The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Origins of the Mastery Workshop
I have made a commitment to absolute honesty on this blog, to the limits of my ability. I try to give away everything for free, but there are some products and services that require an exchange of resources, otherwise I am hurting my family, and this I cannot do. But it behoves me to give you the clearest possible idea of what EXACTLY it is that has been created, and why it is worth your time and money.
Fifteen years ago, while teaching a general fiction class at UCLA, I stumbled across the fact that Campbell's model of the Hero's Journey could be used to help people plan their lives in advance. This lead to the "Lifewriting" workshops that I taught for about five years, having great fun,and helping thousands of people with lectures, seminars, and tape sets. I promoted an ideal of balance in body, mind and spirit. When my own marriage broke up, I realized I was out of balance, and that something was terribly wrong. I stopped teaching the workshop until I could determine where I had been blind. Years of soul-searching and research later, I found the blind spot (I hadn't seen the degree to which our relationships are our mirrors. My first wife, Toni, and I had complementary strengths and weaknesses. Because of my own selfishness, I hadn't realized the degree to which our marriage was not serving her, and that pressure built up until it exploded. Never again.)
I became convinced that the difficulty is that most "transformational" workshops are more context than content. In other words, things like est (Erhardt Seminar Training) actually can produce breakthroughs in perception, but you have to keep coming back to them, because they are much better at creating a "space" in which change takes place than they are at laying out a private path for your personal exploration. I wanted something else, and thousands of hours of meditation and study later, came to the conclusion that the change had to be anchored in the physical body. We store pain and fear in the physical body--this is why I push at the weight issue so much:it is so easy to hallucinate personal change. People create warped reality maps and consider themselves wonderfully evolved. But unless you can see those changes in the quality of your relationships, in your finances and in your physical body, you risk falling into illusion. The saying is that you can awaken your Kundalini from the heart out, or from the body up, but never from the top down.
I saw a beautiful example of this recently when I gave a talk on the Mastery technique, and one of the participants, priding himself on his intellect, asked questions in an endless, snarled cascade. Seven, eight, twelve questions all tangled together, roaming around complex body-mind issues, and he thought he was making sense. This gentleman was horrifically confused about what he wanted from our interaction, and couldn't see it. He thought he was being brilliant because I had to hunt for the frayed ends of one question at a time so that I could answer them. And he had surrounded himself with people who were impressed by his interrogatory technique. It was sad. He is obviously a very, very bright man who thinks that he can use that fine intellect to grasp the essence of his life. In fact, he could not even grasp the essence of his own questions. To such a person, the world can be a terrifying place, devoid of wonder. I felt sorry for him. THE WORLD IS BEYOND OUR CONCEPTS OF IT.
What I believe I have grasped is the outline of a Path, a way through the woods. It is not the only path, but it is a safe and relatively sure one. It conflicts with no world religions or major beliefs I am aware of. It uses the breath to open the doorway between the conscious and unconscious minds, and the body to remove fear from the psyche. This is, in potential, the most powerful technique I have ever heard of, and to my knowledge, nothing quite like it exists on the planet. I don't think any one person could have created it. And I think that, in the future, others will devise similar approaches. But Scott and I might be as much as five years ahead of the curve. What we will do in San Francisco will be ground-breaking and life-changing. We will send the participants home with a simple mental/physical technique, performed for only five minutes a day (at minimum) to actually change their lives for the better. I so hope that many of you will ask questions, push me about this, learn what you need to learn to make an informed decision. And then, meet us there. Make us prove what we're saying. If I'm right, this is one of those small bursts of light that, throughout history, have helped hold back the darkness. The combined wisdom of the human race--through all times and nations, is coming together. It would be an incredibly exciting time regardless, but the possibility that I am on the cutting edge of one aspect of that change is humbling and exhilarating. Please, journey to Ask us questions. Make up your own mind. And hopefully, join us!


1 comment:

hcg said...

hello!! Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community.