Awakening: Ultimate Healing
Fall 2022 6-Week Course and Retreat with Henry Shukman
6-week course: October 9 – November 13, Sundays, 10am – 12pm MT
Weekend retreat: November 19 – 20, 10am – 3pm MT
(Course & Retreat are Online Only)
“With awakening, we discover that our sense of being a separate self has been a kind of illusion, and that we are intimately part of the entirety of the cosmos, of the very act of creation happening in every moment.
Why does this matter? In a sense, it’s the ultimate healing. It resolves all our troubles, it reveals who we really, most deeply are.“
– Henry Shukman
Natalie Goldberg is the author of fifteen books, including Writing Down the Bones, which has sold over one million copies, has been translated into fourteen languages, and started a revolution in the way we practice writing in this country. For more than forty years Natalie has practiced zen and taught seminars in writing as a practice. People from around the world attend her life-changing workshops, and she has earned a reputation as a great teacher.
We are excited to welcome Natalie Goldberg as our guest teacher for our session on Sunday, October 23.
Awakening: Ultimate Healing
(Please note, this course is designed for all levels. We invite you to dive in, whether you’re new to meditation, or many decades down the path…)
There are many meanings of the word awakening. We awaken each morning to a new day. We awaken to new ideas, new perspectives, new understandings of our psychology, our relationships, and of moral, ethical, political issues we may have been blind to.
In the Original Love program, we highlight four main kinds of awakening:
- We awaken to the peace and love of the mindful witness within us all, an innate awareness that can hold our troubles in peace and warmth.
- We awaken to many forms of support that are already holding us, supporting us, and to the fact that we may have been hesitant to trust them, to trust our innate goodness and worth, which allow us to be more open to support.
- We awaken to the innate effortlessness and richness of flow states in our very being, known as samadhi in the meditation traditions.
- And then there is the big kahuna, the life-changing shift that is always available, in every moment – awakening to boundless openness, boundless peace, the “original love” that is the very heart of who we are and what we experience.
This is the meaning of awakening that Zen espouses. It’s a profound shift in perspective that opens us up to an underlying, unconditional love – or “original nature,” as Zen calls it.
We discover that our sense of being a separate self has been a kind of illusion, and that we are intimately part of the entirety of the cosmos, of the very act of creation happening in every moment.
Why does this matter? In a sense, it’s the ultimate healing. It resolves all our troubles, it reveals who we really, most deeply are.
At the same time, it can make other kinds of growth much easier. It gives us space – limitless space – in which to heal our trauma, our relationships, and ultimately our society and culture. It resets our values, it opens up compassion, it makes the possibility of a compassionate culture and world that much more real.
So what are the downsides? In one sense, there are none at all!
But in another there may be – first, it’s not a predictable, guaranteeable experience. Second, it is kind of a cure-all, and kind of not. For many, it opens up a path of healing, whereby we find we need to do a lot of work to bring the reality we have seen into alignment with our everyday ways of experiencing.
And third, it can create an unhealthy power-dynamic, or even hierarchy, whereby some have glimpsed this and others have not. The fact is, no one is more, or less, part of the wholeness of awakened reality. We are all it. No one is left out. No one has more access to it.
Actually, no one can help us with it! It is who we already actually are.
But, we can do one thing about it: gather together and practice in gentle, patient awareness, in an ever-growing sense of not-knowing, of becoming ever more comfortable in a deep, loving uncertainty. We release what we think we know, and find it’s safe to do that, we are held regardless.
This is what we will be doing in our upcoming six-week course on Awakening: Ultimate Healing, that starts Sunday October 9th. Six Sundays, six blessed weeks of shared practice…
Questions about the course? Please feel free to email Jeremy, the Original Love Program Manager.
For the 6-week course participants, Henry will be recording 2 guided meditations per week. At the end of the 6 weeks, you’ll have a set of 12 meditations to keep and review. These guided meditations can serve as touchstones in your week, helping you deepen your exploration of Awakening.
Facilitated Community Sharing Groups
Our Community Sharing Groups have been supportive and deep platforms for experiencing the joy and healing balm of Sangha.
Here are some words from our Sharing Group participants:
“The sharing groups supported me so very much. People’s willingness to share and be vulnerable was inspirational! This experience encouraged me to be more honest and vulnerable.” – LJ
“It was very nourishing to share with the group and to hear my own thoughts, and to listen and to get to know the others. I picked up tips and ideas too. Hearing the shares from the other participants was very connecting and real.” – ET
- 4-5 people. You connect with the same people each week.
- Peer-led Sessions. We provide prompts, practices, and group intentions to help structure your time, and an Original Love team member is always available to support.
- 30 minutes of Q&A with long time meditators hand-selected by Henry: Scott Thornton, Shana Smith, Bill Bruce, and Sarah Gustafson. Each week, you have the opportunity to submit questions to our Q&A panel via email, and we will record their lively discussion. You get to watch this with your small group before diving into your sharing session.
- 30 minutes of sharing. After watching the Q&A, your group sets off together to dive deeper into sharing with one another, connecting the dots between the teachings, the practice, and our lives.
- The Asynchronous Forum option is an alternative to live group sessions, in which you engage with your community group via our online forum. You will receive weekly prompts, Q&A recordings, and the ability to ask questions as well! Details below.
- Sharing Groups run for 5 weeks starting week 2 of the course, and running right up until the retreat.
Community Sharing Groups are offered on Sundays at 12:15pm, Mondays at 6:30pm, Wednesdays at 11am and 6:30pm, and Fridays at 11am, all Mountain Time. You’ll be able to select your time preferences on the registration page.
The Community Sharing Groups are offered as an optional addition to the 6 week course. You can register here!
(Please note: Community Sharing Groups are included in the Original Love 1-Year Program.)
Sundays October 9 – November 13, 2022, 10am – 12pm MT
Saturday & Sunday November 19 – 20, 10am – 3pm MT
Community sharing groups:
Community Sharing Groups are offered during the 6-week course on Sundays at 12:15pm, Mondays at 6:30pm, Wednesdays at 11am and 6:30pm, and Fridays at 11am, all Mountain Time. You’ll be able to select your time preferences on the registration page.
For those of you in different time zones, or who can’t make the scheduled meeting times – all events (except the Sharing Groups) are being recorded and you will have access to recordings shortly after each event.
Original Love is 100% online in 2022: there are no in-person events this year.
6-Week Course: $249
Weekend Retreat: $195
6-Week Course & Community Sharing Group: $349
6-Week Course + Weekend Retreat: $395
6-Week Course + Weekend Retreat + Community Sharing Group: $495
We have a limited number of scholarships available. We don’t want anybody not to be able to take the program because of financial need. If you need financial assistance, please contact Jeremy.
If you have any questions, please contact Jeremy. We’re happy to answer any questions and look forward to having you join us!