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First Year — Self Understanding

The first year centers on self-understanding and the development of a supportive interactive environment. Students identify and work with parts of themselves such as the idealized self image, shadow, inner critic, and inner child. They learn how to transform emotions of fear, anger, and shame.

Nine different personality types are examined, named, and more easily navigated with the help of Enneagram typology. Learning this system offers insights about our core motivations, fears, strengths, and common pitfalls.

Students are taught how to look within for direction and guidance and take note of their dreams as a source for insights.

The power of healing on an energetic level is not overlooked. Students become familiar with their own and others’ energy fields and connect with expanded states of consciousness.

Meditation and visualizations connect participants with their essential self—the divine within—and are interwoven throughout the weekends.

Students establish a loving, supportive, and trusting environment for each other. This serves as a basis for helping them to accurately see themselves and the world around them.

Second Year — Softening Your Character Defenses

Most of the second year is devoted to an understanding and healing of the character defenses as developed by Wilhelm Reich, Alexander Lowen, and others.

Character defenses emerge developmentally in infancy and early childhood as a result of the psychosocial and spiritual milieu the child experiences. In the shelter of the group, these childhood wounds are transformed into material for inner healing and personal growth.

Through exercises and discussion, students witness the defenses in themselves and others. They experience what each defense looks like, how it feels to be in the defense, and how it feels to be around a person using the defense. As a result, students find it easier to distinguish their true selves from their defense structures. This enables them to have more authentic interactions with themselves and others, thus leading to a more fulfilling life.

Students strengthen their true, core selves through meditation, visualizations, and grounding exercises.

The second year culminates in a one-day, sunrise to sunset, vision quest which is processed and integrated the following day.

Third Year — Your True Self in the World

During the third year, students build on the teachings of the first two years and bring more of their true selves into the world. They also work with any life issues that still need healing.

Through a variety of exercises, they begin to discern their life purpose. This, along with input and support from classmates, helps each student to develop a project outside the weekend sessions, which will move them into greater alignment with their true self. This might take the form of finding a career that better suits them, fulfilling a life-long desire, delving more deeply into self-understanding, or further developing their spiritual lives.

Students assist at three or more of the first- and second-year classes as a way to deepen their own process and to learn the value of service.

The course will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sundays for five weekends per year. Course dates are posted on our calendar.

Cost is $1,450 per year. (Students can pay $290 per weekend.) This includes Saturday dinner. Overnight accommodations are $35, including breakfast. Students are encouraged to stay overnight since it deepens the workshop experience and creates closer community among the participants. Students will stay in a private room in the Inner Light Lodge.