The Way of the Consciousness Explorer

There is no more thrilling activity than the intelligent exploration and refinement of consciousness. Course features a mix of guided meditation, discussion, and weekly meditation-in-action homework assignments designed to introduce existential tomfoolery into the lives of participants.

About two-thirds of the classes are loosely based on the Basic Mindfulness System of Buddhist teacher and scholar  Shinzen Young. As he has taught me, I will endeavour to teach you, only with less math, less skill, and significantly more hair. Seven classes over seven weeks. Suitable for beginners who want to learn the basics, and for more experienced practitioners who want to expand their meditation repertoire.

Techniques include:

  • developing insight into the components of thinking and feeling
  • regulating emotions and releasing stuck patterns
  • learning to decrease empathic overwhelm and increase healthy compassion
  • finding comfort and appreciation in the different sense modes
  • building up equanimity, acceptance, and nondual-flavoured composure
  • simplifying the mind with concentration and relaxation
  • exploring stability and grounding vs energetic flow and change
  • testing different positivity practices and views

Primary course objectives are to give participants a strong understanding of the dynamics of meditation in particular and contemplative development in general, and to ensure that by the end of the course they are established in their own customized meditation practice, which they can then use as a departure point for personal growth and / or cosmic spelunking. In my teaching I move between the practical and grounded on the one hand, and the transcendent and mystical on the other. Our lives unfold between these two scales.

A practice is said to “work” if, in a reasonable time frame, it delivers at least one of the following:

  • Reduction of your physical and/or emotional suffering
  • Elevation of your physical and/or emotional fulfillment
  • Deeper knowledge of who you are, including the wrenching clutching covetous insecure parts
  • Positive behavioral changes
  • Boosted spirit of friendliness and service towards others
  • Development of new friendships with trees and shrubbery
  • Dance-floor fearlessness, despite continuing lack of coordination and style

Registration for this course includes:

  • Seven two-hour classes of guided meditation (40 min), teaching (40 min), and sharing and discussion (40 min)
  • Weekly reading, sitting and moving assignments
  • Bound copy of Meditation Workbook
  • PDF of the meditation manual
  • MP3s of all meditation techniques
  • Champagne baptism followed by a drunken orgy – wait no that’s my Vajrayana class, sorry.

This is The Way of the Consciousness Explorer. Nuff’ said.

Jeff
President, The Consciousness Explorers Club

NOTE: Meditation can complement but is not a substitute for professional psychological and medical health care. There are risks in any psychological or spiritual method. Those risks increase for people who are experiencing significant distress or dysfunction. If you are currently seeing a mental health professional, discuss with them whether or not meditation is appropriate for your situation. 

COURSE SCHEDULE

Session 1 – Simplicity and Rest; Absorption
Session 2 – Thinking and Space; Friendliness
Session 3 – Emotions and Catharsis; Compassion
Session 4  – Sound, Sight, and the Present Moment; Positive View
Session 5 – Body, Stability and Change; Positive Ideals
Session 6 – Acceptance and Awareness; Joy
Session 7 – Practice and Life; Gratitude and Interconnection

Location & Dates

Location TBD, Downtown Toronto

Next class likely to run Fall 2017, exact dates TBA. Email Jeff if you’d like to be updated on course info.

Instructors

Founder, Chief Exploration Officer, Teacher

Jeff is a writer and a meditation instructor. His primary subject is the mind, whatever that is. He is the co-author, along with Dan Harris and Carlye Adler, of Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, as well as the author of The Head Trip, a travel guide to sleeping, dreaming and waking consciousness. He has won awards for … Continued

Jeff-NatureHeadshot

Testimonials

“Meditation practice is life changing and first introductions should not be taken lightly. I am so grateful to have had Jeff Warren as a teacher and through him a connection to Shinzen Young. I came to meditation later in life- something I wanted to explore, but I was cynical. I come from “science stuff” – biology, psychology etc., skeptical of things “spiritual”, belief systems and organized practice. Jeff teaches Shinzen’s work with tremendous intelligence, sensitivity, depth and humility. What you receive is no less than the distilled essence of deep religious/ spiritual practice minus dogma that has the rigor and depth to match the best of science. You are given a range of tools to first break down and then expand moment-to-moment experience and consciousness that move with you from sitting practice to enrich every aspect of life itself. What a gift!”  – Tony Cohn, psychiatrist


“Jeff is a spectacular teacher. He is connected, brilliant, impassioned, funny and self-effacing. CEC FlagHe overflows with enthusiasm for the subject matter. He listens intently to each person’s experiences in a real human way. Jeff’s mix of self-care and science is perfect for the skeptical minded cynic. His class has helped me recognize my internal voice, what I once considered reality. I am able to manage anxiety, not by avoiding it but by acknowledging it and allowing it to be. I am a more conscious, more self-aware person in a way that I didn’t even know was possible; the words used to mean something else. I feel more open to life’s vacillations. I feel the world, my body, my mind, more vividly, as a more unified troika.” – Matt Beam, writer and photographer


“I feel very lucky to have met Jeff Warren and to have taken his classes. He’s a smart,CEC Flag compassionate, learned guy. He’s all mind without pedantry, all spirit without flakiness. I went to his first class thinking, “Okay, this won’t work, but it’s a night out,” Right away, however, his intelligence and experience and eloquence – his persona – won me over. I tried meditating in my twenties and again in my forties. It didn’t take…wrong teachers, wrong approach. And then I started suffering chronic back pain and couldn’t get relief. I’d given up hope. I was depressed. Now I’m optimistic. I’m still in pain; I just don’t suffer the way I did. Which is not to say that I’m a very good or even a very dedicated meditator…not yet, anyway. But my perspective has shifted. Who knew?” – Barbara Gowdy, writer


 

Fees & Registration

Cost is $450, course materials included. An Eventbrite link will be made available closer to the course start date. To be notified when this comes out, email Jeff.