We're excited to announce the launch of a new six-week online course focusing on instruction in meditation and the eight points. The new course launches on February 24. This post features an interview with the BMCM Programs Team, in which they answer questions about the new course and its content. Learn more about the course.
It's great to see a new type of program being offered. Can you give us an overview of the new course?
Sure! We're thrilled to be trying out this new type of online learning. This new course is a six-week introductory program to learn meditation. Each week we'll cover one or two of the eight points so that by the end you'll have learned the whole program and have everything you need to start your practice, with plenty of support and inspiration along the way.
That sounds really helpful. How will participants be engaging with the material and the course?
Each week we'll be sharing readings or videos from Eknath Easwaran, the founder of passage meditation, so you can get instruction directly from him. These will be complemented by videos from BMCM presenters, who will offer suggestions on how to implement these instructions in your own life. We'll also be sharing video stories from our worldwide community of meditators sharing tips on how they use the eight points, and describing how they've seen the benefits in their own lives.
We'll also be offering a discussion forum, where participants can ask questions and share reflections about their own experiments with passage meditation. You'll be able to share as much or as little as you like, and will have the opportunity to call on the group for shared wisdom!
How is this course different from other BMCM offerings?
We have lots of programs for friends who are already established passage meditators, and you can learn more about them on the Programs page on our website. For anyone who is looking to start a passage meditation practice, in addition to this course we have two other offerings: our free, one-hour webinars, and our in-person introductory weekend retreats.
Our webinars are a great opportunity for anyone, anywhere, to learn the basic instructions in passage meditation. It's a free offering held several times a year. But, it's only an hour! This course will provide much more in-depth instruction, and allow you to actually try out this practice and have an opportunity to come back and ask questions based on your experience. There will be lots of opportunity for interaction with the presenters as well as with your fellow participants, so you'll experience spiritual community too.
Our introductory weekend retreats are held at our beautiful retreat house in Northern California, and each retreat has around 20 participants. This is a wonderful immersive experience, since you'll be participating in workshops on the eight points, with plenty of time for trying out meditation and getting questions answered. Of course, not everyone can travel to California! The online course allows you to get in-depth instruction regardless of where you are in the world, and to self-pace your participation so that it works for your schedule.
Speaking of schedules, how much time will this take?
We recommend that you plan on spending around an hour a week going through the course material. In addition, we recommend that you start meditating for 30 minutes every morning as soon as you can. The course is completely self-paced, so you can manage your participation to fit your needs. You're welcome to participate in discussions as much or as little as you like.
Who is this course right for?
Short answer? Anyone who's interested in meditation!
If you don't know anything about meditation, this course will give you everything you need, and will give you time and space to figure out if this practice is right for you. The same holds if you do know about meditation, but are looking to see if passage meditation is a good fit for you.
If you've read some of Easwaran's books before, or learned the instructions in meditation, and are working on starting a daily practice – this course will be a great help! Each week we'll help you integrate this practice into your own life and make it a habit.
If you're already a passage meditator, this course is a good resource for anyone in your life who's been looking to find out more. If you need an extra boost yourself, or if you're not yet practicing all the eight points, you might find it helpful too.
Where can we register?
You can visit our webpage for the course and register there. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions – we hope you'll join us in February!