Prediction’s Deputy Editor Gemma Birss clambers up the family tree for a dose of ancestral healing with this extraordinary technique…
They f**k you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to but they do.’ Philip Larkin’sThis Be The Verse is a poem that most of us humble mortals can relate to. We spend much of our adult lives wrestling with issues that stem back to the tender years of youth. As we grow up, we find ourselves scurrying along inside a hamster
wheel of addictions, co-dependent relationships, commitment issues to name a few. Most of us are aware that the roots of these patterns can be traced to our childhood. But we can follow these roots back even further through time to an unresolved event or situation that happened in our ancestry, that we may be unaware of, which has been carried forward to the present day.
Step in, Family Constellations. This profound healing system unravels the often painfully entwined roots of our ancestry and finds the heart of any issue, whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. It delves deep into our psychology, unearthing the chords of tension between current or ancestral family members and situations. By recognising and acknowledging the core of an issue on an ancestral level, it is finally healed and released, clearing the way for
a healthier, happier life.
A key component in the Family Constellations’ healing process is to look at the flow of love. When the natural flow of love between family members is mutated or misdirected due to some trauma, situation or event (for example suicide, the death of a child, the death of a parent, abuse or emigration), an imbalance occurs. These events are generally brushed under the carpet because they are too painful to address.Unresolved, they echo down the genetic line, even if those in the present are unaware of the original event. This phenomenon is referred to as ‘invisible loyalties’ by psychiatrist Iván Böszörményi-Nagy.
The set up for Family Constellations is unique in that it is usually made up of more than two people, and is more like a workshop of between 10 and 30 people (there is no limit) than a one-to- one healing or psychotherapy session.
A facilitator leads the group of participants, who take turns to explore a personal issue that’s bothering them, whether that’s a skin disorder, a phobia or an unhappy marriage. One of the attendees will elect to go first. The facilitator briefly interviews them on their family background. They are then guided through the breath into a state of centred connectedness where they can release any prejudices or ideas about how things ‘should’ look or be, and to accept and explore how things actually are.
With the help of the facilitator, the seeker chooses a member from the group to represent them, while other individuals are selected to represent the seeker’s family and ancestry. Occasionally the representatives will be asked to portray an abstract concept like loneliness or grief, depending on the issue that’s being explored. The seeker is asked to arrange these representatives spatially in a way that best echoes the energetics of the real life situation. The seeker’s main role is now to simply observe and make sense of what they are watching.
The representatives, who have now been positioned in the Constellation, are encouraged to behave in response to their intuition, what has been described as echoing the ‘movements of the soul’. They are subconsciously tapping into the ‘knowing field,’ a phrase coined by psychiatrist Albrecht Mahr to define a space that the members in the Constellation inhabit during a session to connect to the dynamics of the issue being explored. This knowing field guides participants to perceive and articulate emotions that accurately reflect those of the members they are representing. The actual mechanisms behind the knowing field are not fully understood. However, although the representatives have little or no knowledge about those they represent, they usually experience emotions and reactions, which inform the process and facilitate a healing.
The facilitator then asks each representative how they feel. By tapping into the ‘knowing field’, the representatives are able to perceive and describe their reactions in actions or words. By acknowledging the situation and then repositioning the representatives to appropriately reflect the ‘new’ situation, a healing resolution is reached. The facilitator sometimes gives the representatives a phrase to say out loud to help with the healing process. Once each representative feels comfortable and happy in their place, and the other representatives agree that all feels well with the energy flow in the group, the constellation is completed. There is a sense that a great healing has taken place, which resolves any residual resentment and anger in the seeker and helps to release any issues that they may be holding on to.
German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger is strongly associated with Family Constellations. His approach is one of flexibility and adaptability, and he encourages those that use his techniques to own them and apply them in their own unique way. The flavour of Hellinger’s work in Family (otherwise known as Systemic) Constellations is that there is no judgment, punishment or criticism, no matter what the scenario. Even in incidents of abuse or incest, the issues are explored and resolved in an attitude of non-judgement. Hellinger relies greatly on what Guru Dev Singh calls ‘deep relaxation in the Divine name’, and what Hellinger translates as ‘surrender to the essential truth’, which not only allows him to be deeply involved in the actual process of Family Constellations without taking the issues on himself, but also opens the space for an entire healing process to take place. In other words, Hellinger says that the mental space that you must occupy in order to enter into a Family Constellations session is similar to enlightenment, or Divine presence. This allows the participants to access the grain of truth at the core of each issue.
Having come across a number of success stories, I decided to try Family Constellations out for myself. Edward Stopler is a London-based practitioner with a treasure chest of healing qualifications and experience behind him. Sessions with Edward are carried out on a one-to-one basis, without the need of others to act as representatives. Edward guides you to intuitively tap into the energies present in the ‘knowing field’ rather than using actual people to represent them. In this sense, the entire process takes place internally.
I’m not convinced that my powers of imagination stretch as far as tapping into people and situations that I know very little about, but I’m willing to give it a go. Edward’s track record bristles with success and I know I’m in safe hands.Edward’s sessions are held at his therapy rooms in London’s Muswell Hill. He greets me with a massive smile and, once I’m sitting comfortably, he launches straight into the session by asking me what I’d like to work on. I’m just interested in a general session at this stage, so am happy to work with whatever comes up. Edward then asks me to summarise my family tree, and any significant events that I am aware of. Although I had a happy childhood, I know of a sad event that happened with my grandparents on my mother’s side, so I tell him the gist of this. Edward assures me that I don’t need to know all the ins and outs, only a vague description will do.
Edward asks me to close my eyes and then guides me into a state of deep relaxation, leading my focus from the noise in my head into the stillness of my heart. This is a good place to start, he explains, as your heart knows the truth of the issue without the mind throwing in its tuppence worth! He asks me to describe my parents as I can see them in my mind’s eye. I thought I’d struggle with this, but it comes really easily and I describe what I see to Edward. Although my parents are generally happy as far as as I know, the image in my mind portrays them as sad and worried. Strangely enough, the figures act of their own accord, and it’s as if my imagination has very little to do with the scenario. Edward explains that I am tapping into and interpreting an energetic imprint of them. Edward tunes in to what I’m seeing and offers insights and suggestions on their state of being that I hadn’t previously thought of or been aware of, but which make perfect sense.
Next Edward brings in my grandparents and looks at their relationship to each other and to my parents. Once again, it feels as if I’m watching a movie with the characters acting autonomously, holding their own emotional reactions to each other which are beyond anything that I had been aware of before. Edward holds the space and reminds me to remain in my heart with my eyes closed rather than trying to translate their actions or reactions.
My main impression at this stage is that everyone is stiff and frozen by guilt and sorrow. However, Edward guides the scenario, describing how the individuals may be feeling and what they might say to each other. I notice that huge amounts of healing happen in simply acknowledging what each person might be feeling. Edward marks this by asking the figures in my mind’s eye to bow their heads in surrender and acknowledgement.
I sob my heart out throughout the session. However, my tears stem from a sense of the depth of healing that is taking place. It feels that by acknowledging the past, it is released and healed, and not just for me, but for all the members of my family, too. Unhelpful patterns that had emerged as a consequence of my family’s history become apparent to me, and I feel as if I can actually move through and beyond them.
Family Constellations is a very grounded system of healing, and one that seems to get to the root of psychological and spiritual issues. It really holds the space for a deep energetic healing to take place. Although this was a simple, hour- long session, I feel as if centuries of healing have taken place. Issues that would have taken years to uncover on the psychotherapy couch have been acknowledged and dissolved in the blink of an eye. I feel that everyone would benefit from a session with Edward, and contrary to Philip Larkin’s poem that ends, “Get out as early as you can, And don’t have any kids yourself,” Family Constellations gives you the technology for a profound healing that’s definitely something you’ll want to pass on to your children.
A 75-minute session with Edward costs £70. Visit familyconstellationsuk.com or call 0208 444 6712 to book a session
Kathryn Craven explores what sparks the synapses of neuro-linguistic programming and delves into 4th Generation NLP…
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) can be defi ned as a system of alternative therapy which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour. The practice comes in a variety of guises but is used largely as a form of therapy. Literally, the term stands for the brain and the study of language, and this defi nition reflects how NLP works in treating a patient, whether that be to address a mental illness or to explore a phobia.
It is commonly thought that NLP is a type of cognitive behavioural therapy hailing from the school of thought that you can change how you feel if you change your thinking. In conventional therapy, this is achieved by working alongside a practitioner and carrying out practical exercises to improve your existing quality of life. However, the difference between conventional therapy and NLP, is that NLP works by focusing on the patient – how they are feeling and how to encourage them to initiate change in their lives of their own accord. NLP practitioners work by asking the patient a variety of questions to help them come to a realisation about themselves that may have been buried deep down – basically it’s a practice of self-awareness. The aim of the NLP practitioner is to encourage the patient to track back through situations that have occurred in the past. Following this, a question is repeated a number of times to encourage the patient to look deeper into themselves and gain self knowledge. The patient can then use this information to map out a clearer, more informed future.
For example, when solving past issues, the patient may be asked to chart a timeline on paper and use different coloured pens to represent different stages of their life. After doing so, the therapist will ask ‘And what do you know now?’, or ‘Is there anything else you’d like to add?’ It’s like your average counselling session, but with an interactive twist. NLP can also be used to treat a variety of conditions and is not used solely in therapy. Patients can be treated for phobias, food cravings and even in management training – it’s just the questions that change according to the problem.
The term NLP originates from research carried out by Richard Bandler, a student, and John Grinder, a linguist and university lecturer, while they were at the University of California in 1975. Bandler was studying taped therapy sessions of the late therapist Fritz Perls and noticed that the patients’ conditions improved after a certain question was asked a number of times. He also noted that patients responded well to particular words and sentence structures that were spoken by therapists. He continued his research by studying the work of another therapist to see if there was any continuity in his idea. There was, and as a result he went on to publish two books on the model – the premise of these was that “performers in any complex human activity had structure that could be learned by others given the appropriate models” (A Guide To Transformational Grammar: History, Theory, Practice by John Grinder and Suzette Elgin).
This is the fundamental basis of NLP – by challenging the way something is said, you can achieve a more accurate representation of a situation. Bandler and Grinder took their principle even further, marketing NLP as a study of communication as well as a form of therapy. It’s this idea that has been used by so many in recent years, with Paul McKenna as arguably its most famous practitioner. The practice is even used various fi elds like sales, public speaking, team building and coaching. This hasn’t always been the case and although NLP was extremely popular in the early 1980s, its reputation was put under the spotlight in 2005. Psychologist Grant Devilly sowed seeds of doubt, stating that although “at the time it was introduced NLP was heralded as a breakthrough in therapy, controlled studies have since shed a poor light on the practice and that those who promoted the intervention made such extreme and changeable claims that researchers began to question whether to research the area further” ( Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry).
With that said, how are today’s NLP therapists positioning themselves? I tried out 4th Generation NLP to see just how NLP has developed. Sarah Kent is a qualified Reiki master, homeopath with 17 years experience, and 4th Generation NLP practitioner. Sarah has a practice in London and can also help with developing people’s life skills if they are experiencing a feeling of being ‘stuck’. She explains that NLP can help with this. “People come to me for all sorts of different reasons, but this feeling of being stuck is certainly common. By focusing purely on the patient, I gently encourage them to feel that they can talk about anything they like. I am not there to judge, I am there as a facilitator to allow them to open up and express themselves,” she says. Based on the principles of traditional NLP, the 4th Generation variety focuses on spiritual awareness and uses different techniques to help draw out some of the issues you might be experiencing in life.
Sarah explains: “Common 4th Generation NLP methods include ‘the issue buster’, where answering six questions about your problem helps you fi nd information you know, but don’t know you know. New perspectives can emerge and lead you to surprising creative solutions. Another technique is the spinning movement practice, where repeated turning in a circle and discovering new knowledge each time you turn, can dissolve a repetitive thinking pattern.” Of course, each technique can be adapted to the individual. Then, there’s scaling on paper – bringing a problem into proportion. We all know what it’s like to think so much about something that it becomes bigger and bigger, and consequently harder to cope with. Sarah continues: “Putting the issue on paper and responding to specifi c prompts stops you from just churning a problem round and helps you fi nd another way of being in relation to the problem.”
We start the session sat opposite each other. I think back through the past 12 months and realise what a huge life change I undertook last year – I got married. Although I am happy, my partner and I have been making some large decisions recently and I have been struggling to find the confidence required to make a change. As Sarah asks me about this, she suggests I might like to write my thoughts down on paper. I find myself drawn to the large paper and pens I see on the floor and see them as a rather satisfying outlet for getting out past frustrations. It is hard at first, but with regular encouragement from Sarah, I find my creative juices soon begin to flow. Questions are asked such as ‘And what now?’ which I struggle to answer at first. However, once I realise that this is how 4th Generation NLP works, I put my blushfulness to one side. I draw a timeline of my life and Sarah asks me where I would like to put the piece of paper. It’s refreshing to have the freedom, however small, to take control of my destiny. I decide to hang the timeline near the window so it blows lightly in the breeze.
Sarah asks me again, ‘And how do you feel now?’ I take my time to answer, but after a while, realise that I feel a sense of elevation and enjoy the fact that the timeline is blowing in the breeze as this makes me feel free. Next, we move on to the spinning movement practice I mentioned earlier. Again, at first I feel slightly strange at my first complete turn. After each of the six turns, Sarah asks me how I feel after each one. I realise that it is ok to say you don’t feel any different and it is the fact that you’re recognising and acknowledging your feelings that is so important in this process.
One of the best parts of my NLP session was discovering things I didn’t know I wanted or felt, or that maybe I had thought about at some level in the past but hadn’t fully realised. This part of the treatment can be related back to the more traditional form of NLP – practitioners work with patients by allowing the client to reconnect with their past to achieve what they want in the future. We practised another technique where Sarah asked me if I felt drawn to any particular part of the room at all, and I moved towards her book shelves. It wasn’t solely the books I was drawn to – there was a bed below the shelves with bedding in my favourite colours. The whole set up felt hugely comforting to me and before I knew it, I was chattering away about how I really wanted to write a book and not just be one of those people who ‘says’ they want to write a book. I went on to explain my fears associated with this – that I feel I can’t write about anything close to my heart for fear of those close to me knowing my inner thoughts.
I found it amazing that you can learn so much about yourself through the simple medium of conversation. Sarah calls 4th Generation NLP a “powerful transformational tool that inspires new ways of structuring personal reality”, a description which I wholeheartedly agree with. After my session, I felt freer than I had in a long time and felt I could go on to achieve anything I really wanted to.
So what does the future hold for NLP? About 170 people have attended the requisite seven-day training retreats in 4th Generation NLP, according to its founder Steve Saunders. There are now a reported 16 4th Generation NLP masters and teachers worldwide. The practice has also been taken to Spain and as far afi eld as Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, the USA, Canada and even India. In terms of other therapies based on the principles of NLP, ‘future pacing’ is a patient technique that uses fundamental NLP principles. The patient is asked to imagine doing something in the future and monitoring their reactions. This helps the practitioner to assess that a process of change has been successful in the patient. Often with those who suffer with mental illness, great stress comes from imagining the worst outcome of a situation. Future pacing gives an individual the experience of dealing positively with a situation before they get into that situation in reality, and thus alleviating any stress or negative premonition. It allows the patient to positively move forward in life.
Ten days of silence might be a step too far for some spiritual seekers, but our Deputy Editor Gemma Birss takes on the Vipassana challenge…
The thought of spending 10 days meditating under a strict vow of silence is enough to send most people running for the nearest nightclub. Yet, despite the bracing thought of it, every week thousands of devotees flock to Vipassana Meditation Centres across the world, silently striving for a slice of the enlightenment pie. Meaning ‘to see things as they really are’, Vipassana is one of India’s most ancient meditation techniques. Originally taught 2,500 years ago by Gautama Buddha, it is a universal remedy for human suffering. It works on eliminating the three causes of unhappiness: craving, resistance and disillusion. Vipassana does not proclaim to cure diseases, although many issues dissolve along the way as the mind releases its junk.
When practising Vipassana, the meditator observes the transient nature of bodily and emotional sensations while maintaining an attitude of detached equanimity. Whether the experience is painful (as it would be after sitting in one spot for hours without moving) or pleasurable (as it would be once you learn to transcend the pain), there is a profound understanding that all experience is transitory and will, at some point, end. In this way, you learn to remain non-reactionary, a wisdom that is taken beyond the meditative practice and into everyday life. Vipassana’s key phrase is the Indian Pali word “anicha”, which translates as “all that arises, will also pass”.
Although developed by Buddha, Vipassana is not limited to Buddhists. It teaches a way to liberation from suffering, which is a universal concept. Nor is Vipassana a religion or sect. It is open to everyone regardless of race, community or religion, working on the premise that all people share the same fundamental issues and problems associated with the human condition. Vipassana is no walk in the park. If you’re after a gentle retreat in the countryside, then this 10-day regime is probably not for you. The process of purification is not an easy one and the programme requires a good dose of dedication to get through it. Students are also required to stay for the entire duration of the course. Vipassana is compared to surgery on the mind. Quitting before the process is complete can open you up to more issues than you had to begin with. Even if you feel that you can’t cope with the rigorous demands of the course, you must plough on. This rule is there to protect you. Needless to say, people with psychiatric disorders are discouraged from attending a Vipassana course.
Apart from this rule, there are other strict guidelines to follow, the vow of noble silence being the most definitive one. Noble silence, meaning silence of body, speech and mind, is to be observed for the duration of the course until the morning of the last day. There is to be no sign language, written notes or gestures between students, which proves challenging especially as you are sometimes required to share a bedroom with a fellow student. It is possible to speak to the teacher or staff about any issues, but even these interactions should be kept to a minimum. The aim is to encourage a sense of solitude.
In order to enroll on the course, you must agree to the strict code of conduct. This means no killing, stealing, sex, lies or intoxicants for the Health and lifestyle 10-day duration. Other no-nos at a Vipassana centre are personal snacks (no food or drink are to be brought with you), mobile phones, laptops, or any kind of musical, reading and writing materials. There are lockers outside the centre in which you can leave these belongings. Sexual activity is also frowned upon during the 10 days and clothing must be suitably modest. Men and women are separated into different areas of the centre and meditation hall. On the evening of the day of arrival, the vow of silence kicks in and you are allocated a space in the meditation hall, which does not change for the duration of the course. Meditation is done sitting on the floor with a meditation cushion and blanket. If you suffer from any back issues, you are given a chair or are allowed to rest against the wall. Once installed in your space, the course begins. Through a mixture of guided sessions and self-practice, you meditate your way through the next 10 days. During the first stage of the course, you learn to develop mastery over the mind through Anapana meditation. Anapana is the observation of the natural flow of the breath as it moves in and out of the body. You are taught to focus on the small triangle of flesh between the nostrils and upper lip, focusing acutely on the sensations of the breath against the skin. It is an extremely difficult practice and requires a huge amount of concentration to stop the mind from ambling off.
After three days of Anapana, the mind is calmer and acutely focused. With this sharp concentration, the student then moves on to the practice of Vipassana, which is to observe the transient nature of the body and mind, experiencing the universal truth of impermanence. During Vipassana meditation, you should be completely still, even if you are experiencing excruciating muscular pain from sitting in the same position for so long. Observing the self in acutely attentive detail allows the practitioner to experience the interconnection between mind and body. This is apparent in the muscular pain that arises as a physical manifestation of mental impurities, which are encouraged to surface through the process of meditation. Gradually, as the experience of Vipassana deepens, the energetic sensation of the body is experienced as a tingling vibration. Maintaining perfect equanimity, you learn to move your attention throughout the body, observing pain in the muscles and pleasure in the tingling sensations without attachment to either. Finally, on day 10, students learn Metta, or the meditation of loving kindness in which the purity developed during the course is shared with all beings. At this stage, the mind is like a clear pool. While it would be ambitious to expect all impurities to have been dissolved, it is fair to say that a good many have bitten the dust. This state of relative purity enhances the loving kindness that you send with the purest intentions into the world.
The focus of the course is purely on the teachings prescribed, which means that any other form of prayer or religious practice such as reciting mantras, burning incense or using prayer beads, is suspended. Crystals and talismans should also be left at home. Any other form of meditation or healing is discouraged and students must agree to practice Vipassana alone during the course. While yoga and exercise is essentially compatible with Vipassana, this too is discouraged for the duration of the course because it distracts the other students from their experience. The only exercise you are permitted to do is walk (no running or jogging) in the grounds.
Esteemed teacher, Mr SNR Goenka, transmits the Vipassana teachings across the globe. Burmese born and raised, Goenka began teaching Vipassana in India in 1969 after studying it for 14 years. He has since taught tens of thousands of people from all walks of life. There are numerous Vipassana centres in India, including the headquarters, and these centres are also liberally scattered across the globe. The UK’s own celebrated centre, Dhamma Dipa in Hereford, is reputed to be one of the best run Vipassana centres in the world. Courses are regular, with around two per month. Vipassana courses are offered with no charge. Food, accommodation and use of the facilities are absolutely free. Students are encouraged to offer a donation, though, which funds further courses and gives others the opportunity to benefi t from the teachings.
There is a variety of courses on offer, including 10-day general courses for beginners and old students, executive courses for enlightened companies and organisations, same-sex courses and courses for children and young people. For the most diligent Vipassana devotee, there are 20-day and 30-day courses. The prerequisites for long courses are understandably steep, as the regime is rigorous and could not be completed by someone who is not committed to the Vipassana teachings. They are held at a separate centre, Dhamma Padhana, which is situated next to Dhamma Dipa. Each student lives and practises Vipassana in isolation and is provided with their own en-suite bedroom and private meditation room. Vipassana is challenging to say the least, but if you are looking to develop your spiritual practice, this intensive course is pretty groundbreaking. Not only will it help you deepen your understanding of meditation and spirituality, but it will also guide you to a profound recognition of the true nature of your self.
Vipassana was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. I set out with total commitment, though. It was only 10 days of my life and I was determined to do some serious meditation. For the fi rst three days of Anapana meditation, I thought I was going to go mad. My mind was charging about like a wild horse. I was so relieved when they announced on day four that we were going to be moving into actual Vipassana. At last I could move my attention away from my nostrils. However, I was also nervous about having to remain still. During Anapana you were supposed to be still, but you could afford a cheeky shuffl e about if the pain of sitting became too much. The thought of spending around 11 hours a day in total stillness, regardless of the pain I was in, terrifi ed me. As the recorded voice of Goenka started to guide my focus from my nostrils to the crown of my head in my first experience of Vipassana, I felt my hands distorting and I started to lose sensation in my body. For a split second, I panicked. I felt myself dissolving and was fl ooded with the irrational fear that I was dying.
Although filled with panic, I told myself to surrender and trust the Universe. This calmed me down and I was swept up into what I can only describe as an orgasm. A shaft of light shot from my base to my crown chakra, with rainbows and sparks of light spinning from it. It felt as if my body had totally dissolved and the pain that had gathered in my muscles from sitting for three days melted away. I was in a state of absolute bliss and lost all track of time. When I came to, the guided meditation was still underway. I fi gured that this had happened in a space of 15 minutes, although I couldn’t be sure. I noticed my breathing was very loud and fast, but contrary to what I had just experienced, I was still seated absolutely still, with my hands on my lap.
Afterwards, I went to talk to the teacher to ask her what had happened. She told me I had experienced ‘bhavana’, which translates as a ‘spiritual cultivation’. She pointed out that when I started meditating again in the next session, the pain of sitting would return. The pain didn’t come back, though. I spent the next six days in a kind of levitating, vibrating stillness. I didn’t experience the intense accumulation of pain that many people on my course later reported. After the 10 days, when the vow of silence was lifted, I felt overwhelmed, emotional and scared. I wasn’t ready for social interaction and felt a little worried that perhaps I’d never be able to enter society again. I went for a walk on my own in the woods to calm down. I bumped into my roommate, with whom I had formed a silent bond, and together we talked ourselves back into reality. I gained a huge amount from my experience. Sometimes I’m tempted to do it again, but I think I learnt what I needed to learn. One of the most important things I came away with was learning how to meditate, which I still do every day.
There is a strict routine to adhere to on a Vipassana course, which allows the mind to focus on the main task at hand: meditation.
|4:00am||Day begins with a morning wake-up gong|
|4:30-6:30||Meditate in your room or in the meditation hall|
|6:30am||Breakfast is served; a wide selection of oats, black and herbal teas, stewed and fresh fruit, toast and rice cakes|
|8:00am||Group meditation in the hall, guided by a voice recording of Goenka|
|9:00am||Meditate in your room or in the meditation hall|
|11:00am||Lunchtime; a variety of hot and cold vegetarian dishes, including salad and sometimes a dessert. Tea and water also available|
|12:00noon||You are free to sleep, walk in the grounds, or talk to the teacher|
|1:00-5:00pm||Group meditation in the hall or in your room, interspersed with toilet breaks|
|5:00pm||Tea break with fruit and tea for first-timers and fruit juice and tea for old students|
|6:00pm||Group meditation in the hall|
|7:00pm||Watch a video of the Vipassana teachings|
|8:15pm||Group meditation in the hall|
Bestselling author Denise Linn shows you how to cleanse and uplift the energy in your home…
The phrase ‘space clearing’ was coined by feng shui expert Denise Linn. Denise’s spiritual journey began as a teenager when she had a near-death experience after being shot and left for dead by an unknown gunman. The revelations she received on the ‘other side’ and her subsequent amazing healing led Denise to become an internationally respected healer, writer and teacher.
In the past 40 years, Denise has taught seminars in 25 countries. She has instilled into her teachings the wisdom she gained from indigenous cultures – the aborigines of Australia, the Zulu people in Africa, the Maoris of New Zealand, as well as from her own Native American Cherokee roots.
Denise has written 16 books, including the bestselling Sacred Space and Feng Shui for the Soul, as well as her personal memoir If I Can Forgive, So Can You. She is also the founder of the International Institute of Soul Coaching and the largest feng shui/space clearing course, Interior Alignment Instinctive Feng Shui and Seven Star Blessing Space Clearing.
The techniques of space clearing are covered fully in Denise’s book Space Clearing A-Z (£16.99, Hay House). But opposite is the basic four-step process.