I used to think that freedom meant you could just fly where the wind takes you without a care in the world. I equated being free with not having any responsibilities.
I was under the impression that there was freedom and then there was reality. The two did not intermingle. Now, though meditation I have deepened my understanding of freedom and I recognize it as an internal state. It is not about external things.
Analytically I knew that even people in tough situations of abuse or poverty or war could be ‘free in their mind’. I’d heard stories of historical figures such as Gandhi or Mandela who overcame great oppression and maintained a level of freedom but I didn’t understand how this could apply to my own life.
Through meditation, I continue to learn what an internal state of freedom feels like. I experience deepening levels of freedom that come with self-responsibility and internal peace, all while living a seemingly normal day-to-day life.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone who just sat down, closed their eyes, silenced their thoughts and began a deep, ongoing, daily meditation practice without any hiccups.
Typically when people first start meditating they fall asleep, drift off in a daydream, or begin to think through their worries.
You would think just closing your eyes and sitting quietly is all there is to it. But the mind is a powerful thing and it doesn’t automatically support your intention to meditate. That’s why Lightwork offers specific techniques that help you get into the groove.
Getting guidance from a meditation teacher can help you move beyond the mind’s objections to the quiet calm just beyond.
Taking a class also helps you address another common challenge: creating time in your busy schedule. When you commit to a class, you have a dedicated time every week to meditate, get instruction and ask questions. Plus you get to share the experience with other students, which can be so helpful.
This post is based on a recent class taught by Scott Robinson
So we find ourselves in a time of great change. Perhaps great stress. Great intensity. But you need to know, the effects of the U.S. election do not need to determine how you feel inside. Or how your spiritual path unfolds.
If you choose to be conscious, you are in charge of your reality no matter what is going on around you. You can live in a state of brightness and freedom. But you have to choose it, otherwise you are at the mercy of external forces.
The Buddha lived during a period of intense political unrest and violence in India. Not only did he find his own personal transcendence during this time, but he created a practice that has helped countless others transcend; a practice that is still going strong 2000 years later.
Tibetan monks continued to choose consciousness and spiritual freedom even when Chinese invaders overwhelmed their country, killing untold numbers and destroying 6,000 monasteries.
And consider that Nelson Mandela emerged from 20 years of imprisonment and hard labour, a brighter, freer, more conscious being.
Human beings are powerful. You can create what you want to create. But a bright, conscious existence must be chosen. You won’t fall into it accidentally.
The great news is, the initial steps to taking charge of your reality are simple. As you go about your day-to-day existence, are you bringing light into the world? Or are you participating in darkness?
Participating in darkness can happen so easily. Like being competitive with a colleague at work. Taking out your frustrations on your spouse. Angry annoyance at someone on the bus. Judging someone who has a different view than you. Immersing yourself in news coverage that gets your blood boiling. Posting charged comments on social media.
If you are aware of some of your own dark behaviours right now, don’t freak out. Don’t judge yourself. Just start to make different choices.
Meditation really helps with this. It is a very real, very powerful way to bring lightness and consciousness into your life. It can help you through life’s ups and downs; even your darkest moments.
Now more than ever before, with so many global challenges facing us, it will be important for you – for everyone – to have a way to process stress and live in a state of light.
When I make time to meditate I am declaring to the world and myself that I am worth the time.
I deserve to be replenished.
I want to know myself more deeply, to live my truth and have more clarity of sight. When I close my eyes to meditate I am giving myself the opportunity to be more than I was before I closed them.
Children watch everything we do. They see our struggles and limitations; they see our joys and triumphs. They know, they observe, and much of the time, they become like us.
I want my children to see that I value myself. I want them to know there is more to life than being entertained, being busy, being smart, hip, cool, good…whatever it is we think we need to strive to be or do. Meditation is a space outside of all of that, a space where simply being is OK.
Having said this, I am not meditating for my children. I am meditating for me. I am meditating so I can get up in the middle of the night to soothe a cough and not begrudge anyone. I am meditating so when a child asks for more than I feel I can give, I can clearly see if it is time to dig deep, draw a line or find a creative solution.
Meditation soothes the edges when they become ragged or worn; when parenting pushes me to my max. It also helps me recognize how awesome parenting is, and lets me be present for the awesomeness rather than distracted.
Through meditation, I take care of me so I have more energy, patience and openness to be a mom.
Meditation feels different on different days. Sometimes it is challenging to just sit still. Other days I just drop into it, a wonderful warmth spreads through my body and I have a deep-seated feeling of wellness. It feels wonderful. All my worries evaporate.
But I have learned not to be attached to any particular outcome or feeling when I meditate. It is a practice. Some days my mind settles easily and other days it does not. But I always appreciate the quiet time that I set aside for my meditation practice. It is a gift to myself.
The great thing about meditation is that it is a proactive thing you can do when stress starts to creep in.
What was once just “stress” has become a chance for me to learn more about myself. Now when I feel stressed, I ask myself what is at the root cause, and I meditate to release it. It works!
Meditation has not erased stress from my life completely. Even on days when I have long meditations, occasionally I can still be found fretting over some tiny detail, and forgetting to stop and smell the roses. So although I can safely say I am not immune to stress, meditation has definitely decreased my daily stress dramatically.
I grew up watching a lot of TV. I’d watch anything that was on – from the news and documentaries, to cartoons and movies. TV was the focal point of our family and we spent pretty much all of our time together just staring at the screen.
There was very little, if any, restriction from my parents on what I was allowed to watch or how much time I spent watching. They thought it was great I showed interest in world news and nature shows.
When I first started meditating, I still watched TV regularly. But then with time, the more I meditated, the more I realized that TV (and all other media) are just a distraction.
Meditation has helped me bring my focus back to what is really important: me.
A few years ago I moved from a full-time salaried job to being self-employed. This shift was exciting. It brought me the freedom to choose my own schedule and be my own boss.
But I found the transition nerve-racking.
It raised worries about how I was going to find clients and fear I wouldn’t be able to pay the bills.
During this transition my mediation practice helped me continually come back to the present moment. I would remember that right now, in this moment, all is well. Being anxious about the future wasn’t helping in any way.
I could see that my body was wanting security, clear work hours and a set salary. It likes to keep things known and familiar. But as Spirit I was eager to spread my wings — to have the freedom to choose projects that felt exciting to me.
Meditation helped me to reassure my body that it was safe. It allowed me to step into the unknown with more confidence. It helped me trust myself.
And as it happens, paying the bills has turned out to be no problem at all.
In 1995, after years of spiritual study, Scott founded Lightwork Spiritual Development, of which he is the Spiritual Director.
Since 1995 he has been teaching intensively.
Scott believes that on a core level every spiritual teacher of integrity is teaching the same thing,
because the core spiritual principles never change. However, there are unlimited ways to express these principles,
and every spiritual teacher and practice has its own unique flavour. Finding a flavour that one likes is the task of the seeker.
Scott is also an artist, musician and poet, and has traveled the world extensively. He feels his purpose is to be on his spiritual path
and to assist others on their path. His teaching is safe and supportive with amusement and integrity.
Krista first discovered Lightwork thanks to a tiny poster on Hornby Island. At the time she was practicing yoga and writing a play, but yearned for her true calling. Something about that little poster spoke to her and she hitchhiked to a Lightwork Healing Space event. Soon after she took Lightwork Level 1.
Her love for the practice was so immediate she packed her bags and moved to Vancouver to continue her studies, despite having no job or place to live. She made her way through several years of intensive training, graduating from the Lightwork Teacher’s program in 2003, and later becoming the first person ever to complete the apprenticeship program.
Krista says Lightwork allowed her to transform into the person she always knew she could be. As a teacher, she loves helping people tune into themselves as Spirit and bringing levity to any situation.
Krista teaches a wide range of classes including Lightwork Levels 1 to 3.5, Lightwork Moving Meditation and classes geared for women and parents.
Prior to Lightwork Krista attended theatre school, became a yoga teacher and received a diploma in clowning.
Alison has been practicing Lightwork meditation since 2007. As a certified Lightwork teacher, she offers classes suitable to first-time meditators or anyone who has practiced other meditation styles. You can attend her classes in beautiful Nelson, BC, or by phone or Skype.
Alison has found Lightwork's clarity, ease and potency to be transformative in all aspects of her life including parenting, work, relationships and stress.
She has a Masters in Strategic Leadership Toward Sustainability which she applies in collaborative projects seeking solutions for climate change.
Julia offers meditation and consulting services for organizations and individuals.
She started her conscious spiritual journey in her mid-twenties but it wasn’t until she came across Lightwork in 2002 that she found a meditation practice that really worked for her.
Julia completed Lightwork’s seven levels of training in 2010. She has been joyfully teaching meditation classes and offering private energy readings since then.
She was previously the Program Director at Hollyhock (Canada’s leading educational retreat centre), the Director of Operations at Communicopia Internet, and a producer of the Web of Change conference.
Julia received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University in 1994. She received a permaculture design certificate in 2000.
Julia started taking Lightwork classes by phone from Winnipeg in 2004. The classes rocked her world so thoroughly she moved to Vancouver to continue her meditation studies, eventually graduating from Lightwork's most advanced program, 'Level 7: The Apprenticeship' in 2012.
Her move to the West Coast allowed her to become involved in the Lightwork Ecovillage, where she continues to deepen her meditation practice and learn life lessons (like...you really can grow kale year round!).
Julia is a certified Lightwork Teacher. She offers Lightwork Level 1 and Level 2 classes for beginners, as well as private energy reading sessions.
She brings creativity to the Lightwork administration team, and manages two annual meditation retreats: the summer '9-Day Dharma Healing', and 'Winter Light Week'.
She has an intuitive and studied understanding of all things green, arising from her work in therapeutic gardening at BC Children's Hospital and other locations around Vancouver.
When Cathy signed up for her first Lightwork class, she entered brand new territory. Coming from a scientific background, meditation was well outside her normal repertoire but she felt compelled to try it.
Without even being able to describe how, she shifted perceptions in all parts of her life and began making decisions that decreased stress. Encouraged, she thought she would keep meditating until it no longer felt like a fit. That day never came. She’s now a committed Lightwork practitioner and teacher.
Cathy offers Lightwork Level 1, Level 2, private classes and energy reading-healings. She blends her passions for writing, teaching and meditation by offering creative writing workshops for children and adults.
Darci discovered Lightwork meditation in her last month of nursing school. She realized she wanted a totally new way of coping with stress, rather than relying on old, unhealthy habits.
So she turned down a fancy job in California with a big signing bonus and season’s tickets to her favourite football team. Instead she registered for Lightwork's beginners class and never looked back.
Throughout her healing journey Darci has witnessed how meditation has the power to shift tough situations and heal what needs healing.
Her favorite thing about being a Lightwork teacher is the simplicity and presence of being in the moment. The big and small of the universe come into focus and make room for significant awareness and healing.
Darci graduated from the Lightwork Apprenticeship program in March 2014. She offers energy reading sessions and meditation classes in a loving, supportive environment.
Tiffany has been studying meditation intensively for the past 9 years. She is a certified Lightwork meditation teacher and a graduate of Lightwork's most advanced program, the three-year Level 7: Apprenticeship Program.
Tiffany sits on the Lightwork Ecovillage Board of Directors and splits her time between Vancouver and the Lightwork Ecovillage on Gambier Island with her husband Scott and his daughter Cloe.
Her classes are open to teens and adults.
Victoria was searching for a way to bring ease and a sense of direction to her life. She signed up for a Lightwork class in 2006 and it was a clear fit.
She brings a deep, joyful commitment to practicing and teaching meditation. Through it, she found a way to create the fun-filled, community-oriented life she always wanted.
Victoria offers group classes, private classes and energy reading-healing sessions. She is currently enrolled in Lightwork’s Level 7 program, apprenticing to founder Scott Robinson.
Victoria is also a spa owner, fly-fisher and nature-lover. She spends free time at the Lightwork Ecovillage, a sustainable meditation community on Gambier Island.
Jacqueline first learned to meditate as an antidote to stress and a crazy-busy lifestyle in the tech and PR industries. As she gradually made it part of her daily routine, an entirely new way of experiencing life emerged.
In March 2014, she completed Lightwork’s two-year meditation teacher program and began its most immersive course, a three-year apprenticeship to founder, Scott Robinson.
Jacqueline teaches Lightwork's beginner classes (Levels 1 & 2) and offers meditation workshops for companies and organizations. She has hosted workshops for the Dalai Lama Center for Peace & Education, UBC Faculty of Medicine, BC Cancer Research Centre and BCIT Student Association.
She is also a writer and communications consultant.