11 reasons why you should unravel the secrets of your life

Would you like to know what the secret is of living mindfully? Or don’t you even know what that means but you are curious? Do you want to find the doorway to inner peace and feel a Universal connectedness? Let me take you by the hand.

Take an upright position and straighten your back. It can be on your bed, in your chair on the couch or on the floor, wherever you are sitting right now with your laptop, smart phone or iPad. Now relax into this uplifted position, enjoy the goodness of sitting upright and having a straight spine for a couple of moments. This is you being you, feel the simplicity and the dignity of that.

Now surrender to the moment. Just be still. Listen to the sounds of the world, the cars in the street, children playing, a bird singing, or just your breath. Feel your breath coming in and going out. Let the outbreath dissolve and watch how the inbreath naturally comes in, again, and again, and again… Observe the thoughts that might come flashing by as if they were an amusing video, let them go by, don’t interfere, just watch them go by with a smile on your face. Feel the peace of sitting still and just breathing. Just take this very moment to just sit and breathe as long as you like. You can continue reading when you are satisfied. Now close your eyes…

(…)

How did that feel? Peaceful? New? Filled with thoughts? Tensed? Relaxed? Spacious? Whatever the experience was, it was your experience, your truth for this moment. And the only way to penetrate this personal truth is by turning your attention inwards in this loving and kind way, without any judgments or expectations. By doing that on a regular basis more and more of your inner being will unfold. You will be amazed about the depth of your own being.

This is what meditation is and this is what meditation is about: experiencing yourself as yourself and by doing that discovering that there is an immense terrain of silence, strength, forgiveness, love, happiness and honesty inside you that you were not aware of. It lies there, waiting to be discovered by you. I feel that it is a sin against your soul to leave that potential of yours undisclosed. I can’t force you to start integrating meditation in your life; the choice is yours.

But I can make it easier for you. I will offer new 8 week mindfulness (& more) meditation courses in February 2011 and will give you now 11 good reasons to join me. If you are a reader from Amsterdam or live or work acceptably close by you will have an opportunity to change your life. And for myself it is nice to have motivated participants. I like my groups not to be too full but also not too empty. I still have some spaces left. Feel free to join if what I offer speaks to you.

1. Mindfulness meditation helps relieve stress

There is a lot of scientific proof of the benefits of mindfulness mediation. Benefits of mindfulness practice include reduction of stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain. But stress is one of the most common symptoms in the lives of successful and busy people and relief of stress is much sought after. My mindfulness meditation course focuses especially on stress reduction. Not only will you learn to meditate formally but I will give you neat little tools and tricks to integrate the mindful state of mind during your whole day. This will reduce stress significantly and will give you quality of life in return.

2. Mindfulness meditation allows you to let go of negative thoughts

It is the ‘Thinking Mind’ that produces all these negative thoughts. During the mindfulness course you will learn to connect with the body and bodily sensations. Thus you enter the world of the ‘Feeling Body’, shifting your focus from thinking to feeling. That will already help tremendously. You will also learn to not identify with thoughts, regardless of their content. This will also contribute a lot. But most important is the practice of mindfulness itself; paying attention in a friendly, non judgmental manner. It will make you less harsh and judgmental towards yourself.

3. I will teach you how to speak and listen from the heart and become more open and friendly

This is why I named my course mindfulness (& more). This is the ‘& more’ part, and in my opinion the most important part. What is the point of meditation if it doesn’t translate to more compassionate and honest behavior? That starts with authentic and open communication. I will learn you how to do it and how to manifest it in your life.

4. My meditation courses are held on beautiful locations in Amsterdam

It was more or less a coincidence that I gave my first workshops on a really nice location but I liked the added value of aesthetic surroundings and realized that the vast majority of my competitors give their courses in uninspiring places. So I kept doing it my way. What also helps is that Floris Koch, the founder of The Playing Circle has become a good friend and we like working together. And co-accidently his core business is facilitating extraordinary locations.

5. The ‘Day of Silence’ is awesome

The ‘Day of Silence’ is the peak moment of the course and I enjoy making it into a complete and rich experience. It will be a full day of meditation, workshops, beautiful food, ceremony and sharing. A heart warming experience you will not easy forget.

6. The atmosphere in my groups is always warm, friendly and welcoming

It is my responsibility as trainer and facilitator to ‘hold the space’ and make the space safe for everybody. I feel that this is the most important part and this is what I missed in other mindfulness courses. When the trainer is unwilling to open up, the participants won’t open up. But when the trainer opens up, he gives the group permission to do the same. It can feel quite magical and it always works. The weekly sessions become like a warm bath.

7. Mindfulness meditation will add quality to your life and your relationships

Mindfulness meditation quite literally opens you up to life. You will see more, feel more, hear more. You will learn to appreciate little things and the beauty of sharing. This state of being will trickle through all of your relationships, being it with colleagues, your partner or your children.

8. I will help you to become more honest and courageous

During the course you will sooner or later realize that we are all hindered by fears. I will give many examples about my own process of dealing with them. By becoming aware of what is blocking you and seeing and hearing how you can unblock yourself you will start doing that. The sense of liberation you feel once your start that process will become addictive.

9. You will become more successful as a human being

Adding mindfulness to your behavior, actions and speech will make you feel more alive, more present and more clear. People around you will notice that and appreciate that. Simple or boring things can become fulfilling, you will experience less resistance in your life. You will learn what is actually important to you and act accordingly.

10. You will find inner peace

Don’t worry, you won’t be at peace all the time for the rest of your life. But you will surely have experiences of inner peace during my course. And once you have experienced it, you know that it exists in you. I will learn you how to re-connect with it and what to do when you loose the connection. You will receive the appropriate tools. It will be your responsibility to maintain the connection as good as you can. And yes, ideally you will continue doing that for the rest of your life.

11. We will have a lot of fun

During the course we get to know ourselves better. This can be confrontational. But come on, it is also great fun to really start seeing the ridiculousness of all these little ego patterns that we have. It is a very good thing to let go of our uptightness around our self image. We are not here on earth to suffer until we die but to celebrate our existence. I’ll do my best to convey that spirit and make the weekly session the highlight of your week.

If you feel you are ready to add mindfulness to your life feel free to join me. You won’t be disappointed. Go to the website for additional information and subscribe here. If you would like to read testimonials of former participants, click here.

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