Meditation & Mindfulness Workshop

IT STARTS WITH UNDERSTANDING...

Observe your breath! ...is most likely the very first instruction in a traditional meditation course. Then follows 10 days of seating (ten hours per day) and observing the breath, bodily sensations, thoughts, emotions and feelings. This persistent seating, accompanied by evening discourses, noble silence, a highly restrict communication among the practitioners and teachers and no communication with the outside world is probably the best way to learn meditation and enter the inner world of yourself.

Despite a great mental and physical challenge, we certainly highly recommend it to everyone serious about meditation. Unfortunately, not everyone has an opportunity or strength to attend this kind of course. Should this mean that meditation remains unattainable for them? Not at all. We think that meditation is a far too important a tool to impose any obstacles.

That is why we organise the Meditation and Mindfulness  Workshops. Not to replace the traditional meditation course, but to encourage interest in it. The workshop in many respects mimics the traditional meditation course, but in large includes also contemporary science. It starts with understanding!

IT STARTS WITH UNDERSTANDING...

Observe your breath! ...is most likely the very first instruction in a traditional meditation course. Then follows 10 days of seating (ten hours per day) and observing the breath, bodily sensations, thoughts, emotions and feelings. This persistent seating, accompanied by evening discourses, noble silence, a highly restrict communication among the practitioners and teachers and no communication with the outside world is probably the best way to learn meditation and enter the inner world of yourself.

Despite a great mental and physical challenge, we certainly highly recommend it to everyone serious about meditation. Unfortunately, not everyone has an opportunity or strength to attend this kind of course. Should this mean that meditation remains unattainable for them? Not at all. We think that meditation is a far too important a tool to impose any obstacles.

That is why we organise the Meditation and Mindfulness  Workshops. Not to replace the traditional meditation course, but to encourage interest in it. The workshop in many respects mimics the traditional meditation course, but in large includes also contemporary science. It starts with understanding!

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The Meditation & Mindfulness Workshop is a sophisticated and unique presentation of the power of Meditation & Mindfulness. A meeting point of traditional wisdom and modern science.

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PRESENTATION-DEMONSTRATION-PRACTICE

Duration: 5 hours (1+4)

Demonstrator: SWE Instructor

The art of living...

We face all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant situations in life. We experience them and deal with them differently. For example, imagine that you have a job interview which you've waited for a long time. You need to be on time and at your best. You arrange yourself appropriately... You are almost there. Standing in front of a traffic light, waiting for the green, and practice the presentation in the mind. You are getting a little nervous. Just a walk across the street and,... it happens!!! A tiny driver with an enormous Sport Utility vehicle drives into a puddle along the side of the road and floods you with muddy water!!! In a fraction of a second, you react…

Like a fool?

You blackout for a moment, then put on the killer's face, turns to where the car drove, estimate if there is a chance to catch and pull him out of the car and give him the lesson he deserves. If you estimate that this won't be possible, then you throw at him all the curses you know and send him into the bloody hell. "Do I remember the license plate? If I see a car in the parking lot, I leave a deep mark on it. He ruined my day, my year, my life, my career, my..., my..., my..., he must be punished!!!"

Like a normal?

You are in shock and angry. Where for the god sake is the police when you need them most? This type of driver should never get the permit! What I should do. My clothes are dirty. He ruined my day, most likely, I lost a chance for a new job. Should I go on the interview or should I cancel it? Why is this happening to me?

Like a cool?

You are in shock for a moment and compassionately think about how much that person has to suffer. Then, you turn attention to your inner self and observe what is happening. All these sensations..., you take a deep breath and observe them. When the green light comes on, you happily cross the road and go for an interview with a smile on your face and a new interesting story for future colleagues.

Of course, these are not the only possible reactions. However, it is important to understand that none of them is the result of free will or conscious decision. Each of them is (a partly innate and partly conditioned) automatic response, originated from the part of the brain, responsible for the stressful situations and respond to them. And, some situations you process well, while others may challenge you overwhelmingly, including to the point that leads to chronic stress, bad mood, unpleasant personality traits, illness or even unwanted action. Is there anything you can do?

Yes, you can! By becoming a teacher of your mind! 

You can teach your mind to understand itself and train it to handle responses better to any, even challenging situation.

Seeing things like they are, understanding impermanence, maintaining equanimity toward any situation and establishing awareness of the present moment is the art of living. Meditation and mindfulness are a journey to discovery.

Workshop program

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The workshop is divided into two sections. 1] Keynote presentation - Discussion about the theoretical basis and rationale for meditation. 2] Demonstration and practice - Demonstration and practising the technique.

1] KEYNOTE PRESENTATION - 60 min

"Meditation is not easy nor fun. It is a lonely activity. It takes time, energy, determination and discipline. It requires a host of personal qualities which we normally regard as unpleasant and which we like to avoid whenever possible." - Henepola Gunaratana

Of course, some 'teachers' claim meditation is easy and can fix all your problems in minutes by reaching some kind of transcendental state. They sell what people want to buy. Unfortunately, things aren't so simple. Yes, meditation is a powerful tool. But like every tool it needs to be learned about and used in the right way. It is important to understand what and why you are investing in all this time and energy. In this first hour, we will discuss what modern neuroscience and psychology offer us to understand the human mind and behaviour. How external and internal stimulus shapes our mood and behaviour, and with it, our perception/happiness and ultimately life.
Understanding the mind leads us to understand, acceptance and compassion for ourselves and others.
So, meditation isn't wishful thinking but sophisticate tool. And this presentation is not a form of intellectual entertainment but rather a necessary explanation and great motivator for persistent exercise. We discuss...

1. Basic facts about Meditation...
2. Basic facts about Mindfulness...
3. Why meditation, why mindfulness?...
4. Understanding the brain...
5. Important characteristics of the mind...
6. Which way meditation influence the mind?...
7. Practical application of meditation ...

...and a bunch of other interesting stuff.

2] DEMONSTRATION & PRACTICE - 240 min

Here you will learn to calm and sharpen the mind by focusing on the natural breath and then, to systematically observe physical sensations on the body. Gradually you will start to understand the relationship between these sensations and mental states and learn to reduce habitual reactions to sensations and develop a more balanced mind.

- Anapana meditation

  • Exercise 1  *(15 min + 5 min)
  • Exercise 2  *(15 min + 5 min)
  • Exercise 3  *(15 min + 5 min)

       ** Rest break - 10 min

- Vipassana meditation

  • Exercise 4  *(15 min + 5 min)
  • Exercise 5  *(15 min + 5 min)
  • Exercise 6  *(15 min + 5 min)

       ** Rest break - 10 min

  • Exercise 7  *(15 min + 5 min) 
  • Exercise 8  *(15 min + 5 min) 
  • Exercise 9  *(15 min + 5 min) 

       ** Rest break - 10 min

  • Exercise 10 (30 Min)

       *** Q&A - One-on-one discussion (30 min)

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* We demonstrate and practice each exercise for fifteen minutes. Afterwards, for five minutes, we discuss the experiences, answer questions, clear up confusion and give guidance for the next exercise.

** Rest break - time for rest, drink water, toilet...

*** The instructor will be available for one-on-one discussion in case you have any specific question. 

Important rules and requirements

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As you may notice, the workshop schedule is quite intense. In order to make the most of the time available, some requirements and rules must be followed.

Schedule

Entrance to the hall will be open until the official start according to the schedule. After the workshop begins, entry is no longer possible.

Noble silence

Noble Silence means silence of body, speech, and mind. Any form of communication with a fellow participant, whether by gestures, sign language, written notes, etc., is not allowed.

Participants may, however, speak with the demonstrator when is scheduled. But even these contacts should be kept to a minimum.
Participants should cultivate the feeling that they are working in isolation - It helps you and others to be more concentrated.

Reading and Writing

No reading or writing materials should be brought to the course. Participants should not distract themselves by taking notes. The restriction on reading and writing is to emphasize the strictly practical nature of this meditation.

Phones, Recording Devices and Cameras

Mobile phones or any other equipment for capturing an image or sound are not permitted except with the express permission of the demonstrator. 

Food, drinks

Eating is not permitted at the workshop. Soft drinks, preferably water, are allowed.

Clothing

The dress should be simple, modest, and comfortable. Tight, transparent, revealing, or otherwise, striking clothing (such as shorts, short skirts, tights and leggings, sleeveless or skimpy tops) should not be worn. Sunbathing and partial nudity are not permitted. This is important in order to minimize distraction to others.

Intoxicants and drugs, tobacco

No drugs, alcohol, tobacco or other intoxicants are allowed; this also applies to tranquillizers, sleeping pills, and all other sedatives. Those taking medicines or drugs on a doctor's prescription should notify the instructor. 

Who this workshop is for:

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The Meditation and Mindfulness workshop is for everybody. Literally!

Not so long time, maybe one or two generations ago, the toothbrushing was rare. Then, something happened, (maybe due to mass production of sweets) we humans somehow recognised the need and the benefits. And toothbrushing becomes a daily activity.

"Brain-brushing" as well, can become a daily activity. It would be a form of brain hygiene, just like dental hygiene.

Science is solid. Information overload, unnatural settings of society, growing expectations, or just being a human, can be the "sweets" for the brain and the mind. Meditation and Mindfulness offers a brush to cleanse your mind of old defilements and habit patterns.

Grab the opportunity. It is for free!

How can this workshop be free of charge?

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We believe that the knowledge and experience shared by this workshop are too important to be labelled with a price. Besides, the price should not be an obstacle to participate. Therefore, each participant who attends our Mindfulness and Meditation workshop is given this gift by a previous student. There is no charge for attending this workshop. It is run on a strictly voluntary donation basis. At the end of the workshop, if you have benefited from the experience, you are welcome to donate for the participant on future workshops, according to your volition and your means. Whether a donation is large or small, it should be given with the wish to help others: "The workshop I have taken has been paid for through the generosity of past students; now let me give something towards the cost of a future course, so that others may also benefit by this knowledge."

The meditation technique

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Not all meditation techniques have the same aims nor effects. We are discussing and practice based upon the specific mindfulness meditation technique, known as Vipassana. Vipassana means to see things as they are. Relatively rare, universal and non-sectarian type of meditation that aims to cleanse the mind and change the old habit patterns of the mind to be more open, aware, mindful and happy. Reducing stress, better focus and attention, greater efficiency, and other benefits attributed to meditation are the desired side effects.

“I don’t think that I could write any of my books without the help of the focus, discipline and the clarity that this kind of meditation gives.”

Yuval Noah Harari

Check out a short clip where world renown and trailblazing historian and author (Sapiens, Homo Deus, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century) Yuval Noah Harari discusses his experience with Vipassana and also some discussion on Reality, Suffering, and Consciousness at the India Today Conclave (March 9, 2018).

Duration: 9:39 min

Doing Time Doing Vipassana - A film by Eilona Ariel & Ayelet Menahemi

"We are all prisoners, undergoing a life sentence, imprisoned by our own minds. We are all seeking parole, being hostages of our anger, fear, desire. Is there anyone who doesn’t crave at one point or another, to take something that is not his? Is there anyone who doesn’t wish, at least once, to hurt the one who hurts him? It is a thin line that separates us from these people, who stare at us from inside this cage. The same things that do not go beyond the threshold of our thoughts have crossed, in their case the threshold of action. But still, we are alike. Inside our heads, we are all potential criminals." 

Duration: 52:32 min

Q & A

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May I attend only the presentation?

Of course, but please bear in mind that that the rules and requirements are in place for both parts.

Additional question?

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Ask us anything

If you have any additional question, please do not hesitate to ask.