A Note From George (September 2018)

 

In the sorely-needed good news department, Mettagroup has reached two milestones. First, we have joined Dan Brown on an outcome study evaluating the effectiveness of his Ideal Parent Figure Protocol (IPF) in repairing attachment disturbances in adults. The effectiveness of Mettagroup’s The Meaningful Life Intensives approach will be evaluated and contrasted to IPF. Very exciting!! If you completed an Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) as part of any of the Intensives and would like to participate in the study, please reach out to us to schedule a follow up session. 

Second, we have been granted our 501(c)3 tax exempt status from the IRS. Mettagroup has a hybrid corporate structure with both a Benefits and Non-Profit corporate filings. We believe that our teachers, facilitators, therapists and staff should be paid a living wage. To do that, we need to price our programs accordingly. But we also want to provide our classes to everyone who wants to participate in them, and now we can raise scholarship funds to meet both of these goals.

Intensives, Intensives, Intensives!

The fall is upon us, and the whole back-to-school thing is happening whether we are ready or not. This is as true at Mettagroup as it is everywhere else. We will be starting our intensives this month and have found that class size has an impact on the learning experience, and that smaller is better. So we are limiting the classes to 10 people in person, plus remote students. There are some spaces open in all levels and scholarships are still available (get in touch with the office at admin@mettagroup.org or 213-378-0489 to apply). Here’s a description of what’s happening: 

The Meaningful Life – Level One

This course focuses on developing an integrated Metta-Vipassana practice, with psychoeducation of Attachment Theory. We use a secular Buddhist approach to teach meditation, keeping intact the linkages developed over millennia while at the same time not requiring belief of any kind. 

We do believe the long-term goal of meditation practice is classical enlightenment. For many people, stabilizing their householder’s life is a prerequisite for deep practice. Using the attachment mind states as a vehicle for practice helps build in the short run the social support necessary for sustained practice in the long run. Understanding the effects of our early conditioning on our current life path deepens our understanding of the nature of our karma, and the path to release it. This course is suitable for any level of practitioner and begins on Wednesday, September 19, and meets every other week for 12 sessions. Register here >

The Meaningful Life – Level Two

This course focuses on deepening the understanding the dynamics of your own attachment strategy and shifting your relationships from an insecure stance to a secure ground. Relationship dynamics will be explored through an attachment lens, as well as, the skill set of secure functioning. Meditation-based emotional regulation is emphasized, with instructions specific to individual attachment presentations within the Metta-Vipassana practice context. A period of The Ideal Parent Figure protocol, a guided-meditation designed to repair early attachment disturbance, developed by Daniel P. Brown Phd at Harvard, will be part of the class. Each student will work with a mediation mentor one-on-one. This course requires completion of any MIAP or TML intensive and begins on Wednesday, September 26 (please note the date change!), and meets every other week for 12 sessions. Register here >

The Meaningful Life – Level Three

And for the first time, Mettagroup is offering The Meaningful Life – Level Three, which focuses on doing the deep work of uprooting your early attachment conditioning. An Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) will be given to each student, and each student will receive twice-a-month, individual (one-on-one) Ideal Parent Figure (IPF) protocol sessions as part of the class. This intensive supports working thorough your attachment conditioning, for continuing education on developing healthy relationships, and will include collaboration practice with a plant-based Make-A-Meal. Completion of TML - Level Two is a prerequisite for Level Three. If cost is a consideration, please call the office and we can figure it out. Class begins on Sunday, September 29, and will meet once a month for six months. Register here >

Things are just as they are, morning meditation, etc.

In Morning Meditation (which you can still try for one month free here), on the insight side, we are going through the exploration of Self-generated Emotion. And, on the heart side, we will finish Sympathetic Joy practice and begin Equanimity practice: Things are just as they are; things are impermanent; joy and sorrow arise and pass away. All beings are the heirs of their intentions and actions. Your joy and your sorrow depend on your intentions and actions, not on my wishes for you; I care about you, but I cannot prevent you from suffering. Or for short, Things are just as they are, etc. 

Which reminds me of the story about a Zen Master and a very clever boy named Ikkyu. Ikkyu’s teacher had a very precious tea cup, a rare antique. Ikkyu accidentally breaks the cup. Hearing his master’s footsteps, Ikkyu hides the broken pieces of the cup behind his back. When the Master appears, Ikkyu asks him, “Why do people have to die?” “This is natural,” explains the older monk. “Everything has to die and has only so long to live.” Ikkyu produces the shattered cup and says, “The time for your teacup to die is now.”

Lastly, but not least, here is a Buddha Image of the great reclining Buddha in downtown Yangon. Each time I see it I am awe-inspired. Enjoy. 

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Love to you,
George