When we were creating the Silent Eye’s mentored correspondence course, we envisaged a three-year journey through a mental, emotional and spiritual landscape which would evolve as the Companion’s learning and depth of ‘being’ increased.
This landscape was to be internal – an active, meditative experience, whose presence would extend into the daily life as learning of true cause and effect deepened, and different aspects of modern living were brought into powerful harmony. In the true and ancient meaning of the word, this would become a very magical journey.
Lately, we have begun to re-examine the idea of actual landscapes being used as teaching aides; not passively, but inviting – invoking – them to work with the noble intentions of the workshop in question.
I’ve been to many workshops over the years. Many of them were good. Some of them were very good. Two or three were life-changing…
What’s the difference?
Good ones were well structured; you had a clear idea -going in – of what would be taught and what effort you would have to put in if you wanted to succeed. What was success in this context? Success has to be ‘something added’ to your life; possibly an additional skill, something to be dropped into that ‘kit bag’ that is us; a bit like the tarot Card of the Fool (below), striding, unafraid, into the morning of Life with a little dog nipping at his heels and his few important possessions slung over his/her shoulder…
Very good workshops were those in which you discovered that, whatever you thought in the first few minutes, it deepened way beyond that as the agenda developed. This might have been the appropriateness of the subject matter, or even the approach of the teacher.
A workshop that is life-changing is one in which the attendee immediately feels at home with the event and the inner process of the teaching – generating a hunger. That sense of ‘coming home’ is difficult to pin down, but deepens with each stage of the event.
Why this happens may not be apparent in the early stages; indeed I’ve been to a couple of such weekends where I still don’t know how that sense of sheer magic was created… But I know it was. And the fact that the memory still generates a sense of wonder, years later, shows the power they had.
‘Let go and get out of the way’…
It’s a deeply mystical insight, and it may have a lot to do with the life-changing workshops. There’s an enigma at work, here: you have prepare the ‘skeleton’ of the event in sufficient detail for it to be viable. At the same time, the structure and keys of the weekend should only be the ‘tinder that lights the greater fire’. When this works, it’s obvious that something is happening beyond the planning and the preparation. It is as though an intervention is taking place that broadens and deepens a kind of group presence…
In the Silent Eye, this is what we aim for; that the landscape, itself, becomes the teacher, gradually aligning and moving forward each person to the degree that they are able to be receptive to it. More blogs will follow as we develop this theme.
Whitby is the location for our next weekend. Above is a taste of the opening day (Friday 6th December, 2019)… a few places are still available. You can click here for our website’s events page.
©Stephen Tanham 2020
Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit teaching school of modern mysticism that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.
The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.
Steve’s personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at stevetanham.wordpress.com.
I have never done any study before (and I have been a hungry student all of my life) quite like The Silent Eye Mystery School with the trips that are written about to different landmarks throughout the U.K. that have given me so much. Without giving anything away, one of my favorites (and they have all been my favorites) has been the visits to the ancient churches and the castles and forts. I will just say that structure has been a strongly important word coming from those visits for me. It has given me a whole new way of looking at life, at reality, and at imaginary things I encounter in my everyday life. I am 78, so not a kid starting life, but in some ways I really am. And I don’t have a lot of money and am not able to travel because my significant other requires a lot of physical care at the present, but I get the benefit of the travel just the same while I am in my favorite desk chair and jammies.
It is odd how visiting a place the way the leaders of the workshop and the participants interact makes me feel as though I am with them in person. I still remember how cold my feet became and how the damp of the water in a storage place so to speak seemed to chill me to the bone and the emotions I experienced trying to find my way through as the ground above the storage area became more dense and the day was moving into early evening. And I remembered the other things I felt and worked my way through as I reached out for a hand to hold in my mind.
I don’t know what it is about it, but each experience is so real and so vibrant, whether I have been able to go in person or not. I ultimately want to go back to all the places we have visited and see them all once again in person. I know that I will remember each and every single place, because each one has brought me some incredible experiences and I have gained new ways of looking not only at the landscapes and the structures, but at aspects of life. As you noted, Steve, they have, for me at least, been life-changing on a major number of the events. I obviously would love to be at every one of them in person, and I don’t really know how they manage it, but I always feel as though I AM there. I can get my literature that goes with an event to follow along too, but the group somehow includes each and every one of us in a magical way that puts us at the scene with everyone else.
I don’t know if I can ever thank those who seem to never sleep for putting on these wonderful events. It has given my life a dimension that was never there before, and it has enabled me to get through some really difficult times trying to be a caregiver for another person and given me hope for a brighter time for both me and my significant other. Once again, thank you one and all for making all of this possible for us. It’s funny, for I have always studied something either in a university, local workshop, reading or on the Internet, but most of it I cannot remember at all the same way. The workshops and this particular study are something I will never forget.
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Thank you Anne. There’s a lot of effort put into these weekends, as you know, and it’s all worthwhile when people get a lot from them; locally or remotely. We document then in words and photos so that those not present may feel part of what we do x