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@2019 Companioning Center. All rights reserved.

Bridges to Connection
with
Darla Tillman-Samuelson

Do you ever feel like you come up short when you compare yourself to others? 

Does the feeling of not measuring up invade your thoughts as you try to be present with those around you? 

These are common feelings we all experience. If you are interested in understanding how emotions impact your ability to stay present to yourself and others in the midst of challenging situations, then please consider joining Darla on this two-part personal, social, and spiritual exploration. 

Part One - Developing Resilience and Spiritual Practices

A Note from Darla:

When I was developing my skills in teaching and writing, I often measured myself up to others and found myself coming up short. When I experienced setbacks by having writing blocks or feeling like I do not measure up to expectations (my own, others, and those of dictated in my context) I found I was distracted by my own thoughts and was not able to be present to my students and myself. If I think back over my life I can trace this "habit" of turning inward in the moment of feeling self-conscious throughout most of my life. Through my research on women, self-conscious emotions and leadership I have found that I am not alone; this kind of experience is familiar to many people. And, I found that when we experience self-conscious emotions some "bounce back" (resilience) from the difficult situations that often result from this and other self-defeating habits.

If you are interested in understanding how emotions impact your ability to stay present to yourself and others in the midst of challenging situations, then please consider joining me on this personal, social, and spiritual exploration.

 

About this Course:
A method for developing an understanding and sense of connection to God is practicing spiritual disciplines. By expanding spiritual disciplines into contemplative practices, awareness focuses on oneself in the midst of God and others. Emotions are often encountered as barriers to contemplative practices and to being present to oneself and to others, yet once identified and regulated, they can become bridges to greater empathetic connection. This course teaches that resilience enhances the ability to regulate emotions like shame by expanding our contemplative spiritual practices. As a result of this course, students will 

  1. explore the idea of emotions in the readings and journaling, 

  2. experiment with various contemplative spiritual practices that can help work with and through emotions, 

  3. begin to articulate awareness of emotions as barriers and bridges to be present to oneself.

 

Schedule:
This course is one of two sections with a one week break between the sections. Each of the sections run for 6 weeks. Aspects of the course work involve video instruction, reflection exercises or journaling after completing meditations or contemplative spiritual practices. To make the most of this course, plan on allocating:

  • Spiritual practices 4 times/week: 20 minutes each

  • Journal after each meditation session: 15-30 minutes

  • Reading 45-75 pages/week: 2 hours/week

  • Online reporting of progress: 10 minutes/week

  • Total time/week: 3 hours/week (approximately)

 

Texts:

Part Two - Developing Resilience and Presence

 

About this course:
This course furthers our exploration of contemplative spiritual practices as a method for developing resilience and ability to be a compassionate presence to oneself and others. As a result of this course, students will 

  1. further the exploration of emotions in the readings and journaling, 

  2. deepen the experience of an understanding of how a consistent practice of contemplative spiritual disciplines enhance awareness of emotions and presence, 

  3. express experiences of how emotions are barriers and bridges to being present to oneself.

 

Schedule:
This course is the second part of two sections and runs for 6 weeks. Aspects of the course work will involve reflection exercises or journaling after completing meditations or contemplative spiritual practices. To make the most of this course plan on allocating:

  • Spiritual practices 4 times/week: 20 minutes each

  • Journal after each meditation session: 15-30 minutes

  • Reading 45-75 pages/week: 2 hours/week

  • Online reporting of progress: 10 minutes/week

  • Total time/week: 3 hours/week (approximately)

 

Texts:

Darla joined in on a brief interview regarding this course.