiry, so that the student gains confidence in his or her own inquiry. I don’t presume to be the one who has the answers, but rather endeavor to always hone my proficiency in helping us all to ask better questions.

C. My programs are not designed to be a theoretical course. They invite each participant to put new knowledge in the service of actual daily practice in order to foster real-life transformation towards a life of less suffering. It is therefore a prerequisite to commit yourself to a daily meditation practice.

D. The way we learn to use dialogue as a tool of mindfulness within the group environment cannot be overemphasized. I put a lot of value in fostering a mindful attitude of openness and non-avoidance among participants as interpersonal exchanges unfold, sometimes with unpleasant emotions to deal with. The courage to manifest who you are, warts and all, within such a supportive and insight-fostering group environment, goes a long way in your development of resilience, mindfulness and wisdom.

A further description of the program

The Mindsight Intensive is not just focused on an intellectual/academic journey, but is structured to be transformative and integrative. Dr. Treyvaud’s aim is to help people get to the core of what is intrinsically and universally human. To this end students are encouraged to develop an understanding of the complexity of reality, and to embody the wisdom of freedom, kindness and love as a direct, living manifestation of reality and truth.

The curriculum is based on the principles of mindfulness and mindsight. Participants are invited to rigorously train their awareness potential. By deepening their expertise in using the tool of attention with a transformative attitude of curiosity, openness and acceptance, participants learn ever deeper, more stable and clearer ways of monitoring and then modifying the energy flow that we all are as human beings. Dr. Treyvaud emphasizes the primacy of somatic attention combined with a dynamic observational stance as the royal road to insight, liberation, and wisdom. To use a metaphor, it would be impossible to live a life on the second and upper floors of a house without having access to the first floor and the street. Mindfulness, mindsight, wisdom and liberation cannot grow without penetrating the body with awareness, without somatic grounding of our way of being. The curriculum emphasizes direct experience as a way of honing one’s embodiment of mindfulness through deep practice. The teachings have their grounding in the art of embodied self-awareness through deep somatic penetration as a way of disidentifying from the tyranny of conceptual self-awareness.

We focus on the whole spectrum of our subjective experiences as they are created and constructed by the sixtine brain. Dr. Treyvaud bases the scientific aspect of his teaching on the contemporary discoveries of Interpersonal Neurobiology as it allows us to develop a view of human beings that transcends the split between body and mind. This incorporates of course the research findings of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and general neuroscience, as we explore the interface between brain, mind and relationships, and embodied self-awareness. Beyond what science can offer, woven into Dr. Treyvauds teachings are those from several meditation traditions such as Vipassana, the Tibetan somatic tradition, Yoga and Zen. Our practices hone our powers of concentration as a steppingstone for the later spontaneous arising of meditation with its process of allowing everything to be as it is.

The construction of subjective experience is not the only focus of inquiry. We also explore and develop our capacity to access pure awareness and orient ourselves towards the vast Unknown. Nothingness and emptiness are realities we get to know as we turn our orientation towards what is utterly beyond anything thinkable, imaginable and knowable, yet more real than all phenomena that can be known. Inspired by the non-dual traditions of Zen and Advaita Vedanta, we might be surprised to know that science has also some insights to contribute to this level of contemplation. Truth, emptiness and love are further priorities in our explorations as we follow a creative curriculum of undoing and unknowing. Knowledge and information are revealed as ephemeral and secondary to wisdom, faith and love. In addition to the development of our powers of concentration, we also focus on our ability to get out of our own way and the spontaneous arising of meditation as a process of allowing everything to be as it is.

We want to explore realities for which there is neither evidence nor even probability; this means finding the voice of Being by relinquishing the safe and certain shores of beliefs, seemingly sure knowledge and dogma. Drawing our attention to Being as the living experience of the numinous and finding words to express it brings us a step closer to giving birth to our own unique growth, consciousness and humanity. We expand our use of language into poetry, parable, symbol, metaphor, rhythm, rhyme and movement. These approaches mobilize embodied self-awareness from under the tyranny of conceptual self-awareness. We engage in the perpetual struggle to express the inexpressible small aspects of truth that elude us and open ourselves to the realm of the unspeakable and indefinable. In doing so we can reach much deeper into the mysteries of life. We also routinely mobilize the teacher in every participant. This means very active student participation where everyone is requested to prepare and plunge into the ocean of courage, formulate their wisdom and teach. This act of learning how to put the complex world of subjective experience into words deepens one’s own wisdom profoundly and enhances one’s experience.

Dates

Weekly  – Mondays 6:30pm-9:00pm
32 sessions October-June, 2018/19.

Location

Creating Space Yoga Studio
594 Chartwell Rd, Oakville ON L6J 4A5

Cost
$2400.0 for the academic year 2018/19.

 

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Administration

Please arrange for timely arrival as we are starting on time at 6:30 pm sharp.

Take the opportunity to email us in advance questions about mindfulness and meditation you already ponder and wish us to address during the workshop.

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