These Enlightenment Intensives are aimed at breaking through to a profound state of awareness often called "enlightenment." There are many more correct, traditional and poetic ways of referring to this most precious and essential understanding. This naturally occurring state is read and talked about, usually, as if it lives at the end of a mystical rainbow and will never happen. That is a shame - it is the key to life and happiness and can be experienced by anyone who takes two to three days to look deeply within, earnestly and honestly, with complete attention. You need skilfull support to do this. Going it alone is life wastingly slow.
On Enlightenment Intensives "ordinary" people achieve the most profound states of consciousness. These states are not the property of monks or saints or robed lamas or holy men of the east or west. They are completely natural - but easily lost to view - unless you are deeply questioning, observing and open. You will be carefully guided in a simple technique of enquiry that produces astonishing and deeply satisfying life changing results in days.
These ecstatic, primordial experiences go to the core of life's deepest issues. Authentic prescence satisfies - totally - where nothing else does. These experiencs are life itself - without them there is always some sense of failure, no matter how much money, praise, fame or love you receive.
A few words on the process: Shivam O'Brien follows the same techniques and format which were developed by Charles Berner in the 1960s. The Enlightenment Intensive provides a supportive framework within which participants are able to put all other concerns aside and focus deeply on their contemplation. The days start early and end late. The majority of the day is taken up with dyad exercises and interspersed with silent walks, lectures, rest, work and exercise periods. The participants are expected to contemplate through all the activities to aid in the process.
The Enlightenment Intensive requires participants to work on one specific question throughout the retreat. Those who are taking an Enlightenment Intensive for the first time work on "Who am I?" More experienced participants can choose from "Who am I?", "What am I?", "What is Life?" or "What is Another?" Using one of these questions as a focus for the whole three days, participants are taught a simple yet powerful contemplation technique designed to increase their chances of having a breakthrough shift of consciousness.
Enlightenment Intensives make use of partnered communication exercises called "dyads". Dyads introduce open communication and contact with others into the traditionally silent process of deep inner contemplation. Dyads are 40 minute structured exercises between participants working in pairs. During a dyad exercise, one person contemplates their question and then communicates to their partner what has arisen for them whilst the other person silently listens. The roles swap round every five minutes until the exercise ends, giving each person equal time in the two roles. Dyad communication exercises are seen to have speeded up the contemplation process and contributed to people having enlightenment experiences on Intensives.
There are also basic ground rules, which are designed to minimise any distractions from contemplating. The rules include no smoking, alcohol, caffeine or any other drugs, no sex and no gossiping. Food on the intensives is simple and vegetarian.
"Sceptical of the proclaimed results, I packed my bags with an open mind heading for the country manor in deepest Wales. What followed a thoroughly warm recption was 3 days of the most advanced personal development I have EVER attended. Having been involved with the enlightenment path and personal development for over 20 years, the 3 day claim seemed beyond belief. Well let me tell you this course delivers." Nick Lewis,NLP trainer provider
Practical Information: The venues are beautiful, secluded and ideally suited to this form of retreat, and consist of:
A 15th century Welsh farmhouse, which is one of our regular UK venues. Ideally placed in secluded countryside and cosy in all seasons.
Summer Intensives in the UK are accommodated in palatial Mongolian Gers pitched at our mountain retreat. If you do not like camping (even in luxury!) book into one of our Intensives at the farm house.
In January 2010, we held an Enlightenment Intensive at the holy mountain of Arunachala in India!
These intensives usually start on the evening of the first day shown on the schedule. You should aim to get there by 7:30 pm. There is a welcoming meal and tea. The Intensive will formally start at 9.30 pm
Intensives finish at 10:30 pm on the last day shown. We recommend that you do not rush off but take up our welcome to stay the night and leave slowly after breakfast the following day. There is a short talk on the Monday morning. Finish by 10:30 am. If possible do not schedule too busy a time immediately afterwards – there is a delicious period of profound reflection to enjoy.
Shivam O'Brien has over 20 years experience in leading Enlightenment Intensives and has helped hundreds of people to discover themselves and embrace life with their own unique energy and style. Shivam is one of the most experienced masters of this format, and trained with Jake Chapman in 1988 after completing many long intensives.
"It is truth that sets you free, not your effort to be free..." - Krishnamurti