This training builds on the mindfulness and compassion trainings that precede it. In the mindfulness training we learn how to settle and stabilise our minds, while in the compassion training we develop the capacity to hold our inner experience with warmth and kindness. Now in the insight training we deepen our understanding of psychological process by exploring the roots of our experience, and what drives us. This training is a secular and experiential training, which is delivered over three weekends or over one weekend and a 5 day retreat.
WEEKEND ONE – EXPLORING THE SUBLIMINAL
During the first weekend we will explore the different levels of mind, and in particular we will look at how to gain access to the subliminal level, since this is where the conditioned reflexes that drive our reactions are located. We will see how thought patterns arise involuntarily and how we buy into them before we even realise it, and how there is a sense that ‘this is the way it must be’. Rob Nairn calls this the ‘subliminal reflex’.
We will work experientially with the practices of resting, reflection and enquiry and introduce the exercises of backtracking and HIFAWIF (How I Feel About What I’m Feeling). These practices create the conditions for insight to arise exposing the underling habits of thought, feeling and behavior that drive us.
WEEKEND TWO – DEFAULT MODES
After practicing with resting, reflection and enquiry we come to recognize that often we are caught in default modes, which colour our experience. These default modes tend to be underpinned by one or more of the destructive emotions of anger, desire, jealousy, pride or ignorance. We explore approaching the emotions of anger, desire and jealousy with a corresponding attitude of loving kindness, compassion or joy and then look inwardly at the felt sense of the emotion to see what unfolds. ing and behavior that drive us.
By exploring our experience in this way we come to see how our negative emotions can be a source of psychological growth if we relate to them skilfully, rather than compulsively identifying with them.
WEEKEND THREE – COMING TO REST
During this weekend we continue our exploration of the destructive emotions. We approach the emotions of pride and ignorance with a corresponding attitude of equanimity and then look inwardly at the felt sense of the emotion to see what unfolds.
Through practicing with our destructive emotions we come to see the ‘reified’ sense of self at the centre of our suffering and learn how to let go of our perception of solid and separate self. We come to recognize the ever changing nature of our experience which is dependent on countless causes and conditions.
As we loosen our grasping on ‘me’ and ‘mine’ and develop more of a relaxed attitude towards the ups and downs of our experience we will deepen our experience of resting that we practiced in the mindfulness module.