The Friday evening courses have been unspeakably rewarding, for myself, I know, and I've received similar responses from others who have joined us for these. Below this email, I have included some of the written comments which have emanated from these classes; many times more such responses have been shared in conversation.
We opened the first of these 'Friday Fling' sessions (all of which run from 8 to 10 pm) with the Exploring the I Ching course. And this was followed by the Looking Beyond Loss & Grief course which comes to a close this evening. Both of these courses have helped to bring about big breakthroughs for various folk who have been with us. Again, see the comments below.
Next up is The Art of Living in Awareness course, which begins next Friday evening, 6 May. This will be the first of the Friday courses to be held Behind the Blue Door @ 177 High Street, Lewes. Those folk who have already joined us Behind the Blue Door -- via the Wednesday morning writing course, Saturday workshop, etc. -- have given glowing reviews of our at-home venue. And I love teaching here.
(Mufidah's courses and one-to-one sessions are also held here.)
The Art of Living in Awareness course is the granddaddy of all I do. It is the foundation of every one of my courses and workshops, whether they're creative writing-intensive, a combined writing and walking workshop (like the 9 May Mindfully Decadent Monday workshop which will take place along the idyllic riverside setting between Lewes and Hamsey Church), or one of the aforementioned 'Friday Fling' courses. The art of living in awareness is also the very underpinning of my own day-to-day existence, my vocation and avocation, if you will.
Together, we'll explore what it means to live in awareness, and we'll do so (both in and out of class) through the nurturing of bringing our moment-to-moment awareness to all that arises within the present moment. I repeat, all that arises. This includes 'the good, the bad and the ugly'. In the process, we'll likewise nurture our own inherent ability to live with wisdom.
We'll also read from inspiring literature from various wisdom traditions which have in common this art of living in full-frontal awareness, living within the whole caboodle that this present moment offers, rather than pushing away those bits of reality we'd prefer not be there, or wishing things which aren't present were.
Countless writing students and one-to-one clients have asked me when I'd be running a meditation course. This is it, but we'll move beyond the learning of meditation technique, into a domain in which the witnessing of our world within and without is a part of our moment-to-moment lives, a witnessing with a spirit of effortless effort. A relaxation into the moment, an opening of one's heart, one's mind, one's whole being.
And we'll write as part of this exploration into the now. So, as always, please bring your notebook and a couple of pens. This, as with all my writing classes, is ideal for both experienced writers as well as those who've perhaps never put pen to paper to write creatively or reflectively. And though the classes are incredibly supportive, there's never an obligation to share what you write.
Speaking of writing, the next 6-week Wednesday morning (10 am to 12 noon) creative writing course begins on 18 May and will run through 22 June. This and all other courses and workshops in Lewes will continue to meet Behind the Blue Door, tonight's final class of the Looking Beyond Loss & Grief course being my last scheduled booking at the Subud Centre.
One more exciting announcement: Again, in response to countless requests, I'll be teaching an evening 6-week creative writing course in Lewes beginning Monday 23 May (7 to 9 pm). This will likewise meet Behind the Blue Door, and will replace the evening course which is presently running in Brighton. However, as we're just a few minutes' walk from the Lewes Railway Station, and Lewes is just a 13-or-16-minute train ride from Brighton, folk who come from Brighton and Hove can easily make a relaxing evening of joining us in Lewes. The trains run frequently from Lewes to Brighton right through to 00.18 (which arrives in Brighton at 00.34). In all, there are thirteen trains from Lewes to Brighton after this evening class finishes. Trains also run regularly to Eastbourne, with the journey taking between 19 and 25 minutes, depending on which train one catches. Seaford and Newhaven are, of course, just a hop, skip and a jump of a train ride away. And both London and Hastings are very doable journeys, particularly given that the Monday evening class ends at 9 pm and the Friday class at 10 pm.
To reserve your place in any of these 6-week courses (£95) or for the Mindfully Decadent Monday riverside walk, writing and picnic workshop (£35), please click here.
Please let me know if you have any questions. And, as always, I'd greatly appreciate your helping to spread word of these goings-on, including my one-to-one Mindful Living Guidance services, regarding which a recent testimonial is included below this email, along with the various other written comments mentioned above.
With warm regards,
Sean M. Madden
tel. +44 (0)7971 774151
Dear Sean, I can think of nothing finer than Rumi and Rilke Behind the Blue Door (or indeed on the riverbank). Your classes are very special and provide vital nourishment. Please keep me fully posted with all that you have going on. I WILL BE BACK!
Hi Sean, Our [one-to-one] time together more than fulfilled my expectations and has proved extremely helpful with your insights and wonderfully relaxed approach to everything. I was amazed to find that time had passed so quickly. Also, this morning's class was vast for me — like a huge weight has lifted from my shoulders in such a warm, accepting and comforting environment. Thank you so much.
Morning Sean, Last evening['s Looking Beyond Loss & Grief class] was huge for me and allowed me the dignity of grief after all these years. I was only able to do this because of the safe haven you provide in which to explore, and acknowledge, our feelings of loss and grief. Intuitively, you allow the luxury of silence and the class takes its lead from you. The grief was trembling and shaking out of my body, and the blessed silence gave me permission not to do and to just sit with my feelings until they had run their course. Hugs were not necessary. Indeed, nothing was. For in that silence was the support and validation I needed and that was enough — more than enough — for I've found, in the past, that hugs can stop the much needed process, however well meant or intended. So, I just wanted to let you know what a big step forward this has been for me and to say a much needed THANK YOU.
Thank you for using my book [The Living I Ching] in your courses. I'm glad that it can be used in this way. I appreciate you using "The Voice of the Oracle" as a reading because I intended it that way. It's great to see its purpose finally fulfilled. It certainly appears to me that you are living an ideal life helping others, being in nature, and pursuing your own personal path. I'll be interested in your progress and would welcome any feedback you might have in the future. Yours, Ming-Dao
~ Deng Ming-Dao is the bestselling author of the contemporary classic 365 Tao, The Living I Ching, Everyday Tao, Chronicles of Tao and Scholar Warrior. (published by permission of author)
Dear Sean and Mufidah, I absolutely love your Behind the Blue Door e-mail. Inspiring. I want to come to everything. Am against the clock now but wanted to say how beautifully presented this is and wish you well with a wonderful venture. I am so glad I found you. I know sensitive-souled folk will be flocking to the blue door and its salubrious and welcoming environs in the forthcoming months and look forward to sharing with them. I have some ideal sock shoes for that rustic floor too!!
Hi Sean, Thanks for notification of change of venue to your home for future courses. I think that's a lovely idea to share your home with others. The classes that you offer are so inspiring and rich it seems fitting to provide a warm, loving environment to accommodate everyone. I hope to join you at some point and will be sure to bring my slippers/extra socks.
Dear Sean, Thank you so much for your kind email. I am much in need of your course and the soothing environs of the Upper Hall! With gratitude for your patience and huge appreciation of your wonderful teaching style. I look forward greatly to tomorrow evening and will most certainly be there. You will see that tomorrow shines as a beacon before me.