After completing the MBSR-X, or if you have other prior mindfulness meditation experience, and wish an in-depth training to make mindfulness a way of life, this program is for you. The Mindsight Intensive is structured to be transformative, integrative and healing. It is a sort of boot camp, immersing students into the direct and in-depth exploration of direct experience through mindsight. Access to the open plane of unexpected possibilities is the unfailing orientation we maintain throughout our hard work of insight.
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.
The inner mindset of navigating the mind’s complexity
Please click here for details about this year’s new focus.
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.
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.
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.
Sessions are accessible live online and session recordings are available after each session.
Fall trimester 2019: September 30, October 7, 21, 28, November 4, 11, 18, 25, December 2, 9, 16 (11 sessions)
Winter trimester 2020: January 6, 13, 20, 27, February 3, 10, 24, March 2, 9, 16 23 (11 sessions)
Spring trimester 2020: April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 25, June 1, 8, 15, 22 (11 sessions)
Weekly – Mondays 6:30pm-8:30pm
33 sessions September-June, 2019/20.
The Mindfulness Centre
Online access to the sessions both live and after the session
For the academic year 2019/20: $1980
Payable in 3 installments of $660 (fall, winter, spring)
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.