Eyes Wide Open & Peace in the Heart
Four Essential Practices for Awakened Living in Times of Turmoil
In times of chaos, the work of living consciously takes on more challenging and perhaps more important dimensions. When our outer and inner worlds feel pushed to extremes we have a choice about what to do and how to respond, but only if we have enough awareness to guide us.
How do we find a place of peace and calm in challenging external circumstances? What enables a response from love to the world around us during times of turmoil?
In what ways do we know how to act or when action is required, and how can we be certain that our actions are “Right Actions,” actions that come from the heart, rather than the divided mind.
In this four week online course Jennifer Mckeown, Spiritual teacher and counselor, reveals four essential practices that guide us towards living with eyes wide open and peace in our hearts. Students will receive four spiritual talks introducing and explaining the practices as well as four short guided meditations to incorporate these practices into daily living.
Students and clients know and love Jennifer for her direct, straightforward teachings that connect with everyday circumstances. Jennifer uses her own journey of awakening to teach ancient lessons that show us how to live a full, free, and love-filled life. Jennifer’s challenge to her students is to practice what they learn. Engaging in a course with Jennifer means that your life will be changed if you take her offerings into practice in your own life.
The Eastern approach differed in one important way. Rather than “heal” the personality, they recommended discovering what lies behind the mask … our own true nature. In the West we call that “Spirit,” and in the East it is called “consciousness.” It is simply ever present awareness. This awareness lies dormant, in a sense, until we bring our attention to it. To become aware of awareness is the journey to awakening. We direct that awareness to shine the light on our psychological structure to free ourselves from being run by our habituated patterning.
To identify with our personality as who we are results in a sense of a separate self, which is the cause of our suffering. This separate self is simply an accumulation of our beliefs, strategies and perceptions—in short, “our stuff.” I discovered that there would be no end to “resolving” my issues. In the practice of meditation I became more and more aware. With that expanded awareness, I began to practice letting go of control. There was a willingness to directly experience whatever was arising, without resistance or attachment. Gradually I began to experience the transformation I had longed for. It seemed radical to me at the time, but I began to realize I could choose to simply experience whatever was arising. When I did this, it felt like freedom and also brought more presence. As I became more present, I then could notice the underlying peace and contentment that is always there.
Because awake awareness makes very different choices than conditioned consciousness makes, our choices begin to shift. That awareness remains whole and content no matter what is going on in the play of life. As the sense of a separate self dissolves, we become free of being run by our history. We feel more free from the controlling mechanism of the separate self. As we in turn become more present we have greater access to more conscious choice. We become free of being run by our mind.
My counseling practice now focuses on teaching and coaching people to live in the practice of becoming more and more present to their experience by letting go of the impulse to control anything. It is very fulfilling to see people return to their true self and find that underlying peace. There is an aliveness and a deep sense of well-being that is available to each of us. As we relinquish our cherished illusions and limiting beliefs and assumptions, we begin to experience our true nature … always free, unlimited, full, whole, and joyful in all things. It seems the purpose of our life is to experience that expansive happiness.
PreviewIntroductory Talk - In Darkness Be the Light
StartWeek One - Removing the Mask and Discovering the Seat of the Witness
StartWeek One Reminder: Witnessing
StartWeek Two - Allow All To Be As It Is
StartWeek Two Reminder: Practicing Allowance or Surrender
StartWeek Three - The Practice of Non-Attachment
StartWeek Three Reminder: Letting Go
StartWeek Four - A Seated Practice
StartWeek Four Reminder: A Guided Meditation