One-Year Program, 2022
Welcome message from Henry Shukman:
Let 2022 be a year of deepening practice for you! May it be the year you solidify your commitment to this simple, brief, daily intervention of quiet and stillness that can transform our lives literally like nothing else.
In 2021, we offered our first Original Love courses and weekend retreats. It was a special experience to come together on Zoom with an international community of meditation practitioners. Henry offered deep guided meditations, innovative talks, and answered questions about how to bring meditation into everyday life. Students reported deep gratitude for the life changes and insights that came from last year’s courses.
In 2022, we are excited to offer the possibility of participating in Original Love in a Year Long Program format. While each course and retreat will be available to take individually (see our upcoming Late Winter 6-week course and weekend retreat on Mindfulness, Self-Love, and Awakening starting Feb 13), we know that some of you will want to dive in head first and engage with the entire year of courses and retreats.
This year, Henry has been inspired to go deeper with each of the four zones of practice in the Original Love program. We’ll be offering a full 6-week course and capstone weekend retreat for each season. See below for full curriculum and schedule.
Please note: all courses & retreats in 2022 are online only.
You are welcome to join the Original Love One Year Program at any time in 2022. When you join, you’ll receive immediate access to the courses, retreats, and Q&As that have already happened, as well as be able to join in current courses and retreats right away. If you’re considering joining us and have any questions, please contact Jeremy and he’ll be happy to help you.
Every talk Henry gave deepened my understanding. The last talk in the course broke open deep insights about why I have been meditating (to understand why there has been so much pain in my life from childhood on) and how with understanding comes compassion and the ability and desire to end suffering for others
The Original Love program is accepting and accommodating to meeting you where you are. To let go without judgement of yourself. This actually makes it easier to commit to deepening one’s practice without the pressure of being perfect. Henry has the hard-earned knowledge and passion that truly resonates. He has been where we are now and is very supportive. I love how funny he can be too…
Henry’s capacity to meet students at all levels of experience and communicate teachings in the most profound and understandable way sets him apart. His compassion, backed with fearless willingness to support in every way he knows how is truly unique and amazing. He is one of the few that knows how to engage both the experienced seeker and the beginner – at the same time!
Exciting New Features for 2022
Based on student feedback, we’re adding new features to our courses for 2022:
People have really enjoyed Henry’s guided meditations. During each 6 week course, Henry will be sending out 2 audio guided meditations per week to enhance your experience of that week’s teachings. In addition to each week’s class recordings, you’ll have 12 guided meditations at the end of the course that will be yours to keep.
Facilitated community sharing groups:
Facilitated by experienced meditation practitioners selected by Henry, these optional groups will offer a way to build community and a chance to share your meditation experiences – a powerful way to strengthen your practice.
Between courses Q&A sessions with Henry:
To facilitate your practice between the courses, Henry will be offering four 2-hour Q&A sessions throughout 2022.
Exceptional guest teachers:
Through the year, to enhance your learning on particular topics, Henry will occasionally be inviting guest teachers. These teachers will bring their deep expertise and meditative insights about particular topics to the 6 week courses and weekends. Teachers this year will include Rick Hanson, Ph.D., Roshi Joan Halifax, and Natalie Goldberg.
The great advantage of having four courses, and a year to savor them, is that we can go much deeper into each of the four “zones” of the Original Love program. This allows us to go deeper into ourselves, and to have a chance to get much more deeply grounded in our lives, our loves, and our true sense of purpose for this, our one blessed, troubled, beautiful, challenging life… As we settle enough, and find enough clarity and peace within ourselves, we will be able to serve our world in kinder, wiser, more dynamic ways.
At the same time, the deeper we go in any one of the four key areas of practice and growth, the more we discover its connections to the other three. Going further into mindfulness practice, for example, reveals hidden avenues to previously unrecognized support, and opens up flow states, and may offer glimpses of awakening.
And one further note: while this program is a comprehensive training in itself for some, for those who are interested, it can also serve as a great foundation for anyone drawn to venture into the wild territory of Zen koan training. Each of the zones is a helpful set-up for Zen awakening through koan study.
The aspiration of the whole Original Love program, and all its staff, is to be able to serve this world by helping all of us to grow as wiser, more clear-sighted and open-hearted beings. The purpose of the program is to be an environment where we can all grow in these ways – in ways the world needs. We do it through finding the intrinsic lovingness, caringness, energy, peace and joy that is always already within us, even if it sometimes feels quite hidden. Gradually, and sometimes suddenly, through our shared practice, we start to catch glimpses of ever more of the “original love” that is always here.
2022 One-Year Program Schedule:
(All courses and retreats are online only. They’ll be recorded, and you’ll be able to access them if you can’t attend live.)
Late Winter: Mindfulness and Self-Love:
- 6 week course: Sundays February 13 – March 20, 2022, 10am – 12pm MT
- Weekend retreat: Saturday & Sunday, March 26 – 27, 2022, times TBD
- 2-hr Q&A with Henry
Spring: Support and Trust
- 6 week course: Sundays May 1 – June 5, 2022, 10am – 12pm MT
- Weekend retreat: Saturday & Sunday, June 11 – 12, 2022, times TBD
- 2-hr Q&A with Henry
Summer: Samadhi – The Deep Clear Lake
- 6 week course: Sundays July 31 – September 4, 2022, 10am – 12pm MT
- Weekend retreat: Saturday & Sunday, September 10-11, 2022
- 2-hr Q&A with Henry
- 6 week course: Sundays, October 9 – November 13, 2022, 10am – 12pm MT
- Weekend retreat: Saturday & Sunday, November 19 – 20, 2022, times TBD
- 2-hr Q&A with Henry
A Special Opportunity in 2023
Henry is currently planning to offer an Original Love Meditation Facilitator Training in 2023. People who have taken the 2022 Original Love Year Long Program will have preference.
- $1400 if you’d like to pay for the program in one installment.
- $1500 if you’d like to pay in 6 monthly installments of $250. This option is only available via Paypal. Please contact Jeremy if you need help with this.
- $2000 if you’d like to contribute $600 to our scholarship fund for those needing financial assistance
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.
Mindfulness and Self-Love
In this first practice area, the foundation for all the others, we explore methods for settling more readily and deeply into our experience here and now. At the same time, giving our attention to present moment experience has the added benefit of turning down the dial on our emotional reactivity. We quiet the mind and calm the heart. We start to find a quality of restfulness, which is also alive, awake and dynamic, and which is the hallmark of mindfulness. Intrinsic to our growing awareness of here and now, maybe subtly or maybe clearly, is a quality of lovingness. We are learning to love, tend and cherish our experience, whatever it may be, and at the same time be equanimous about it. This is a beautiful thing to be developing.
We will be exploring three key methods:
- breath and body awareness
- parsing out the inner and outer sense channels of present moment experience
- learning to disarm and grow from the “five hindrances” – namely, common challenges that come up in meditation
Support and Trust
Here we learn ways of opening up to many kinds of support that are always available to us, even when we feel alone. Support is often both a matter of opening up and noticing it, as well as a matter of attitude. To be open to support, it helps to learn to have a glimmer of trust, and in order to trust, we need to be at least a bit vulnerable. So we learn ways of loosening defenses we may have against our vulnerability, so we can open up the healing power of trusting, and of receiving support, both seen and unseen.
We will be diving deep into the healing and enlivening power of different kinds of support that we commonly tend to overlook:
- the support of our own bodies and their many parts
- the air, the earth, the sun and water
- ancestral legacies and gifts
- the gift of dreams
- nature and the more-than-human realm
Samadhi: The Deep Clear Lake
In this practice area, we learn methods for deepening meditation experience, and coming to enjoy sitting, in remarkably fulfilling ways. The gold-standard in most meditation traditions is “samadhi” – meaning, various kinds of absorption or “flow states” that we can learn to enter more commonly. There’s a fine line between being too goal-oriented in practice, and getting caught in seeking out certain kinds of experience – versus, on the other hand, letting things be as they are, and maybe allowing things to stagnate or become dull. We learn to navigate that line, and start to taste the deep fulfillment that meditation can open up, as we learn to do less and less, and allow the sitting itself to do all the work for us, leading us down a path of growth and discovery.
We explore various techniques for cultivating samadhi, including:
- calming breathwork
- deepening breath awareness
- effortless sitting
- open spaciousness
In this area of practice, we start to explore ways of glimpsing a whole other face of our experience – the reality of “awakening.” This is what the deep traditions are devoted to, and why they still exist. Yet at the same time, we learn to avoid “gaining ideas” around accomplishing special experiences through sitting.
To awaken is to see new dimensions of our existence. This can be powerful and even quite overwhelming. But it can also come in small glimpses, as we get tastes of other registers of consciousness, where we are not as separate and independent as we thought.
Rather than seeking out a desired goal called “awakening,” the approach here encourages us to explore ways of tasting something that is always already here, which effort can’t really help us to find. It has been here forever, right in the midst of our experience. It’s just a matter of learning to glimpse it.
Some methods we try out include:
- falling back into what is already holding us
- taking the “backward step”
- exploring the borders between “me” and the environment around “me”
- searching for the “I” in the middle of experience
- examining and inquiring into the sense of self
- sitting with some preliminary koans