This post will be updated with responses to Frequently Asked Questions about the Increasing Consciousness group commencing Jan 2019 in Perth as detailed here: https://www.meetup.com/Empowering-Consciousness/
When is the program?
It starts on Monday 21 Jan at 5pm 16 weeks ending on 13 May. There is no session on 22 Apr as it is a public holiday in the school holidays.
Sessions run from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at the latest though likely finishing earlier.
All ICG participants are invited and expected to attend the Empowering Consciousness Workshop (ECW) from 5-7 April https://www.meetup.com/Empowering-Consciousness/events/256736013/
Is it really 'free'?
There is no cash cost to participate.
We create a roster to take turns in bringing snacks.
There is also an explicit expectation of contributing fully to each session, and communicating honestly about your experience to others.
Riff and Spacecubed sponsor the venue https://www.riffperth.com
The ECW has a cost (tbc) to cover venue, catering and facilitator travel.
Do I have to attend every meeting?
A principle of this program is commitment, and there is more information about that provided prior to commencement. Basically, you must commit to every session and keep your word. Honesty and integrity are some of the foundational principles.
If you have made some prior immovable commitment to others that you must keep that prevents attendance at a few sessions, it can be communicated to the facilitator and you may miss only those times so you can keep you word to others. In doing so you have to listen to a recording of the missed meeting and make arrangements to go through the material and exercises with the facilitator or another participant before coming to the next meeting.
In all the programs and groups run around the world, this single rule (committing to every session) has turned around many people’s lives, discovering that they had more power over their lives and more ability to keep their word than they had previously believed.
How long is each session?
2 - 2.5 hours.
The content is varied between dialogues, diads, contemplations, embodied exercises. The time will go quickly.
Is there work to complete in addition to attending the sessions?
There are “assignments” intended to deepen your contemplations or apply your learning. Many don’t take any ‘time’ in themselves, rather involve paying attention differently or trying new behaviours in everyday circumstances. Your learning will be enhanced if you do make time to reflect and journal about what you notice.
Does this program involve martial aspects: fighting, moving, playing?
This program is focused on the Consciousness Studies of Cheng Hsin. Other Cheng Hsin e-courses or retreats focus on Body Being, Martial interaction or combine these them with Consciousness Studies e.g. Spring Retreat or Fall Workshop.
Are there lots of ‘group’ exercises in the course? What are diads?
Each session tends to have a mix of introductory instructions, short guided meditations, solo contemplations, diads, and dialogue amongst the group.
Diads (or dyads) are contemplation and communication exercises completed with a partner, each person alternating between communicating and listening. They are very effective as a means of contemplation.
Although these exercises are done with partners, they are not 'social': your partners simply listens with no response, judgement, feedback, and what is said is completely confidential. This is a powerful experience.
The program is based on a guide and process that has been developed over decades, delivered results with many diverse groups. The facilitators have delivered the program before and have personal experience of the effectiveness of every single exercise.
Is Cheng Hsin a cult, have strange beliefs and rituals, or is this course going to brainwash me? What is Cheng Hsin?
Cheng Hsin was founded by Peter Ralston in 1975 and is grounded in both the practical study of skillful interaction and the open-ended inquiry that contemplative disciplines offer. The Chinese characters ‘Cheng’ and ‘Hsin’ refer to the ‘Truth’ of ‘Being’. Read about Cheng Hsin here.
The consciousness studies aspects of Cheng Hsin have some things in common with other contemplative practices focused on becoming directly conscious of the true nature of self and reality. While there are some assertions and suggested contemplations, there are no beliefs or rituals. Instead the approach is practical: looking into the very mechanisms that constitute human experience and increasing consciousness without prescription.
The focus of this group and program is for you to have direct insight and personal understanding about the nature of everything from self and mind to communication and relationship. We question all aspects of life and existence understanding our everyday experience and limitations, grasping the inner workings of mind, and uncovering the dynamics of perception. We question for its own sake, seeking the truth for itself, and to awaken to the true nature of self and Being. Through the same approach we can also benefit from greater clarity, effectiveness, honesty, integrity and happiness in life.
What are some of the themes and principles of the program?
Below are examples of some principles that will be investigated, contemplated and actualised in the program.
Self expansion - making a contextual shift from "self introversion" (small, 'inside' leading to dissatisfaction and incompleteness) to “self expansion”: committing to purpose and principles that empower the self, others and the truth.
Effectiveness - having integrity and keeping your word such that you increase your ability to produce intended results, overcome obstacles and develop mastery.
Integrity - being whole, complete, congruent and acting in alignment. Integrity can enable personal power, satisfaction, clarity, accountability and trust. Lacking integrity can create a split in your experience and the opposite results.
Commitment - the "creative act" of binding self and actions to do whatever is necessary to realize an objective as promised by one's word. Ensuring something is done, without fail as obstacles are met with intelligence and action that overcomes.
Communication - The ability to get your experience understood by another, or grasp
what it is they experience for themselves. This can enable being heard, effectiveness in interaction and relationships, connection, understanding, learning, and clarity.
Clarity - Knowing what’s true and what isn’t; being able to communicate precisely.
What has others experience of the group been?
Read this post for a description of the group and read what others have said about it: https://reflexious.com/2018/11/26/icg-experience/