Tag Archives: global consciousness

Altered States at ConsciousCafe Canterbury

ConsciousCafe Canterbury hosted a brilliant evening this week on the theme on “Altered States of Consciousness”. Host Cora shares her thoughts:
 
“Afternoon meetings do have a different energy and this one felt particularly bright and lively as the sun flooded into the studio and I was delighted to have a brilliant turnout of people, there were 18 of us in all. This was a lovely surprise especially after so many people had said they couldn’t come because it was an afternoon session!
 
It was difficult to give a clear definition of what an altered state of consciousness was. It implies a different way of seeing and feeling reality. Andy Wood described it as dreaming while still awake which is the level that the Shamans work at. Helen felt that we needed to shed layers of trauma and stress to find our true state of consciousness which was a state of peace and stillness. Everyday living created a less desirable altered state when there was too much stimulation.
 
One of our participants recounted how she had reached an altered state of consciousness through holotropic breath work which had been developed by Stanislav Grof. This work sounds fascinating and well worth looking into in more detail.
 
We can reach altered states through drumming, breath work, chanting, yoga, meditation, hypnosis, dreaming and with drugs like ayahuasca. Andy gave us an experience of drumming as we relaxed with the intention of finding our power animal. Julie recounted how she can go spontaneously into an altered state and within this state she can access other people’s reality which she can describe to them with stories, symbols and archetypal characters. She can use these visions to help a person to gain more self understanding and healing.
 
In our summing up of the afternoon we concluded that altered states can help people to heal, to gain self knowledge, to deal with traumas, to access their creativity and to become generally more complete and whole as a human being.
 
Thank you so much to Andy Wood, Helen Porter and Julie Stocker for sharing with us the healing work they are all doing.
 
Someone said as she was leaving that it was the best ConsciousCafe meeting she had been to so far!”
 
ConsciousCafe Canterbury is hosted by Cora Kemball-Cook and meets once a month on a new topic. You can follow the Canterbury page for updates all the latest events.

ConsciousCafe in the News!

“A SKIPTON-based group which sees members travel from all over the north to discuss life issues and share opinions has gone from strength to strength, say organisers.”

ConsciousCafe Skipton has been featured in The Craven Herald, the local newspaper for of Skipton and the Dales. Our wonderful Skipton host Gina Lazenby was interviewed for the article – she had a lot of high praise for her growing and thriving group.

“A really vibrant discussion group attracting people willing to reflect and share on issues that are important to all of us, like relationships, making a new start, finding work you love, and creating connection. It’s very participatory and people say they appreciate the warm atmosphere we have created. People are craving the opportunity for thoughtful dialogue and to have their opinions and feelings shared and heard by others.

Read the original article here.

Compassion with ConsciousCafe Singapore

ConsciousCafe founder Judy Piatkis with Singapore group leader Hanna Krasnodebska, earlier this year.

Conscious Café Singapore met recently for another interesting discussion, this time on the theme of Compassion, with special speaker Anita Kapoor who introduced the topic and led the discussion.

Compassion is at the root of human contacts and relationships, but is it really evident in the way we are currently interacting with each other, or with nature? What are our personal experiences of compassion? Is compassion a clearly defined state of being or does it have a spectrum? Is compassion a dominant modus operandi currently? What can we do to bring back the compassion into our interactions and stop being a cutthroat?

Compassion is a virtue of our humanness. It is wired into our biology via the vagus nerve that transmits information to and from lungs, heart and organs of digestion and additionally serves the parasympathetic nervous system that is calming in opposition to the fight-flight response. It is our “nerve of compassion” that promotes altruism, gratitude according to Professor Porges’ Polyvagal Theory. There is also the “love hormone” oxytocin that is responsible for the social bonding.

The dominating concept of “survival of the fittest” that originated from Darwin’s evolutionary theory have been influencing societies and cultures for the past 150 years.  There is a need in the contemporary chaotic, fragmented, competition-dominated world to shift into a kind and compassionate co-existence. Participants shared their experiences of how the education system ingrains and reinforces competitiveness, how workplaces value and reward it, and how at the level of individual interactions this can be a dominant characteristic. In the presence and pressure of constant comparison we either strive to fit in or isolate ourselves into our own personal world – a private reality, we get depressed, feel anxious. If we do not get that top prize we are no longer “unfortunate” – that term has at least a smudge of compassion. No, we become “losers”.

That disconnection has been spreading. The rise of individualism, the emancipation of the individual in modernity from many societal structures has been, on one hand, a positive development, but on the other it’s increasingly producing its own antithesis – tribalism, conformism. Yet so many of us are craving a true community to belong to.

Our group discussed the aspects of compassion as a spectrum of engagement. Often a compassion is mistaken with pity, the feeling of sharing the suffering of another human being, while compassion is the feeling of empathy and a desire to help, to alleviate the suffering. It is very powerful to hear a personal story and participants were generously sharing.

We touched on the importance of the self-compassion: that special kindness towards oneself that is interlinked with forgiveness towards our own errors, mistakes and failures. Various examples from personal practices on how to cultivate it were shared: looking after oneself, seeking physical comfort, letting go of perfectionism, practising mindfulness, being aware of emotions and shame arising, allowing oneself to seek help.

We concluded that there is rising awareness of the importance of cultivating compassion in children as well as in adults, and that we all as individuals can contribute by being aware of our daily interactions and response choices. Compassion in action.

 

This blog post is written by Hanna Krasnodebska, leader of ConsciousCafe Singapore. Follow the Singapore group page to keep up to date with upcoming meetings!

Recent Happenings at ConsciousCafe London: An Evening with Christa Mackinnon

Conscious Cafe London hosted what can only be described as a brilliant evening with Christa Mackinnon, psychologist and shamanic teacher. After a networking drinks event, Christa presented a fascinating overview of the ‘Power of Altered States of Consciousness’. Christa said that we are all so busy that it does not allow us the space and time to be as creative as we are capable of. We became aware of how frequently we have the opportunity to go into a different internally focused space and how innovative we can be in that space.

There was also a lot of discussion about ayahuasca and the power of plants, how they affect us and how we might use them to improve the lives of those who could benefit from their healing properties.

Afterwards we packed into a local restaurant for more conversation. It was a very memorable evening. Thanks to everyone who came.

This post is written by Judy Piatkus, founder of ConsciousCafe and leader of ConsciousCafe London. Follow the London group page to stay up to date with upcoming events!

How to Feel Good about Yourself

In April we had our biggest event ever in the two-year history of Conscious Cafe Skipton. It could have been the speaker, Nick Haines of the Five Institute joining us from Nottingham that was the big draw, or it could gave been Nick’s subject of “How to Feel Good About Yourself”. Either way, nearly 40 people joined us for a brilliant evening. We have three videos of the event to share with you, along with a full transcript and summary available to download.

 

The basics of Chinese philosophy, how the 12-year cycles work, and the key dates that will impact us

This first video tackles the premise that the more you know about yourself, the more likely you are to feel good about yourself. We look at the cycle of twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac and, according to Chinese philosophy, how each year affects us, particularly what has happened in the last 12 and what the next 12 years will be like for us, individually and globally.

 

 

Looking at the Five Energies, what they say about us, and what we might be here to do in the world at this time

In this second video, Nick Haines explained the Vitality Test and how it helps you to understand more about how, according to Chinese philosophy, the five energies are balanced or emphasised within you. Each of those five energies presents a KEY PRIMARY QUESTION that will likely endure in your life. Knowing this, and knowing the questions that drive us, is very helpful for relationships and understanding what drives others. When you know your Primary Question it’s easier to understand the gift, and challenges, that it gives you. Take the Vitality Test to find out which of the five energies dominates your life and the enduring question that guides you.

 

 

How family dialogue makes an impact on us in childhood and why it is virtually impossible to emerge out of it into adulthood with robust self-esteem

The 3rd video is where Nick Haines hypothesises why it is virtually impossible to come out of childhood with robust self esteem. Neuroscience now indicates that questions have more power over us than statements. Statements with power and force, like scolding ones that are negative in childhood, have greater impact and staying power than ones spoken with gentler, loving tenderness. Your unconscious mind is programmed to answer questions. You best serve yourself by asking Conscious Questions. Conscious questions that leverage our imagination and command the unconscious mind to respond can be constructed with a “WHY?’” or a “HOW?”. These will generate more positive, creative responses and will help us feel good about ourselves. Being kind to ourselves is key, and questions about good self care will make us more sustainable and of course happy.

 


This post was written by ConsciousCafe Skipton host Gina Lazenby.

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“Food for the mind and soul”

William Murtha
Author of, 100 Words: Two Hundred Visionaries Share Their Hope for the Future.

Conscious Cafe is fabulous and large-hearted​. The events and group discussions are dynamic, thought-provoking and expertly facilitated, attracting a diverse network of people. ​Thank you, Judy, ​ I love the wonderful energy​, meaningful connections​ and wisdom that emerges from the group​. 
 
​Rachel Calder, Coach, Director of First Potential​

 

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