This course is based on a six-fold path of the Contemplative/Mystical Journey and Mindfulness practice. It aims to bridge the space between secular mindfulness on the one hand and experiential spirituality on the other. It has come from the design, practice and implementation of a number of courses taught by John over the years, beginning with “The Art of Stillness”, “The Art of Deep Stillness” and “The Art of Sacred Stillness”.
The Christian elements of the course draw historically from the mystical side of the tradition (The Cloud of unknowing) with people like Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and many others. In a more modern interpretation of this Evelyn Underhill’s book is drawn on and Mysticism as a signpost of the 6 steps of the inner journey. The course is influenced by writers like Richard Rohr, Fr. Thomas Keating and Cynthia Bourget, three leading figures in America who are re-shaping what it means to be a Christian contemplative in today’s world. “Because I’m attempting to cross two worlds here I often refer to and allow for God to be named as the Universe / Higher Power / Unconditional Love / and Oneness.” John Doherty
Each session uses the practice of mindfulness with the thinking mind, heart (emotional mind) and Gut (behavioural mind) to process and develop awareness of this deeper inner journey. The course is accompanied by a double practice CD of each of the 6 steps.
The sessions are as follows:
- Step 1: Introduction to a six-fold contemplative path
- Step 2: Exploring the thinking mind, the heart and the gut as centres of awareness
- Step 3: Awakening to the Love that is God / Oneness within and applying it to the thinking mind, the heart and our actions
- Step 4: Engaging with Purification and applying it to the thinking mind, the heart and our actions
- Step 5: Opening to Illumination and applying it to the thinking mind, the heart and our actions
- Step 6: Embracing the Dark Night and applying it to the thinking mind, the heart and our actions
- Step 7: Connecting in Mystical Union and looking at how this affects the thinking mind, the heart and our actions
- Step 8: The Mystics return, bringing new awareness back into everyday living