We all have fears and doubts when we are experiencing something new – whether it’s travel overseas, a new job, moving to a new home in a new location or country, meeting a new partner or participating in a training course. So, it is perfectly natural to have an approach/avoidance relationship with a course in awareness training.
Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, creators of the Power of Awareness Mindfulness Training, are very conscious of what people are experiencing when they begin to look at the possibility of undertaking their online awareness training course.
Potential participants are concerned that they cannot fit the seven-week course into their busy lives. They question whether their knowledge and understanding are advanced enough for them to be doing an intensive course, whether they will be able to keep up to the others in the course or whether they will be able to contribute effectively to the group or individual coaching sessions.
One of the greatest fears can be that they will expose their weaknesses, deficiencies or lack of knowledge and skill – that they will potentially make a “fool of themselves”. They may also fear that they may discover something about themselves that they do not like.
The facilitators provide some assurance that the course is planned in detail to enable people to progress through bite-sized chunks, at their own pace, and with lots of support. Videos, written exercises and meditation practices are readily available for use during the course and for ongoing practice afterwards.
Jack and Tara also point out that our doubts and fears are the very “bread and butter” of the course, as these negative emotions are often what holds us back from realising our potential and enjoying innate and pervasive happiness.
The first step then is facing our fears and doubts in a mindful way and informing ourselves of what the course provides and how to make the best use of the resources and support provided. Ultimately, it comes down to “having a go” – to open up the opportunity to explore the depths of our inner landscape.
The rewards in doing awareness training are potentially very rich and create the possibility of a more enriched and fulfilling life. As we grow in mindfulness and awareness we can experience greater clarity, calm, insight, creativity and peace.
By Ron Passfield – Copyright (Creative Commons license, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives)
Image source: courtesy of johnhain on Pixabay