In our 10 sessions together in Essence of Essence : The Emotional Path to Spirit you will learn how to use your natural emotions to open pathways to the spiritual life. We will learn a model of health, the purposes of our natural emotions, the awareness and expression of which clears and cleans out pathways for our spirit. This empower us to develop spiritual practices that nurture and express our authentic self. With this new clarity we activate our essence: our compassion for self and others.
Essence of Essence: The Emotional Path to Spirit is a two-part audio course approximately two and half hours in length that I have recorded from my book Essence: The Emotional Path to Spirit. Offered here for the first time as a complete and integrated audio course, it is available only through my web site. Each class – more of a conversation than a lecture – is a concise and convenient 14 – 15 minutes, with an opening meditation, a personal teaching story and concludes with a spiritual practice based on the lesson of the class.
Part I: Doing Our Work
The Four Quadrants: Balance
In this course we will learn that the purpose of our natural emotions is to wake us up, to welcome and express them to identify and honor our essence, our spirit, and thus learn how to create compassionate practices for ourselves and others. In this first session we begin with a model of overall health based on the balance of our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual selves. With this simple diagnostic tool, when illness or our dominant culture tips our equilibrium, we learn how to restore a healthy balance and have access to our spirit. We close with the spiritual practice “Balanced.”
Grief: Letting Go
In this session we remember that the purpose of grief is to allow us to live with life’s inevitable losses. When we acknowledge this natural emotion, instead of getting stuck in the distortions of shame and blame, we can find ways to express it. We recognize that the ego wants us to hold on to grief’s distortions, especially guilt and victimization. We learn to let go and give ourselves permission to lament and thus free our spirit. We close with the spiritual practice “Lamentation.”
Anger: Dark Night of the Soul
Next we learn that anger is a powerful emotion that can trap us in its distortions of rage and hatred. Yet when we deny a feeling we don’t like, we deny all our feelings, even the ones we like. Anger’s considerable energy is available to us when we create safe ways to express it before it builds up over months and years. Then in the present moment with new clarity and energy we can invite healing. We close with the spiritual practice “Releasing Anger.”
We learn that protection from danger is a primary and valuable purpose of the natural emotion of fear. Yet we can get stuck and contracted in anxiety and worry – even panic – unless and until we remember that fear serves us when purposeful; we sometimes need to be cautious and take it easy. Fear wakes us up to danger and gives us to energy to shelter ourselves when necessary, then to take action, to live an expanded life. We close with the spiritual practice “A Safe Place.”
In this session we acknowledge the many distortions of love which cause us to abandon ourselves. We see that the purpose of love is to live our true nature – not what other people want us to be – but who we really are, our authentic self. We remember the spaciousness and abundance when our love set free and our spirit can expand. We close with the spiritual practice “Flowing Hearts.”
Part II: Practicing Our Essence
Awareness of Essence
With this session we harvest our previous work to begin practicing our essence. We begin with a dynamic model of awareness which highlights the present moment as an opportunity to keep our emotions flowing. As we empty the toxic pool of unexpressed emotions, we access the health of externalization. Like waves on the ocean, our emotions come and go, while our essence remains. We close the with spiritual practice “I Am Aware.”
Living Our Essence
In this session we recognize the old roles we played – yesterday or in childhood – playing Victim, Rescuer, or Judge. Though these roles may have served us once, we can let go of these outdated patterns and create strategies to move into authentic presence. To let go of these old roles allows us to live who we really are, and thus join other spiritual companions.
We close with the spiritual practice “I Am.”
Essence Spiritual Practice
Newly aware and released from old roles, we use our new authenticity – our freedom to be ourselves – to develop and maintain new avenues into the spiritual realm, our flowering spiritual life. We investigate our spiritual beliefs to create individual everyday practices that support and express our emerging essence. Our spiritual practices develop the deep knowing that we are already that which never changes. We close with the spiritual practice “Your Spiritual Companions.”
Essence Meditation, Prayer and Art
With this session we learn the power of our everyday thoughts and the skill of transforming them into prayers of good intention and compassion. Tapping our essence – the artist within – empowers us to activate healing and create beauty. We learn a simple yet elegant practice of painting Enso circles, an ancient Japanese meditation that teaches the perfection of each present moment. We close with the spiritual practice “I am an Enso circle.”
Essence Beloved Community
Finally, we honor our hard work and harvest the course’s teachings by practicing our essence, both as expression of ourselves and connection to our community, near and far. We move from the loneliness of deep introspection to the realization that we have spiritual companions: awake people seek awake people. We review and highlight the lessons and join together to celebrate and affirm the beloved community of which we are a part. We close with the spiritual practice “My Tribe.”