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Workshops I – V
Workshop I: Think for Understanding.
Workshop II: Feed Internal Needs.
Workshop III: Fulfill Internal Potentials.
Workshop IV: Master Developmental Tasks.
Workshop V: Create Lasting Happiness.
These five workshops cover the critical categories of information and skills necessary to make our intelligence fully functional, so we can evolve into fulfilling our uniquely human internal potentials and create a complete and lasting happiness.
In normal life, most people believe that happiness is measured by the degree we control “feeling good”, and that mental and emotional development happens automatically, like going thru puberty, or aging. The observable fact, however, is that internal development and lasting happiness both depend on understanding ourselves, life, and other people.
As a result, in normal life internal development and lasting happiness rarely occur. Instead, we pass thru life pursuing control over feeling good, and never do fulfill our uniquely human internal potentials to create satisfaction and meaning for ourselves, build layers of intimacy and genuine emotional bonds with other people, make our work meaningful, or learn how to express love, pursue truth, experience beauty and develop wisdom.
Internal—or mental and emotional development requires an education that provides factual information essential to acquiring the awareness and skills we need to fulfill ourselves, nurture other people, love whole-heartedly, and become wise. The following series of five workshops provide the information and practical experiences necessary for each student to develop his/her mind and emotions for the innocent purpose of first understanding, and then nurturing.
Mastering Mindfulness—Workshop I: Think for Understanding
In the first workshop you learn that understanding, not feeling good, is the real source of all internal development and lasting happiness. By learn, I mean that by acquiring factual information, in addition to consciously observing your own experience, you clearly see that understanding yourself, life, and other people is the fundamental source of feeding and fulfilling every need and potential—internal and external.
Once you see for yourself that understanding, not feeling good is what happiness requires, it is time to learn how to think for understanding. A normal education, no matter how fancy or expensive, only teaches us to imitate and regurgitate, it does not teach us how to observe reality accurately, ask questions, use our reason, experiment, and over time discover what is true, define what is needed, and learn how to master every need and potential.
In this workshop you will learn the universal process necessary to fully understand any event, issue, or topic. You will also define the seven mental tools essential to continue expanding your internal competence to think for understanding over your entire lifetime.
Mastering Mindfulness—Workshop II: Feed Internal NeedsIn normal life, it is rare for anyone to define and master a single internal need, or fulfill a single internal potential. Since all lasting satisfaction is the result of feeding needs, and all permanent meaning is a consequence of fulfilling our potentials, this means that in normal life the satisfaction and meaning required for lasting happiness is something we may pursue, but normally lack the understanding and skill to create.
Internal needs are complex, usually invisible to the normal eye, and are rarely if ever acknowledged. This is in contrast to external needs and wants, which most people are able to acknowledge, even if they fail to master them. Internal development requires that we learn how to separate internal from external, and needs from wants. Then, we must learn how to define and feed our needs, and if we have time and energy left over, we can gratify our desires.
In normal life, we often gratify external desires at the expense of our needs, and in the process, never identify even one internal need. This makes it impossible to create lasting happiness for ourselves, intimacy with a mate, or to become competent parents.
In this workshop, you will take the first critical steps toward mastering your internal needs for acknowledgment, self-worth, genuine emotional bonds, internal challenge, joy, intensity, conscious purposes, a satisfying and meaningful life: truth, beauty, love and wisdom.
Mastering Mindfulness—Workshop III: Fulfill Internal Potentials
Internal development is a process of building layers of information, awareness, and skill that over time fulfill our potential to understand, care-about, and master every need and potential. Understanding, caring, and mastering are the most basic of the five uniquely human mental and emotional potentials.
With a normal education, backed-up by normal purposes and priorities, we never even identify, much less clearly define or consciously master a single internal potential. This is one reason that lasting happiness is often impossible to create in a normal life.
The remedy for this frequently tragic normal fate is to first identify, then define, and finally, take the clearly defined steps necessary to fulfill our uniquely human internal potentials to understand, care, and master.
This workshop helps to form a new and detailed picture in your mind of a genuinely conscious alternative to normal human life. This new picture is based on observable facts, not sentimental beliefs, feelings or fantasies. We need facts to illuminate an objective path to the internal development necessary for the lasting happiness that we like to imagine, but frequently don’t have the education, or internal competence to create.
Mastering Mindfulness—Workshop IV: Complete Developmental Tasks
Each stage of life is accompanied by new and more complex mental and emotional tasks that require layers of information, awareness, and skill that we need to master before we can complete the developmental tasks for that stage. Normally, we just assume that if we make it through puberty, finish our education, establish a career, and perhaps find a mate and procreate—”then by golly, we’re developed!” Sadly, that’s just not the reality.
Instead, everyone has developmental tasks as children, adolescents, young adults, middle-aged adults, and senior citizens. At each stage of life the tasks increase in complexity, but most of us fail to complete even the basic tasks of childhood: that is, build self-awareness and self-worth, learn how to provide emotional warmth and safety, and take the first steps toward learning how to explore any topic to the point of understanding.
This workshop will provide detailed pictures of all our developmental tasks, and the specific steps necessary to complete a mental and emotional development we never even knew existed. Over time, our internal development will eventually match our external chronological age as we learn how to fulfill ourselves, offer and receive genuine emotional bonds, and create meaningful work.
Mastering Mindfulness—Workshop V: Create Lasting Happiness
Our culture teaches us that feeling good is the source of happiness, so we pursue pleasure, success, and approval with frantic enthusiasm—sometimes intensified by feelings of chronic anxiety. We often believe these normal pursuits are a sure path to happiness, which indicates we may have assumed, but not actually thought about happiness.
In this workshop, your beliefs about happiness are first defined by observing your life’s purposes and priorities—and the obvious results. Then, you will be invited to look at a conscious alternative—that is, internal mental and emotional development.
By the end of this workshop, you will have a detailed mental picture of the priorities that have organized your life, and the consequences they created. You will also have a clear picture of an alternative set of conscious purposes and priorities that will create an entirely different experience of being alive. Now, you have options, and a real choice!