Access to the workshops below is restricted to BePeriod students

Observing the Intellectual Center

The labor of July invites us to review the role of our intellectual center in this work. What can we harvest from our mind? What are useful thoughts? To answer this, we must better understand our thinking. “In most conditions in ordinary life,” said Peter Ouspensky, “people think only with the mechanical part of the intellectual center. This is not sufficient. It is necessary to use the intellectual part of the intellectual center.”

We will dedicate this workshop to observing the various parts of our intellectual center.

Revisiting Aims

Wheat harvest in July symbolizes work on the mind, the intellectual center. July also marks the half-year-point in the annual cycle since we formulated aims in January. We will therefore dedicate this workshop to re-visiting aims, to witness the journey we’ve covered in the past six months as well as review the direction of our work from our present level of understanding.

The Role of Exercises in this Work

We concluded the previous workshop by setting an aim to distinguish between daydreaming generated by the moving center and daydreaming generated by the emotional center. This exercise helped bring more attention to the habit daydreaming, and also indirectly shed light on the difference between the emotional and the moving centers. Students invariably observed that daydreams generated by the emotional center were kept alive by intrigue, injustice, or gossip, while those generated by the moving center were kept alive by momentum, haste, or association.

In this Sunday’s workshop we will focus on the moving center’s urge to keep momentum and generate haste. We will formulate methods of reining it in, and examine how reining in the queen of spades can bring us closer to higher centers.

Reining in the Moving Horse

We concluded the previous workshop by setting an aim to distinguish between daydreaming generated by the moving center and daydreaming generated by the emotional center. This exercise helped bring more attention to the habit daydreaming, and also indirectly shed light on the difference between the emotional and the moving centers. Students invariably observed that daydreams generated by the emotional center were kept alive by intrigue, injustice, or gossip, while those generated by the moving center were kept alive by momentum, haste, or association.

In this Sunday’s workshop we will focus on the moving center’s urge to keep momentum and generate haste. We will formulate methods of reining it in, and examine how reining in the queen of spades can bring us closer to higher centers.

Mechanical and Conscious Movement

To study our moving center, we begin begin by observing its mechanical movements. Some of these can be safely eliminated, while others must eventually be performed more consciously, intentionally, and deliberately. “The moving center has many useful and useless functions,” says Peter Ouspensky. “We think that the intellectual and emotional side is more important, but actually most of our life is controlled by instinctive and moving minds.” In this first June workshop we will review the physical and psychological functions of our moving center and share observations on how to nurture consciousness around its daily activities.

Questions and Answers

The third workshop of May will be dedicated to questions and answers. “To question wisely is to instruct,” goes an old saying. Since a good question requires self-observation and self-study, formulating questions is itself a form of inner work. We will share your questions and offer answers during the workshop.

Accepting the Present

To “Be” always requires separating from our expectation of the moment and accepting the present as it is. In this workshop, we will go deeper into the nature of this effort by superimposing it onto the stories of the Hospitality of Abraham and the Hindu story of Vamana. “In actual fact, people have to sacrifice only what they imagine they have and which in reality they do not have,” says George Gurdjieff: “They must sacrifice their fantasies.”

Discrimination

In observing the triad of horse, chariot, and driver so far, we focused on three centers: emotional, intellectual, and moving. In this workshop (and throughout the labor of May) we will aim to understand the role of the instinctive center in this triad. “When a person lacks discrimination and his mind is undisciplined,” says the Katha Upanishad, “the senses run hither and thither like wild horses. But they obey the reins like trained horses when one has discrimination and has made the mind one-pointed.” In preparation for this workshop, I invite you to observe and photograph these two instances in yourselves: one, when your horses are running ‘higher and thither’ wildly, and the other, in contrast, when they are obedient and trained. We will share these observations during the workshop.

Parts of Centers

The labor of April invited us to break our day into smaller units of time and examine which were routinely wasted in sleep. Another way to approach our ‘acreage’ is by dividing it into centers and parts of centers. Which parts of centers habitually put us to sleep? In this workshop, we will attempt to answer this question by sharpening our understanding of the four lower centers and their subdivisions.