Answer: April 2015.
Answer: I would like the classes to be small, ideally twelve people or less, although eight might be better.
Answer: Really neither, although they will have elements of the seminar format. In a certain sense, these classes resemble group therapy sessions, and not just because we sit in a circle, but becausetheyare existentially relevant to our everyday concerns and personal struggles. Of course, they’re not group therapy, for our goal here isn’t mental health, but rather higher consciousness.
Answer: It really varies. Mostly, there is dialogue and discussion, mixed with practice meditations. The discussions help people gain insight into their everyday activities. The illumination of the everyday is the route to the mystical.
Answer: Curiously enough, what might on the surface appear to be trivial — such as one’s favorite food, a conflict at the workplace, a dream, etc. — can be a doorway into life’s deepest questions. When people perceive the connection between the surface and the depths, in their own life, they experience a great sense of amazement.
Answer: They are insight based. Initially, we do them sitting in a chair. But, after everyone has had time to find meditation cushions, we sit on cushions, as one would do sitting Zazen style meditation. Generally, a meditation will last about twenty minutes. I should add, though, that the Louisville Mystical Academy offers a path to awakening and self-realization that involves thinking and insight. Mediation, prayer and contemplation are but valuable adjuncts to that effort.
Answer: We shall meet once a week.Each session will be two hours, including a short coffee break in the middle of each session. In certain cases, depending on the class, it will last as additional half hour or an hour. Generally speaking, based on having led these classes before, while residing in New York, students do not wish to leave. It is that interesting, insightful and enjoyable. (Some people have requested twice a week. That’s certainly a possibility.) The first groups will probably meet in the early evening, either or Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.
Answer: They’ll be ongoing, although we do take vacation breaks throughout the year. In other words, a class can continue on for years. As time goes on, new students would attend beginning classes.
Answer: There will be a fair amount of reading and a lot of thinking to do between classes. But there aren’t any papers, quizzes or exams. Nothing is mandatory, only suggested.In addition,various practices will be assigned.
Answer: I mean special ways to eat, walk, drive your car, etc. Each one is individualized and done as a means to invite the insights that lead to self-knowledge. There are also practices designed to promote mindfulness and to overcome outmoded ways of being. You see that being a student at the academy does not just involve reading books and discussing ideas, but doing things that challenge oneself and, hopefully, shift one’s consciousness to a higher level.
Answer: Oh, off the top of head and in no particular order, I’d say authors like Thomas Merton, Martin Buber, Shankara, Plato, Nagarjuna, Castaneda, Vivekananda, William James, Shunryu Suzuki, Aryeh Kaplan, Berdyaev and David Loy. There is even some reading by authors who certainly wouldn’t be considered mystics, such as Dostoevsky, Kafka, Sartre, Eliade, and Erich Neumann.
Answer: Because they have profound ideas and can help us to understand life. One can’t really be a mystic unless one understands what life is about. Oh, I forgot to mention that there are also various films that explore certain philosophical and mystical themes that we shall discuss, such as popular films like “Groundhog Day” and “The Matrix.” Of course, reading and film viewing are only an adjunct to the insight-intended introspection — coupled with meditation, prayer and contemplation — that will be taught at the academy. That is because the intent of the academy is not to produce scholars of mysticism, but actual mystics.
Answer: No, this is not a place for crystals nor for discussion of the book, “The Secret,”nor of miracles, nor unicorns, nor of thinking and growing rich.There’s a place better suited for such airheaded endeavors; it’s called “California.”
Answer: No, the Louisville Mystical Academy is akin to Plato’s Academy, back in Athens, around 500BC. Its purpose is not to have students earn a credential, but to awaken, to become self-realized. On the other hand, I’d be pleased towrite letters on a student’s behalf if, for example, they need a recommendation for a job or to secure an appointment as an ambassador to foreign country, or whatever.
Answer: In a sense, it is, for the pursuit of the mystical life requires more than knowledge. It also requires disciplined practice. On the other hand, I won’t be issuing colored belts to indicate levels of attainment, as they do in the martial arts. And the only time you’ll hear a Bruce Lee type of karate scream, from me, is when a student fails to bring a check for his tuition. (Ha! Ha! Just kidding!)
Answer: Yes, Ishall be teaching them.
Answer: They are currently held in a house in Louisville’s Highlands, but I’ve been looking to relocate to a larger space.
Answer: its purpose is to help you to illuminate your life. It allows us to engage in a one-on-one conversation for about an hour. Some people who attend the classes and groups only schedule a coaching session occasionally, as needed.
Answer: By telephone at 502-458-7171. Or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also communicate via Skype.
Answer: I offer a sliding scale, with breaks given to students, retirees, and those who have fallen upon hard time. The latter category includesthose who have recently been laid off, or whose business has failed, or whose ex-wifehas taken them to the cleaners, as well as to uninsured dance instructors who have broken a leg while skiing. But the basic tuition rate is $35 for a session or $130 a month. Considering that some months have five weeks rather than four, that is anice savings. Individual coaching costs $120 a session, but if you attend the groups regularly, it’s only $80 a session, and a bit less if you are experiencing a hardship.
Answer: Yes, depending on what the upcoming class will about. Just let me know beforehand.
Answer: Yes, and PayPal, as well as checks and cash.
Answer: No, it isn’t. Mysticism is a dimension of all religions, one that very few people even know about, let alone explore. Mysticism is for people who aren’t content with faith. Rather, they seek knowledge, a direct encounter with the absolute, the infinite, and the eternal. And they don’t simply wish to know these things. Instead, they wish to be transformed by that which they know.
Answer: It’s difficult to answer that question, for one would need to describe a state of awareness that transcends the limits of human reason logic and language. But if one has to describe it, one could say that it involves an awakened state of consciousness, a state in which one true self. That is actually what we are all seeking to do, even if we don’t realize it.