Meetings In Being - Satsang Meditation & Open Inquiry with Greg Marian
Self Love as a Path for Awakening, Healing, & Embodiment
A 6 Week Online Circle of Presence Course

Course Outline
(Find a personal invitation and course overview by Greg below.  Visit the Audio page
for a new Embodiment Dialogue which explores many themes of this course.)

Nov 3 – Dec 8, 2016  
Live sessions on Thurs Nov 10, 24, Dec 8, & Dec 22, 6-815 pm PST

Week 1 & 2 - Nov 3 & 10
Witnessing and Developing Spaciousness around
our experience as a act of Self Love

Session 1 - Noticing Awareness as distinct from our arising experience,
& Feeling the felt sense of Presence in our body and Heart.

Session 2 - Allowing everything to be as it is, developing unconditional acceptance of 'what is', & choosing to be the Witness of our changing experience

Week 3 & 4 – Nov 17 & 24
Feeling our Emotional and Somatic Experience & Opening to
the Felt Sense of Loving Presence as a act of Self Love

Session 3 - Opening to emotions and sensations more deeply, being the Feeling Witness, Love coming back for Itself, & Sending Loving Presence to ourselves

Session 4 - What thought is being believed right now?, Letting go of contractions, Being patient and gentle with ourselves, & Embodying Oneness & qualities of Loving Presence

Week 5 & 6 – Dec 1 & 8
Forgiving Ourselves and Releasing our Core Beliefs
and Contractions as an act of Self Love

Session 5 - Letting go of control, Releasing our past, Feeling core beliefs in our bodies, Seeing emotions as energy, & Releasing our core holding patterns as self-forgiveness

Session 6 - Choosing to be a Loving Presence, Navigating the energy flows of life and relationships, deepening in Presence, & 'Am I devoted to Love or fear right now'?

Session 7 - Bonus Integration Session
Thurs Dec 22, 6-815pm PST


In this Course You Will Receive

  • 3 - 2.25 hour Tele-Satsang Sessions – Live sessions will be offered every 2 weeks, which will include a short guided/silent meditation period, an opening talk related to each week’s content, and plenty of time to dialogue, ask questions, or directly inquire into your experience with Greg.  Although each week’s session has a theme, please note that there is always an openness to whatever arises for people in the moment.  Live sessions will be held on Thurs Nov 10, 24, & Dec 8, 6-815pm PST

  • 3 Satsang Exploratory Talks - These talks were recorded by Greg specifically for this course which more deeply explore the course’s weekly themes, expand upon the rationale and use of the practices offered throughout the course, and address common questions, challenges, and problem areas that people can experience on their awakening and embodiment journey, and in their practice.  The Exploratory Talk recordings will be made available on Thurs Nov 3, 17, & Dec 1

  • MP3 recordings of the live Satsang sessions & Exploratory Talks – The recordings will be available to course participants to re-listen at your convenience, or if you missed a live session.  Recordings of live sessions will be available within 2 days of the event. 

  • 6 - MP3 Guided Meditations – Each week a new 15-20 min guided meditation will be offered as a group practice for the 6 week course.  Each week’s guided meditation will build upon the previous week’s practice and instructions.  Several helpful practices and techniques will be added onto a simple foundational body and breath-centered meditation practice, with each week’s meditation deepening and expanding the practice.  More subtle invitations and pointers with be added over the duration of the course in a step-wise fashion so people don't feel overwhelmed.  Although each week’s guided meditation can be used on its own, this particular series of meditations was created with people in mind who don't currently have a practice, or who would like to develop an ongoing practice, allowing time during the week for you to experience and integrate each week’s practice. 

  • A private Facebook page just for course participants – A private Facebook page is offered as a way for people to connect with other people from the course, to share their experiences of the course and its practices, and to support each other through any challenges that may arise. 

  • 6 Weekly Embodiment Practices, Presence Reminders, or Mindfulness Techniques – These invitations are offered as a way for people to bring their meditation and spiritual practice into their daily lives and relationships.  People are invited to do these simple but effective practices throughout the day, which usually only take the time that it takes to take 3 deep breaths.  People will be able to share their challenges, successes, and experiences of these practices with other course participants on the course Facebook page.

  • 6 Weekly Self-Care and Self-Love ‘Homeplay’ Practices – These simple self-love and lifestyles practices are offered to help support one’s inner exploration, psychological health, and overall well being.  People can experiment with these optional practices at their convenience or as time permits.  Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences on Facebook or with their practice partner as a way to glean the support of the group intention behind the practice and overall process of the course.

  • 6 Weekly Contemplation, Journaling, or Creativity Exercises – These optional practices will be offered as invitations to deepen your inquiry and exploration through writing and creative expression.  People are welcome to share their experiences with the group if they feel called to.

  • 6 Weekly Auxiliary Spiritual Practices – These simple, helpful optional resources, practices, and techniques are introduced to people in the context of their usefulness in one's awakening and embodiment.  These written materials are given as introductions and invitations for people to explore these techniques more deeply on their own if they choose.

  • An Extensive 'Good Things' list - This list contains a wide range of activities and invitations that you can do for yourself to deepen in your practice of self-love, and of being good, kind, and gentle with yourself.

  • Inquiry and Practice Partners - For participants who would like more intimate group support, the opportunity is available to be paired with another course participant as a practice and inquiry partner to help support each other’s practice and process during the 6 week course.   

Course Investment
Sliding Donation - $90-180*

  • To make this experience as available to people as possible, the course is being offered on a sliding donation basis.  A 2-pay option can be made available for those who need it.  A limited number of course scholarships will be available as well, please email for more details. * No one is turned away for a lack of funds.
  • To register or for more information, please email Greg at info@MeetingsInBeing.org.  For more course details and some commonly asked questions, please visit the Self Love Course page at www.MeetingsInBeing.org
  • See the section below for some common Q&A's about the course

 
A personal invitation and course overview by Greg

Dear Friends

I'd like to invite you to join me in my newest online offering ‘Exploring Self Love as a Path to Awakening, Healing, & Embodiment: A 6 Week Online Circle of Presence’.  The intention of this online course is to explore themes related to Unconditional Love and Self-Love from the Awakened, Non-dual perspective, and to address the usefulness of the practice of Self-Love both before awakening to our True Nature, as well as during the Embodiment and Integration process that occurs after spiritual awakening. 

The practice of self-love is often associated with psychological or new age practices geared towards developing a 'better sense of me’, while the Direct Path and the teachings of Non-duality encourage us to directly transcend our egoic self, and awaken to the reality that our individual self and identity is ultimately a conceptual illusion.  So how can one reconcile the Non-Dual realization of No-self, with the more 'dualistic' practice of self-love, which attempts to love something that is ultimately unreal?  This online event is offered as an opportunity for us to engage, explore, and inquire into this and many other related questions together, and to discover what we find.

Reconciling No-self with Self-Love

Most people on a spiritual path approach their spirituality and experience from the standpoint that the ego and our True Nature are two completely separate perspectives.  On one level its clear that they are different, both conceptually and experientially.  We can clearly recognize and feel the difference between being caught in the contractions and feelings of suffering that arise when we are gripped by our conditioning, and the unbounded freedom, joy, and unconditional Love and Presence that we feel when we are experiencing our True Nature. 

From the standpoint of our True Nature, being caught in the egoic mind and our conditioned emotional patterns is the root cause of endless suffering, seeking, and confusion.  From the standpoint of our egoic self, which constantly feels a sense of incompleteness, unworthiness, and separation, the only thing that seems possible is to continually chase all the experiences and things that we want, and to avoid and protect ourselves from all the experiences and things that we don’t want.  Our egoic self is never satisfied or at peace for very long, while our True Nature is eternally at peace, content, and fulfilled.  It would appear that these two perspectives are diametrically opposed, and would always be in conflict with each other.

But if an experience of our True Nature reveals that everything is one undivided Wholeness, and that the essence of our True Nature is Unconditional Love, Presence, and Oneness, then how could our individual self be separate from this Wholeness?  From this standpoint and experience, the question may even arise "Why wouldn't we love our own self, our body-mind, and all of our conditioning?  And if self-love isn’t present within us right now, why wouldn't we do everything we could to restore this natural and Essential condition of our Deepest Nature?"  Experiencing our True Nature does reveal that there is no individual self, but it also simultaneously reveals that there is only One, all inclusive Self Essence which manifests as everything, and which despite surface appearances, is actually in constant and intimate union with all its manifestations. 

As such it is always and unconditionally Loving and in Love with all parts of Itself, including all other apparent selves, and all parts of our own self and conditioning.  If you have directly experienced and tasted this Realization even for a moment, you have felt the truth of this beyond concept or belief.  The lived reality however is that even most people who have directly experienced their True Nature still continue to cycle between feeling connected to this sense of Oneness and Wholeness at certain times, then find themselves being gripped by contraction, suffering, and feelings of separation at other times.  I've come to recognize that this condition is so common that it could basically be described as being a normal and natural part of the Embodiment and Integration process that follows spiritual awakening.  As paradoxical as it may seem to the mind initially, this situation also reveals that egoic and Awakened Consciousness can quite easily co-exist with each other. 

A Unique & Inclusive Perspective
 
One of the unique aspects of my own Non-dual flavored offerings is my openness to welcome whatever arises for people, especially related to one's core contractions and wounds, both before and after spiritual awakening.  Part of this openness obviously comes from my own background in psychology, but a large part of it stems from having met with hundreds of people over the years, many who have had powerful awakening experiences, and discovering that many of these people still continue to deal with issues related to their upbringing, past conditioning, and traumas. 

So rather than simply pointing out the fundamental misunderstandings that are at the root of all our psychological suffering, I have recognized that it’s also very useful to give Space, time and unconditional Love to the wounded parts of ourselves, and that doing so is how these parts can fully heal and be let go of.  Although deep Clarity and Insight are always necessary to move beyond our suffering and conditioning, bringing simple Compassion, Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness to all parts of our individual self is also needed in order to heal from our past wounds, and to more deeply embody and integrate our spiritual awakening into our everyday lives and relationships.

As our spiritual experience deepens and reveals more nuanced levels of Wholeness, we recognize that our individual self is nothing more than a collective composite of conditioned perspectives and emotions, core beliefs, and energetic paradigms.  We also recognize that healing our individual self is simultaneously a healing for the entire collective human consciousness (for anyone that has resistance to this viewpoint, I often to suggest they substitute the word 'self' with 'body', as the body will still be there even after the self has fallen away).  So from this vantage point not only is loving and healing our individual self and body necessary for our own evolution and freedom, it also turns out to be the highest service that we could offer the rest of humanity.

The spiritual teacher Adyashanti beautifully shares the essence of this perspective when he said “The biggest embrace of love you’ll ever make is to embrace yourself completely.  Then you’ll realize you’ve just embraced the whole universe, and everything and everybody in it”.  Rumi shares this perspective another way by saying “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it”.  The Buddha recognized this perspective in his own way when he said “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”.  And of course it's easy to see why Christ’s entire life and teaching could simply be summed up by his invitation to “Love each other, as I have loved you”.  The premise of this course is built upon recognizing Self-Love in this way, and ultimately invites us to see that waking up and staying awake is not only the greatest act of self-love that we can give to ourselves, it is also the greatest Service and Love that we can offer the rest of the world.  And because our True Nature is Love, the only thing that separates self-love from Self-Love is our perception of our own sense of self.

A Community of Practice & A Circle of Presence

Beyond bringing the themes of Unconditional Love and Self-Love to this online course for our mutual inquiry and exploration, the other intention is to create and foster a sense of community, which is reflected by framing the event as a 6 Week Online Circle of Presence.  The intention is for participants to feel connected with each other, to offer their support by being witness and responding to each other’s challenges and successes, and also offering the collective support of a practicing community for those interested in having or wishing to develop a meditation practice. 

Although having a meditation practice isn’t necessary to be part of this event, this course offers the opportunity for people to develop one if they choose.  Neuroscience has revealed that it takes about 21 days to develop and set down the neural pathways needed for a new skill, so for those interested, this event would represent two 21 day cycles of practice as encouragement and support to help develop and support the setting down of a meditation practice groove in your nervous system.  Beyond one's personal efforts, you will also have the collective support and intention of a like-minded community of people practicing along side you throughout the 6 week course, and offering support for each other via online formats.

To support this collective Journey, each week a 15-20 min guided meditation will be offered which includes and integrates several simple practices that I have found to be helpful for people during the 8 years that I have offered Satsang, and from over 15 years of a committed, daily practice.  The essential components of the guided meditations include a simple guided body scan and relaxation practice, a simple grounding and releasing technique, and a simple breath meditation technique.  The practices integrate elements from a wide range of useful techniques including Buddhist Vipassana meditation, the research of the HeartMath Institute, Yoga Nidra, Chi Gong, body centered psychotherapy, Energy Psychology, Mindfulness Training, and several other time honored meditation traditions. 

This simple foundational meditation practice will then be used as a jump off point to open up and inquire into our experience more deeply and intimately, and to gently shift our attention back towards our True Nature.  A wide range of Direct Path pointers will be used, including traditional Self Inquiry, various Non-Dual teachings, and several heart, body, and somatic based invitations.  Although every guided meditation will eventually invite people to simply rest and abide as Loving Presence, the initial weeks will focus more upon body and breath awareness, and directly connecting to the felt sense of our body.  The following week’s practice will continue to develop these techniques, but more focus will be given to explore other simple inquiry, releasing, and experiential techniques.

The overall invitation of the practices are focused upon gently shifting our attention back towards our True Nature, but also bringing attention to areas of our experience that may need to be embraced, integrated, healed, and let go of.  Instead of including complicated practices and processes into the guided meditations, I have specifically kept the practices simple and easy, and accessible to anyone, regardless of their experience with meditation and spirituality, yet helpful to those who are already awake.  The focus is on bringing the intuitive essence of these helpful techniques through the portal of the felt sense of the body.  Other invitations and practices will be added over the 6 week course in a step-wise fashion which builds upon your expanding ability to access an internal resource of peace, stillness, and equanimity.  The practice will become more relaxed, fluid, and effortless over time, and will encourage more subtle shifts and adjustments to your experience, inviting more easeful access to your True Nature.

Embodying our Practice & A Deeper Support

Beyond offering a simple awareness and meditation practice that you can do while sitting quietly for a few minutes each day, I am also inviting people to bring this overall practice into their daily lives.  I have included several simple techniques and invitations into the guided meditations that can easily be brought into your everyday life, as simple awareness breaks and reminders.  When it comes to spiritual practice, I am drawn towards techniques that are simple, quick, and can easily be integrated into other techniques that people may already be doing, yet can also be used on their own. 

I am also drawn towards practices that can be brought into and integrated into our everyday life situation, as touch points to remind us to return to our True Nature throughout our day.  Having a holistic and integrated practice like this can be a great help in our endeavor to bring our insights and realizations into our everyday lives and relationships.  These kinds of simple invitations are included both in the guided meditations, as well as offered as daily ‘embodiment practices’ which will be invited to be practiced as a community throughout our day.  I have personally practiced and received benefit from everything that I am offering in this course, so will be practicing alongside you, and look forward to taking this journey of exploration and discovery together with you.

I understand that you have a very busy and engaged life, so I have tried my best to accommodate your ability to have the necessary time to engage in the practices in this course.  As such, all the practices that are offered are optional, or can be practiced as time permits.  All the satsang sessions will be recorded and can be listened to at your convenience or if you miss a session and all the guided meditations, talks, and written resources will be available online and can be downloaded at any time. 

For those who have the time and would like to commit to having a daily meditation practice though, I have also created ways to support you in this endeavor.  The guided meditations are 15-20 min long so can be practiced once or twice a day, or as often as is possible for you.  Aspects of the practices will also be encouraged to be brought into your day as simple awareness breaks and reminders, most of which can be done in the time that it takes to take 3 deep breaths.  We don't always have the time to stop what we are doing during our day to do a spiritual practice, but we can always pause for a few moments to take some deep breaths, or to give ourselves a simple reminder to be present and mindful.

For those who have more time and would like to deepen their experience, optional weekly journaling, contemplation, and creativity exercises related to each week’s content will be offered to do at your own pace.  Weekly self-love and self-care practices will also be offered to do at one's convenience, or whenever time permits.  Each week a simple and helpful auxiliary practice will also be introduced that is useful in our awakening and embodiment process, which people can explore on their own if they choose.  An extensive 'Good Things' list will also be included as a way to encourage participants to do at least one good thing for themselves each day. 

Even if you don't have time to do or use all these optional resources, you will have them on hand to access at any point in the future.  A private Facebook group will also be available just for course participants as a way for the group to connect with each other, share their experiences and challenges, witness and support each other’s process, and feel more deeply connected and part of a community of like minded individuals going through a shared experience together.  For those who are interested in having even more group support and encouragement, the opportunity to be paired with another participant as a practice and inquiry partner will be available, and you can choose to connect and support each other throughout the course as often as you like. 

A Warm Invitation

Although a spiritual and practice community can have a different feel when it is done in person, I have tried my best to make things as supportive and community oriented as I can in an online environment.  Its my hope that our collective intention, loving support, and interest in exploring our selves and the themes of this course will create a warm, supportive environment, bringing our hearts and spirits closer together, regardless of where we are located.  I know from my last 2 online courses that a deep sense of connection and Presence can definitely be experienced in a group by connecting by phone and the internet.  It's my intention to cultivate an even deeper sense of community in this course, and to help people feel even more connected and supported.  I invite you to share in this experience with me, and I look forward to taking this Journey of Exploration with you.


With Love and Blessings
Greg


Some Common Q&A's

Is there a registration deadline? 

You are welcome to register right up until the start date or even later, but you will be able to access the first week's resources early if you register sooner.  As the sessions will be recorded, and the recordings and course materials will be downloadable, it's possible for you to join in at any time.  Once you register, all the necessary information will be sent to you.

I can’t attend all the Tele-course sessions in person but would like to keep up with the Course.  When will the recordings be available? 

The MP3 recordings of the sessions will be available to course participants within 2 days with any longer pauses edited out for listening convenience.  Each week two MP3 guided meditations and other course materials will become available as well.  In the past some course participants haven’t been able to attend any of the sessions in person because of schedule conflicts, or because time zone differences made the sessions quite late, and have participated solely by listening to the recordings.  To accommodate for this situation, people are welcome to email their questions to Greg.

Is the course offered through skype? 

The Tele-course is offered through a tele-conference service where each course participant calls into a central number.  People are welcome to call in with any phone, or with an internet service like skype.  The main number is a US number so long distance charges may apply, but for people who don’t have a long distance plan on their phone, a convenient option would be to get a long distance subscription with skype.  Unlimited Can/US subscriptions are available for only $3 a month.

I often can’t formulate things into a question, but would still like to dialogue with Greg. 

This is a common occurrence for people, especially when we are in the energy field of satsang, which can quiet the mind.  Greg's invitation is to just reach out and connect with him, and trust that we will be taken exactly where we need to go.  All that is needed is a curious interest and openness to what wants to unfold, and where the inquiry wants to take us.  Some of the most rich and useful dialogues have occurred when people simply connected with Greg without a question, but with an interest to explore and inquire.  In the process of the dialogue, the conversation was guided towards what was needing attention and Presence.  Whatever people bring up and share is incredibly universal, so don’t ever feel like you are taking up other people’s time.  It’s all important and everything that is shared is much more relevant and helpful to others than you may think.

My finances are very restricted at the moment.  Is it still possible for me to participate in the course? 

Yes.  Greg can appreciate this situation which is why he offers his events with a sliding scale.  Some other options are also available to make the course more available to everyone who is interested, including offering one’s donation in installments.  Course scholarships are available as well, email for more details.