And other egocentric worries...

Kathy and I are running a course on self-care at the spa road buddhist centre next weekend and so our thoughts have been circumnabulating around the tricksy subject of the self and what to do with it.

Next weekend, Saturday 26th October, the LoveSpirit team are organising another wonderful day-long jamboree of LGBT workshops exploring the world of spirituality, sexuality and heterogeneity.

The Eight Week Course is coming.

In the current climate of wrong-headed intolerance and muddled debate over gay marriage, I'm really excited to be launching a course in 2013 aimed at LGBT men and women who might benefit from bringing a mindful perspective to the muddy waters of gay mental health.

There's a weekend workshop coming up in couple of weeks at Spa Road on Presence and Dissociation.
I'm slightly regretting using such daunting words in the title, but the therapeutic concept of dissociation is such a powerful one that I couldn't resist.

I am just bustling around packing up my fleeces, walking boots, bells and notes for the 2012 Beingfulness retreat up on Holy Island. It's more than seven years now that we've been running retreats up on this gorgeous spot.

Last weekend we held a new workshop at Spa Road on the subject of Anxiety.

Running new courses is quite an anxiety-provoking task, so I was a little nervous when I met all the participants for the first time. But we were in the warm and gilded splendour of the Bermondsey Shrine room with its massive coloured Buddha beaming down on us, so I felt like we were working in a positive field of energy.

Anxiety is a ubiquitous human experience. As far as we know animals don't experience it because animals don't have an on-going sense of existence-through-time. It seems human beings are the only ones who have the capability to imagine ourselves in the past and the future. This is, of course, the most amazing thing. It allows us to plan ahead and build St. Paul's Cathedral and it allows us to think back and remember the beauty of the Renaissance. However, the sense of time has its down sides.

Animals seem to exist in a state of present moment awareness. They don't as far as we know, have a sense that in the future they will die. They live for the moment. Humans, in contrast, have the ability to project that fatal and terminal event, death, quite vividly. We also are able to plan to avoid it. And we remember the events of the past equally vividly.

This ability to imagine the past and the future and make assumptions about the present has profound consequences for us when we think about anxiety.

You wait all year and then five come along at once.

Partly due to our organisational patterns, we've managed to secure five new courses over the next 10 months all on the same day...

Here they are in order of appearance:

We've posted two new podcasts up on the website. They are shorter extracts and guided meditations from the course that is happening at Spa Road in London at the moment.

We like to try new stuff out at Mindsprings but the truth of running a course in a venue is that it can be expensive and it means we tend to run courses where we know we'll get a good showing of participants.