Landmark Education – Advanced

It has taken me some time to take stock of the training I undertook with Advanced Course of Landmark education this year while I am still deriving new insights with the tools learnt in the Forum. At the end of March 2011, I attended the Advanced Course that was about responsibility for a team. It was a whole degree more confrontational than the Forum, a whole degree stronger in its training of accountability. In an emotional equivalent of the physical experience of the rowing regatta I recently raced, at times I felt as if I would ‘break in two’. Yet there was something exhilarating in letting go to the visceral responses and trying out something new, in a space that was perceivably safe for all that it was confronting (par excellence for the lone wolf I had become).

The advanced course placed the concept of self-identity in the spotlight of the conversations with the forum leader and the exercises with the team. The breakthrough in the advanced course, for me, was the awakening to an ability to look at my identity and begin moving it out of the way; to try new things; to make space for new ways of being. I say here, awakening to the possibility, for this is not about prediction, expectation or control. It is about practice of new forms of being, reflection on the story I am telling myself as I practice, increasing recognition of the elements of my past life with which I have defined my identity, noting with less favour or disappointment what happens or doesn’t happen, declaring the opportunity that opens up, regardless of what happened or didn’t.

There are some things in my life that I am unsure I can be. There are some expectations that I still hold, that show up in heart fluttering anxiety. Yet I see them for what they are, and I see opportunity. What of transformation? I can confirm for myself that Landmark Education has been transformative in resolving two closely connected ways I was: motivated to find new avenues of service for humanity; and the anxiety of failure. I am now more sure and excited than ever that I can build the work I began 3 years ago, to inspire social discourse through performing arts approaches, yet I am without anxiety about failure nor over-concerned for success. The proof will be in the pudding which I will continue to bake, as soon as I finish acting in a local theatrical production (O, yes, being an actor, something new, opportunity to skill-up). On stage August 19-25 2011. Loving it.

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2 thoughts on “Landmark Education – Advanced

  1. Owen,

    For years I’ve been wondering about the role of “transformative” technologies in the World Order of Baha’u’llah. I saw some real & meaningful difference in my life during the time that I was involved with Landmark (LM) Education (2005-07), including rapid growth of my business, an upsurge in teaching & declarations, and a sense of real responsibility for my life. Then I reluctantly pulled back from LM when some in my family put up resistance to it because of the time I was spending doing LM activities.

    Suprisingly, what I learned has continued to be meaningful in my life. Not surprisingly, it has gradually faded.

    When I read quotations like “In this glorious Day whatever will purge you from corruption and will lead you towards peace and composure, is indeed the Straight Path.” (TB, p. 171), I think that this may be a resource like yoga, psychology, & eating gluten-free, which are not explicitly mentioned in the Writings, but which can be beneficial.

    But then when I consider the Baha’i concept that only the Word of God has the power to transform the human heart, I wonder if it’s not just a wolf in sheep’s clothing? And I also get concerned when I meet someone who’s struggling with life: Do I tell them about Baha’u’llah, or invite them to a LM introduction?

    Any thoughts?

    Warmly yours,
    Vince

    1. Hi Vince, as a recent ‘graduate’ from the Landmark basics and being 2000 k from the nearest city it is offered, I can only offer this insight: the Landmark clarified in my own mind and language that it is possible that the way everything occurs to us, is our story and that we might be able to alter it. I recognise that truly altering the way the world, ourselves and others, occur to us is a social process that requires interactive challenge. My favourite motto from Landmark: empowerment is accountability. The issue of the Word of God is intriguing. Remember that Baha’u’llah recommends we “not to view with too critical an eye the sayings and writings of men. Let them rather approach such sayings and writings in a spirit of open-mindedness and loving sympathy.” (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 329) I don’t interprete this as meaning to be tolerant and kind, but as an indication that there is much to be learnt from the learnings of others. Landmark Education is about people who are striving to bring about a community as well as individual transformation. It is possible that such insights from sciences of neurology and psychology and philosophy, fall under the broad shelter of Baha’u’llah’s revelation as endeavours created from the spirit of the age. I look upon these things from the point of view that Baha’u’llah has provided the “What to do” but not the “How to do”. The how is something we are learning from all available sources of knowledge, while God is the source of all bounty.

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