30 December 2019

The most important thing to understand about our own mind

When it comes to our own mind, what is the most important thing to learn? As a meditation teacher, what is the most important thing to teach?

Important questions given in 2020 Ruth and I will lead a 7 day meditation retreat and two 5 day meditation teacher training programs in the Yarra Valley. Also in 2020 I will turn 70 and it will be my 40th year of teaching.

So after all those years of personal practice and teaching, quite simply the most important thing is this. The mind has 2 aspects. Get that, understand that, live in the light of that knowing, and all else will fall into place. So this week, a short piece on the 2 aspects, then details of the 2020 program of retreats and meditation teacher training for Ruth and myself, but first

        Thought for the day

      I think 99 times and find nothing.

      I stop thinking,
      Swim in silence, 
      And the truth comes to me.

                           Albert Einstein

Our mind has two aspects. How do we know that? What is the big deal?

Well first, these 2 aspects are the Active Mind and the Still Mind.

These 2 aspects can be compared to the blue sky and the clouds.

The clouds act as a metaphor for our active thoughts and emotions that come and go and change all the time.

They can range from beautiful and serene to wild and turbulent.

The blue sky is a metaphor for that aspect of mind beyond all the activity of thoughts and emotions wherein dwells a stillness.

This still aspect of the mind is the natural home of profound peace, clarity, wisdom and compassion.

The key point is that under normal circumstances, most of us function with a life view based upon identifying with the Active Mind. As such, we mistakenly approach life as if we and things around us exist independently of each other, are permanent and are singular.

In reality, in truth, however, if we analyze life we find it to be highly inter-dependent, changing all the time, and multiple in its character.

Now it can take a while to make this analysis – even in theory, It can take longer to really “get it” and to do something radical yet freeing; something that actually ensures long-term happiness. And that is to shift our life view from the Active Mind to that of the Still Mind.

The reason this is so important is that when we function from the perspective of the Still Mind, we natural see how we are all inter-connected and we naturally become very caring for those around us and for our environment. We are all in this together. This perspective quite naturally brings out our good heart. Almost effortlessly we become more loving. Unconditionally loving.

Hence the need for retreats.

Take time away from the business and full on engagement with the Active Mind and all that goes with it, and spend time re-connecting with the Still Mind.

To do this we need the theory and the practice.

We need time to build our understanding.

We need time to establish our practice and our direct experience of the truth of what we are learning.

Now of course, the reality is that with meditation we have the opportunity to get to know both aspects of our mind better. As well as reconnecting with the Still Mind, we can observe what our Active Mind is up to, take more control of it, use it more effectively for good and lighten up on the problems it so often leads us into.

In meditation we get to connect more deeply with our own innate stillness, and in doing so, we connect with what we are actually capable of, our greatest potential, and our inner wisdom.

So for Ruth and myself, this is at the heart of what we teach.

No wonder it is our passion.

Ruth has asked me to help lead her Pre-Easter meditation retreat so I have agreed.

And we have been asked to present the Meditation Teacher Training program at the Foundation for 2020.

This too is a passion, especially as in 2020 as well as providing a pure meditation teacher’s training, we will also present a training around teaching contemplation – another area of great interest and joy for me.

So here are the details…


7 day Residential Meditation Retreat with Ruth and Ian Gawler and Melissa Borich 

Modern culture has taught us to look externally for solutions to feeling better… substances we can take, new and exciting experiences, the acquiring of new ‘things.

However, to regain balance and cultivate reliable, sustainable joy, we learn to go within.

Meditation provides real answers.

And all of this amidst the nurture and beauty of the Yarra Valley Living Centre…

Dates     Friday 3rd to Thursday 9th April (pre-Easter)

Venue   The Yarra Valley Living Centre, 55 Rayner Crt, Yarra Junction, Victoria

More details   CLICK HERE

Inquiries and Bookings    Call 1300 651 211   or  www.gawler.org

MEDITATION TEACHER TRAINING   with Drs Ruth and Ian Gawler

Ian and Ruth have been teaching teachers of meditation for decades. This is a unique opportunity to learn from them directly in two 5 day residential trainings – Module 1 on meditation, Module 2 – contemplation. Attending both modules will meet the requirements for provisional membership of the Meditation Association of Australia. Both trainings will be highly experiential and be based upon comprehensive manuals.

Venue     The Yarra Valley Living Centre,  55 Rayner Crt, Yarra Junction, Victoria

Dates     Meditation Teacher Training 27 April – 1 May, 2020 ; Full details  : Click here

          Contemplation 7-11 September, 2020  ;  Full details :  Click here

Inquiries  and Bookings   Call 1300 651 211 or www.gawler.org

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