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.
This year marks the beginning of a fundamentally different approach to the practice of mindfulness meditation I have begun to teach. It is best described as resource-based mindfulness meditation. A resource-based approach to mindfulness facilitates the difficult process of meditation by training practitioners in the art of accessing soothing resources when emotional pain becomes intolerable.
A. The course will begin by familiarizing ourselves with polyvagal autonomic regulation of the organism’s energy flow and how to monitor and modify its energy flow.
- We will familiarize ourselves with the three basic principles of polyvagal regulation: Autonomic hierarchy, neuroception, and co-regulation.
- We will learn to develop skills to regulate our autonomic nervous system through a systematic framework of befriending, attending, shaping, and integrating the autonomic energy flow for the purpose of increased response flexibility and resilience. This entails bringing explicit awareness to implicit experiences (transforming neuroception into perception), interrupting automatic response patterns, and engaging the ventral vagal safety circuit.
- Different worksheets will be used to learn to make autonomic listening into a habit.
B. A comprehensive model of resources will be introduced that will serve as a resource access map during mindfulness meditation and everyday life.
C. The techniques and principles of mindfulness meditation will be reviewed in light of the newly acquired knowledge of polyvagal regulation and resource access. This will allow practitioners to better regulate their energy flow within the window of tolerance and resilience during moments of distress.
D. Emphasis will be placed on expanding consciousness from its restricted form of everyday common sense that emphasizes order over creativity, to a more expansive and creative form that fosters novelty and integration. To this end, we will highlight the importance of quieting the default mode network through intense concentration in order to allow the brain to become more globally interconnected. Psychedelic research results will assist us in understanding the difference between low and high entropy mental states, as well as eliminate the pre-/trans- fallacy of confusing pre-rational states of childhood consciousness with trans-rational states of adult wisdom.
E. As we inevitably reach the frontiers of knowledge through our mindfulness project, we will ensure that we don’t recoil from the uncomfortable and disconcerting place of uncertainty in the face of the vast unknown. We will embark on the deep journey of inquiry into the relationship between existence and non-existence as the royal road towards freedom from suffering and the lightness of Being. At the frontier between the familiar and the known, and the vast uncertain and the unknown, we tend to recoil from the anxiety caused by the uncertainty of the mapless void staring back at us and retreat back into the safety of certainty and knowledge. In this course, we will develop the habit of comfortably bearing the burden of uncertainty and learn to settle in the void of emptiness as the new vantage space from which we re-examine our seemingly safe assumptions we thought were true. On this journey, we empower ourselves to transcend the field of consciousness manifested as ordinary everyday waking consciousness, in order to penetrate the full potential of human awareness by accessing the field of nihility and the field of emptiness.
Click here to access the 2022 curriculum.
The curriculum spans the whole academic year 2022/2023:
10 Mondays 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Oct 17, 24, 31, Nov 7, 14, 21, 28, Dec 5, 12, 19
10 Mondays 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Jan 9, 16, 23, 30, Feb 6, 13, March 6, 13, 20, 27
10 Mondays 6:30 – 8:30 pm
April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, 29, June 5, 12
The course is held online via Zoom.
Post-session online access to the session recordings and handouts is available indefinitely.
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.
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.
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.
(3) Group process and individually tailored examination of participants’ meditation experience and progress. Participants have a chance to interact in creative activities or individuals can volunteer to examine their meditation experience in detail with Dr. Treyvaud.
(4) Question period, during which participants can ask any question about any topic related to the Mindsight Intensive.
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.
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.
Watch introductory video
Download video slides and curriculum
Time and Dates
30 Mondays 6:30 – 8:30 pm,
Oct 17, 2022 – June 12, 2023
(see below for exact dates)
The course is held online via Zoom.
Session recordings, slide presentations, and other information is available indefinitely in an online student folder.
Please arrange for a timely arrival or log in as we are starting on time at 6:30 pm sharp.
Take the opportunity to email me questions in advance about mindfulness and meditation you already ponder and wish me to address during the course.
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