Level 1 Meditation Course Syllabus
Level 1 Meditation is an eight week course consisting of eight lessons, eight in-class guided meditations as well as meditation exercises to practice at home. It offers the participant the opportunity to graduate from the course and receive certification credit. Graduation requirements are explained in this syllabus.
The duration of the course allows students approximately 2 months to come to class (one session per week), receive new teaching and be guided by the teacher through various exercises while in meditation. The exercises assist in overcoming the typical ‘busy mind’ condition that prevents peace and tranquility.
Students are encouraged to meditate 3 – 6 times per week at home using the recorded meditations provided at the beginning of the course (mp3 files on a USB drive). Other materials include a complete course manual which provides the in-class lessons and exercises. In addition to the eight lessons of the course, the manual includes nearly 10 additional lessons to assist the student in their practice. The end result is a high likelihood the student will emerge with a consistent meditation practice at the completion of the course.
Is this a spiritual style of meditation?
The Level 1 Meditation Course is a practical approach to meditation designed for those living an urban or metropolitan lifestyle. It is suitable for those who seek to develop a greater awareness of their own spirituality however the bulk of the focus is on gaining greater control over the mind and its tendencies to stew in anxious or negative states. Another big focus of Level 1 Meditation is coming to a greater understanding of one’s emotional/feeling life and how to process difficult emotions promptly using meditation.
Each session begins with a reading/lecture containing teaching about a practical aspect of meditation. The lesson topics (highlighted in this document) center exclusively on ways to become consistent in meditation despite the challenges that people face living busy city lives and trying to learn.
Level 1 Meditation focuses on a method that has proven to work. There is very little focus on history or examining the various types of meditation available such as TM, Mindfulness and Buddhist meditation.
The lecture is created to invite questions and comments from students and invoke lively discussion. Following the lesson, the teacher will guide a meditation that lasts anywhere from 18 – 20 minutes. At the conclusion of the guided meditation, there will be time for people to share or ask about their experiences if they desire.
2018 Summer Course Schedule* (subject to change so please see website periodically)
Day of Week First Class Class Time
Saturdays Aug. 25 (last class Oct. 20) 10:50 am – noon
No class Sept. 1 Labor Day Weekend
Thursdays Sept. 6 (last class Oct. 25) 6:30 pm – 7:50 pm
*Note: For weeks when you can’t attend class, make up attendance is possible in other classes at no charge or receive a link to watch the missed class online
Course Fee: Summer Special: $199
Fee includes course manual and flash drive with guided meditations for at-home practice
Cancellations and refunds
Students may withdraw from the course after Week 1 without financial penalty. If after the first class you feel the course is not for you for whatever reason, you may request a full refund within 3 days of your first session. Manual and flash drive must be returned in reusable condition (like-new) to receive full refund. If not, a fee of $39 will be deducted and materials may be kept by participant. After the second week’s class whether you attend or not, no refunds are available.
Level 1 Meditation Class Summaries
Week 1: Meditation Basics
Our first lesson discusses what it means to meditate as opposed to just sitting quietly and counting breaths or trying hard to quiet your mind. Students are introduced to BMEM (Body-Mind-Emotions Meditation) and will practice how to begin relaxing each of these aspects. Also highlighted will be what you can expect as you take on the practice more consistently including the resistance of the mind to be cooperative, and posture guidance (how to sit to have the best experience).
Week 2: Logistics
This week’s lesson discusses important logistical factors in developing your practice. These include where, or a regular place to meditate and how to treat the space you choose. Next we will discuss when as in best and worst times of the day to try and meditate. Finally we will begin to elaborate on the how, what it means to meditate as opposed to just sitting quietly zoning out, listening to a busy mind replay your to-do list or other redundant thoughts.
Week 3: Repetition + Commitment
This week’s class centers on what it takes to form a lasting practice. The principles of developing a habit are examined and how one who practices regularly begins to form a ‘groove’ that builds and allows for a faster progress. The 21 Day Challenge is introduced. We also explore what you can expect as you commit to your practice and how to persist when it feels hard. The mind’s tendency is to give up but committing in advance is one way to help overcome this tendency.
Week 4: Concentration
This week’s lesson offers insights into concentration. We explore the types of experiences that hold our attention (have you noticed how easy it is to concentrate when watching a good movie?) and why this is so. The inner tools of will power and desire are discussed as aids to improve concentration. An exercise will be given to improve centering of the mind for at-home practice.
Week 5: Proper Mind
This week we delve head first into the biggest obstacle students face in learning to meditate; the mind and the overwhelming amount of mental activity. The myth is that one must still their mind and have no thoughts. This is nearly impossible for many. Instead, we will discuss the proper mind set to enable greater tranquility and positive meditation experiences relatively quickly, as opposed to years from now.
Week 6: Feelings and Emotions
This week’s lesson will assist students as their practice begins to take root and unfold. The work of processing feelings is vital to getting to the relaxation that people so intensely want. But there is a significant difference between feelings and emotions. Feelings are based in a deep wisdom and truth while emotions are mostly reactions and often lead to significant conflicts in relationships. We will discuss how to discern between the two and how to process things promptly using meditation.
Week 7: Mind/Heart Connection
Peace, balance and relaxation come when your thinking function (led by the mind) is in harmony with your feeling function (awareness of deep heartfelt feelings as well as short term emotions). In this week’s lesson, we will discuss and learn active methods to bring these two aspects into communication. The long term effect is truly transformative!
Week 8: Visualization
Visualization of those things or situations desired is a proactive use of the mind. It is one of the best ways to attract that which you desire into your life. During meditation, the power of visualization is amped up due to increased concentration and the clarity of your intention. This week’s lesson will provide insights and instruction on how to improve your visualization technique.
Level 1 Meditation allows students the opportunity to receive a Certificate of Graduation for the completion of specific criteria. Pursuing certification is optional (not required).
In order to graduate and receive a Certificate of Graduation, students must;
- Attend at least 7 of the 8 class sessions (2 absences max. permitted)
- Must be in attendance at the final class (Week 8)
- Achieve a passing grade (11 correct answers or better out of 15 questions) on multiple choice quizzes taken at Week 7
- Maintain a log of at-home meditations
- Average 3 each week from Week 1 – 3
- Average 4 each week from Week 4 – 8
Teacher: Andrew Shykofsky
Andrew began his spiritual journey over 30 years ago, initially exploring meditation techniques found in books and documentary films while in high school. He attended countless seminars, workshops, classes and retreats pursuing Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Kabbalah, Taoism, Yoga and other spiritual teachings. His journey opened him to North American amalgamations of spirituality such as Landmark Forum, Scientology, The Tarot, Out of Body Experiences and various psychic schools with a relentless passion to find a Path that would teach him how to connect with a true soul purpose in life. While each step and place provided some missing pieces, never did he find a Path that felt right with teachers willing to take him on.
In the spring of 2004, he found a quiet spiritual community in Oakland, California that was operating what the ancients would call a ‘Mystery School’ teaching the spiritual principles and Universal Laws. The Master Teachers and Priests of this community had integrity as well as a process to bring students through the spiritual initiations that Andrew had been reading about for over 25 years. He knew he had found people teaching the Truth and he gave himself over completely to the process. Andrew studied the teachings diligently and practiced the spiritual exercises given to him by his Teachers daily. In early 2005, he was brought into the initiation known as ‘Illumination’ where the Light is sealed in the cells of one’s spiritual and physical bodies.
In 2006, Andrew was ordained a minister deacon and began teaching some beginning level spiritual and meditation classes. Two years later in 2008, Andrew experienced the initiation known as ‘Self Realization’ whereby the initiate is brought face to face with the God Self within, an initiation that can only be given by a Master Teacher with that authority. Andrew volunteered for 4 years in Illinois prisons (Pontiac Correctional and Stateville Correctional) where he facilitated a Transformational Life Course as part of Prison Fellowship. In addition to teaching daily at Meditate, Andrew conducts services and classes for those seeking to grow spiritually. For more information, please write email@example.com
In 2013, Andrew was ordained a minister Priest through the Holy Order of MANS, a mystical order based in Northern California which began in 1968. In June of 2018, Andrew was ordained a Master Teacher.
He first opened meditate in July 2013 in Chicago. In June 2018 he opened the second location of Meditate – A Center for Healing Arts in the West Ashley neighborhood of Charleston, SC. Currently Andrew lives on James Island in Charleston.
Please email Andrew for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org