May 10th - 12th 2019 / London

Lekdanling Tibetan Cultural Centre

14 Collent Street, Hackney, London, E9 6SG

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The Festival of Mind is sponsored by the Shang Shung Institute of Tibetan Studies and the International Atiyoga Foundation.

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The Nature of Emotions - Explore practical, life-enhancing ways to work with your emotions

The Festival of Mind is an international cultural festival whose purpose is to establish a discussion forum for the integration of human knowledge in the fields of medicine, psychology, arts and spirituality in both the Western and Eastern traditions.

Each year, the Festival explores a new theme and invites internationally recognised speakers to conduct talks, round table discussions and practical workshops in which everyone is welcome to participate.

The Festival of the Mind is based on the principle of integration: there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ methods, all methods can be useful according to the ever changing circumstances of each individual. It is important, however, to understand each approach concretely, gain a solid understanding of its principles and learn to integrate it in everyday life.

After a successful launch in 2018, the Festival of Mind returns in 2019 with a new focus: The Nature of Emotions. This year we explore how to understand human emotions: What are they? What is their nature? How can we work with our emotions in a practical and useful way to benefit our life?

Join us this year, as we explore the nature of emotions, together.

Programme Schedule

Friday 10th May: LECTURE

7.00pm - 8.30pm

Charley Morley: Shadow work within Vajrayana Buddhism

Saturday 11th May: TALKS

10.00am - 10.15am: Registration

10.15am - 10.30am: Opening Remarks by Julia Lawless, Director of SSIUK

10.30am - 11.00am
Igor Berkhin: Exploring Emotions from the Inside - A Contemplative Approach

11.15am - 11.45am
Elio Guarisco: Working with our Emotions - Three Different Perspectives

12.00pm - 12.30pm
Patrizia Pearl: The Art of Breathing - The Direct Route to Relaxation & Equanimity

12.30pm - 2.00pm
Lunch Break

2.00pm - 2.30pm
Stoffelina Verdonk: Dealing with Stress & the Challenges of Everyday Life

2.45pm - 3.15pm
Nigel Wellings: An Unexpected Hurt

3.30pm - 4.00pm
Jeremy Ryokan Woodcock: Love - Its Gifts and Dilemmas

4.00pm - 4.30pm: TEA

4.30pm - 5.30pm
Round Table Discussion & Questions with Dr Alex Studholme & John Renshaw

6.00pm - 9.00pm: RECEPTION

Sunday 12th May: WORKSHOPS

11.00am - 1.00pm
Elio Guarisco & Stoffelina Verdonk Healing Emotional Distress via our Senses

2.30pm - 4.30pm
Igor Berkhin: From Victim to Explorer - Changing our Attitude towards Disturbing Emotions

5.30pm - 7.30pm
Patritzia Pearl: Yoga & Benefits of Harmonious Breathing

Festival Extended!
Follow-up Weekend: Workshop & Therapy sessions

Friday 17th May, 6.30pm - 8.00pm: WORKSHOP
A Practical Workshop with John Renshaw Helpful Ways of Working with Anxiety, Depression & Stress

Friday 10th May: LECTURE

7.00pm - 8.30pm

Charley Morley

Shadow work within Vajrayana Buddhism

The Jungian concept of the Shadow (all that we hide from others: our shame, our fears, but also our divine spirit and our hidden talents) is a huge source of power but until we bring it into the light this power will remain untapped and our full potential unreached.

Although it’s important to stress that Vajrayana Buddhism does not include the term ‘the shadow’, it does take a wholly transformational approach to the dark side and is full of stories of practitioners integrating their shadows on the path to awakening.

It is said that the Tibetan Buddhist practitioner must be like the peacock: one who can ‘transform the poisons of ignorance, attachment and aversion into the medicine of wisdom and compassion’. It is said that this approach, of literally digesting and gaining nourishment from the shadow, will allow us to utilize potentially poisonous emotions as food for the feast of spiritual growth and enlightenment.

Can the tantric path be seen as a form of shadow integration?

And yet surely the duality of concept of the shadow is negated by the non-dual teachings of Vajrayana?

In this unique talk Charlie Morley, lucid dreaming teacher and author of Dreaming Through Darkness will explore these questions.

Charlie_Morley

Charlie Morley

Charlie Morley is a bestselling Hay House author and teacher of both lucid dreaming and shadow work.He received authorisation to teach lucid dreaming within the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in 2008 and has since run workshops and retreats in over 20 countries.

For more info visit: https://www.charliemorley.com

Saturday 11th May: TALKS

10.00am - 10.15am

Registration

10.15am - 10.30am

Opening Remarks by Julia Lawless, Director of SSIUK

10.30am - 11.00am

Igor Berkhin

Exploring Emotions from the Inside:
A Contemplative Approach

One of the first things we meet when starting any contemplative practice is our feelings & emotions. In most cases, human emotions become obstacles for advancing into our deeper mental strata or being able to concentrate on the task at hand, since they cause disturbances & distractions. That's why contemplative traditions developed various methods for neutralizing such disturbing influences as well as methods for utilizing the nuclear potential of emotions.

These methods consider the individual capacities of each person and rely on an understanding of how emotions influence both our bottom-up perception & top-down actions.

While the notion of what emotions are from a contemplative perspective only partially overlap with the view of Western psychology, it is important to learn to discriminate the essential characteristics of our emotions and to understand their place in our internal cognitive landscape.

Igor_Berkhin

Igor Berkhin

Igor Berkhin is a long-term contemplative practitioner. He studied Zen in the 90s with the Korean master Won-Myong sunim, a late head of the Lotus Lantern International Buddhist Centre (Seoul, Korea). Since 1996 he has been studying Dzogchen with Tibetan master Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. For both teachers he served for many years as a Russian translator. Since 2002 he is also been authorised as a meditation teacher.

11.15am - 11.45am

Elio Guarisco

Working with our Emotions:
Three Different Perspectives

The ability to work with our emotions is the core of self-evolution. In general, all the various ways to deal with our emotions can be seen from three different perspectives: rejection, adaptation & recognition.

To reject emotions involves suppressing them by means of antagonistic methods; adaptation implies that although we acknowledge some kind of positive potentiality in our ordinary emotions, we nevertheless need to change, control or deal with them in some way, while recognition signifies the ability to ‘see through’ our emotions without acting on the emotions themselves in any way. In this last approach, as soon an emotion arises, we simply notice it, we observe its condition, and by understanding that we do not need to be conditioned by it, it naturally dissolves.

These three approaches largely depend of the level of individual maturity of a person. The final approach requires greater maturity and presence of mind, and represents a means towards evolving our full potentiality as individuals.

Elio_Guarisco

Elio Guarisco

Elio Guarisco is a translator, scholar and meditation teacher. He is an expert in Buddhist philosophy an has collaborated with several Tibetan masters in important translation projects.

12.00pm - 12.30pm

Patrizia Pearl

The Art of Breathing:
The Direct Route to Relaxation & Equanimity

In this brief presentation we will learn:

  • How to transform our everyday breathing experience
  • How Harmonious Breathing can inform our experience and help us move through the challenges of life.
  • How Harmonious Breathing leads us to the presence of mind and the awareness of our body.
Patricia_Pearl

Patrizia Pearl

Patrizia Pearl is a teacher and practitioner of Yantra Yoga, a very ancient and profound system of yoga originating from Tibet. She is also a qualified instructor of the Harmonious Breathing method and regularly conducts international workshops.

12.30pm - 2.00pm

Lunch Break

2.00pm - 2.30pm

Stoffelina Verdonk

Dealing with Stress & the Challenges of Everyday Life

One of the problems within society today is that many people feel cut off from their feelings or are uncertain how to express their emotions. How should be behave when we come into conflict with another person, for example? How can we deal with the ever-changing tidal wave of passions that often leave us feeling overwhelmed?

Young people especially face many challenges on both a personal & global level these days … whether it is the demands of social media, relationship & family problems or the difficult environmental situation as a legacy of previous generations. A sense of anger, powerlessness, depression & fear are all too commonly felt sentiments within the population today.

Yet in reality, the underlying basic components of this dilemma are an age-old problem that humanity has been facing for thousands of years … and so there are also many age-old solutions for managing our feelings. By adopting the most enlightened guidelines on how to work with our emotions that have been developed in the past, then adapting them to our contemporary world, we can bring about a greater sense of emotional awareness within ourselves together with a renewed feeling of personal empowerment.

Stoffelina_Verdonk

Stoffelina Verdonk

Stoffelina Verdonk is a teacher of a meditative form of dance called Vajra Dance, which was transmitted by the late Tibetan master Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. She is also an experienced meditation teacher.

2.45pm - 3.15pm

Nigel Wellings

An Unexpected Hurt

Why is it that meditation is so difficult? Once our initial enthusiasm dies down we may find that our practice is not all that pleasurable as unwanted sensations, thoughts and emotions visit us. How can we turn this into the path itself? Is there a danger that we turn to a spiritual path to avoid facing our emotional difficulties?

Nigel_Wellings

Nigel Wellings

Nigel Wellings is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and author who works within a contemplative perspective. He has served as a Director of Training at the Centre for Transpersonal Psychology and is a founder member of The Forum for Contemplative Studies and a facilitator on the Bath and Bristol Mindfulness Courses.

3.30pm - 4.00pm

Jeremy Ryokan Woodcock

Love: Its Gifts and Dilemmas

Without a brush
The willow paints the wind
Muso Soseki

Love can be a very nourishing gift but there are also dilemmas in being able to sit with an open heart when deeply painful material emerges. Dharma practise and good psychotherapy can create the objectivity required to understand our emotions more fully.

jeremy_woodcock

Jeremy Woodcock

Dr Jeremy Ryokan Woodcock is a psychotherapist in independent practice and a Zen Sensei in the world wide White Plum Asanga. He has worked in and consulted to human rights organisations for almost 30 years. Increasingly his practice works out of a place where Zen and psychotherapy coincide.

4.00pm - 4.30pm

TEA

Saturday 11th May: ROUND TABLE

4.30pm - 5.30pm

Round Table Discussion & Questions
with Dr Alex Studholme & John Renshaw

Saturday 11th May: Reception

6.00pm - 9.00pm

Reception / Bar & Refreshments

Sunday 12th May: WORKSHOPS

11.00am - 1.00pm

Elio Guarisco & Stoffelina Verdonk

Healing Emotional Distress via our Senses

In our busy and interactive lives, the distracted mind often takes over, and our life turns into a stressful race or a dull repetition of our daily routine. We lose our true self along with any sense of connection and satisfaction that gives meaning to our life. In this scenario, our mind often escapes into complex and unrealistic daydreams, unrelated to what we actually see, hear, touch, taste and smell, and what we think. How can we find ways to heal this type of underlying emotional distress, which is so common in our society today?

Learning how to remain relaxed and access presence of mind in the midst of our busy stressful lives is a vital psychological resource essential for our wellbeing. By learning how to find presence via our senses, we can shift from our habitual mental level of experiencing things, to a more directly alive and personal relationship with ourselves, with others and with our experience of the world around us.

In this weekend, by combining movement and meditation, we will learn how to be present and aware via a range of sensory experiences. We will understand how our senses connect us directly to both our inner emotional landscape as well as our immediate outer environment. This will unable us to live our lives more fully, enriched with an enhanced sense of presence, personal connectedness and emotional awareness. In this way, our everyday lives are transformed from a flow of meaningless passing events that leave us empty handed, to an experience of fulfilment, wholeness and integration. On this journey, our senses act as our guide towards a more insightful perception of reality as it really is and help to keep us anchored in the infinite present moment, empowering us to relate to the inner and outer world with a sense of adventure.

Elio_Guarisco

Elio Guarisco

Elio Guarisco is a translator, scholar and meditation teacher. He is an expert in Buddhist philosophy an has collaborated with several Tibetan masters in important translation projects.
Stoffelina_Verdonk

Stoffelina Verdonk

Stoffelina Verdonk is a teacher of a meditative form of dance called Vajra Dance, which was transmitted by the late Tibetan master Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. She is also an experienced meditation teacher.

2.30pm - 4.30pm

Igor Berkhin

From Victim to Explorer: Changing our Attitude towards Disturbing Emotions

Control of emotions has been an essential part of human education throughout our history being an essential factor for the survival of the human population and culture. Such education was mostly based on religious authority or other ideological foundations. However, in the 20th century the authority of such ideologies were strongly undermined along with their moral codes. Expressing certain formerly suppressed emotions became a kind of a norm. As a result, the skills required to deal with our emotions was lost. In the West today, living in a relatively safe environment without much physical hardship has made disturbing emotions the front-runner among our negative experiences. Hypersensitivity to emotions and our inability to handle them leads to accepting a victim position, while the role of the executor is unconsciously projected onto someone who seems to directly or indirectly provoke these emotions. Almost automatically it brings an aggressive reaction towards the "offender" and an endless war begins… even though the emotion itself remains inside and its painful consequences are not relieved.

This workshop presents the basic principles and techniques of dealing with one's own emotions through the contemplative approach. This allows us to separate our internal experience from those external factors that seems to provoke disturbing emotions. By treating them as just another internal event, we accept the position of an explorer of our emotions rather than its victim. Gradually we can learn to discover & recognize the signals that help us to discriminate, to study and finally to approach our experience in a skillful way, healing & relieving pain rather than fighting it. To apply this method, we need to develop such qualities as a stable mindful presence, discipline and finally the courage to face our own demons single-handed.

Igor_Berkhin

Igor Berkhin

Igor Berkhin is a long-term contemplative practitioner. He studied Zen in the 90s with the Korean master Won-Myong sunim, a late head of the Lotus Lantern International Buddhist Centre (Seoul, Korea). Since 1996 he has been studying Dzogchen with Tibetan master Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. For both teachers he served for many years as a Russian translator. Since 2002 he is also been authorised as a meditation teacher.

5.30pm - 7.30pm

Patritzia Pearl

Yoga & Benefits of Harmonious Breathing

A proper understanding and use of the breath can help calm our mind, reduce tensions in our body and improve mental and physical efficiency. Through simple yet powerful techniques and exercises we will learn tools which can be used anywhere and anytime to enhance the quality of our every day life. Harmonious Breathing is a practice designed to benefit everyone regardless of age, fitness level, and whether they have any prior experience of Yoga or not.

Harmonious Breathing creates a calm and engaged environment through its focus on the ‘art of breathing’ with awareness, the single-most important factor that sustains our existence and our mental and emotional well-being. Exercises can be performed standing, seated or lying down: this is a body/mindfulness practice.

This ancient wisdom is now being integrated with modern medical practices to treat respiratory impairment, anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. It can also help to improve cardiovascular function and reduce hypertension. Harmonious Breathing is derived from Yantra Yoga, a special system of yoga developed in Tibet, which is unique in its approach to the relationship between movement and breath.

Patricia_Pearl

Patrizia Pearl

Patrizia Pearl is a teacher and practitioner of Yantra Yoga, a very ancient and profound system of yoga originating from Tibet. She is also a qualified instructor of the Harmonious Breathing method and regularly conducts international workshops.

Festival Extended! Follow-up Weekend: Workshop & Therapy sessions

Friday 17th May: WORKSHOP

6.30pm - 8.00pm

A Practical Workshop with John Renshaw

Helpful Ways of Working with Anxiety, Depression & Stress

In this one-and-a-half hour workshop, we will learn and explore some of the basic theory and practice of yoga therapy together. We will discover tools to help manage and reduce anxiety, depression and stress as well as other mental health issues that are so common in our society today.

The workshop includes yogic practices and breath techniques geared towards balancing our nervous system, mindfulness-based skills to help us develop awareness and see through our habitual patterns of thoughts and emotions, combined with therapeutic support. The techniques are grounded in both modern medical and scientific understanding of the body and brain as well as the Buddhist and Yogic traditions.

As a trained and certified Yoga Therapist for the Minded Institute, and practitioner of oriental medicine, John has extensive training in how to develop and tailor a program to your individual needs and issues. Over the weekend there will also be the opportunity to have one-to-one sessions with John for more individual advice.

No previous experience of yoga is required to benefit from the workshop, which also introduces pleasant and simple ways to relax and enhance our everyday well-being.

John_Renshaw

John Renshaw

John Renshaw has been a student of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu for over 40 years, is authorised as a 2nd level Yantra (Tibetan) Yoga teacher and has been practising and teaching Yantra Yoga in the UK and internationally since the 1980's. From 1982-84 he studied at the School for Independent Study (NELP) focusing on Biofeedback and self-regulation used in conjunction with yoga and meditation. John has also trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine) alongside other body / work systems such as Shiatsu and Rossiter and has run an active practice since 1988.

More recently 2012 he trained as a Yoga Therapist with the Minded Institute TMI adding a focus to his work on using yoga, breathing practices and mindfulness to deal with emotional/mental problems, which he integrates into his practice. He has worked clinically for many years in the field of Hepatitis C within the NHS at a Community Drug Project. He has integrated these two fields with yoga therapy and applied it in a residential rehab for addiction problems. Today, John combines his interests in complementary medicine, yoga and meditation in his approach to helping students and clients find a personally integrated approach to dealing with their health conditions in a holistic way.

Saturday & Sunday 18th - 19th May: INDIVIDUAL THERAPY SESSIONS

Indivudual sessions each day from 10.00am - 6.00pm

With John Renshaw

Individual Therapy Sessions

Based on Friday's workshop, over the weekend there will also be the opportunity to have one-to-one sessions with John for more individual advice. These are offered at an introductory Festival rate of £50 for a one hour session. 

To book Individual Therapy Sessions please email John directly for an appointment time:

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Alternatively you can also call John directly on:   0793 909 0412

John_Renshaw

John Renshaw

John Renshaw has been a student of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu for over 40 years, is authorised as a 2nd level Yantra (Tibetan) Yoga teacher and has been practising and teaching Yantra Yoga in the UK and internationally since the 1980's. From 1982-84 he studied at the School for Independent Study (NELP) focusing on Biofeedback and self-regulation used in conjunction with yoga and meditation. John has also trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine) alongside other body / work systems such as Shiatsu and Rossiter and has run an active practice since 1988.

More recently 2012 he trained as a Yoga Therapist with the Minded Institute TMI adding a focus to his work on using yoga, breathing practices and mindfulness to deal with emotional/mental problems, which he integrates into his practice. He has worked clinically for many years in the field of Hepatitis C within the NHS at a Community Drug Project. He has integrated these two fields with yoga therapy and applied it in a residential rehab for addiction problems. Today, John combines his interests in complementary medicine, yoga and meditation in his approach to helping students and clients find a personally integrated approach to dealing with their health conditions in a holistic way.

Order Tickets Here

(tickets also available onsite)

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Join us this year, as we explore the nature of emotions, together.

May 10th - 12th 2019 / London

Lekdanling Tibetan Cultural Centre

14 Collent Street, Hackney, London, E9 6SG

The Festival of Mind is sponsored by the Shang Shung Institute of Tibetan Studies and the International Atiyoga Foundation.

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© 2019 Shang Shung UK Ltd