A New Year Message from Burgs - Where to next with your practice

Dear friends,

I am aware that most of you have not had the support with your practice this past year that I would have liked while I have had to take a sustained period of rest. We are endeavouring to put more structure in place at AOM so that the process of offering these teachings and giving the support and guidance to our students and followers can be better managed.

Here I would like specifically to give you some guidelines on how you might best manage your own personal practice in a way that gives you the best chances of steady progress along the path.

It is quite easy for our meditation to become just a matter of routine. And for many people with many demands upon them in the daily life, simply to have a practice that allows us to take time out and reset is of great value. That said I recognise that a good number of you have an aspiration to really progress your meditation and develop it in the long term.

As with anything that is learned in stages, and especially with meditation, having structure and a road map to follow allows us to develop our skill and proficiency in an ongoing way. Like everything in life there are some things that we learn just enough for a basic level of proficiency while other things we chose to develop our skillset to become more accomplished and even in somethings, hopefully expert.

The capacity for meditation to enrich our lives and help us tackle head on some of life's major challenges is directly related to the level of proficiency we have attained to. It is not the case that just by having a go it will solve all our problems, but if practiced to a high enough level it has the profound capacity to free us of all our suffering. And indeed there are few things in our life that can make such a claim. We all have our own aspirations in life, be they material personal or spiritual. And so I hope that all of you can find your own way of engaging in the work we share here at AOM according to those aspirations.

So how might AOM best serve you?

There are a number of ways you can engage. Some of you will be more interested in the spiritual teachings, motivation and guidance that we share. Others of you are more focused upon your meditation practice. And of course many of you will be equally interested in both.

Regardless of which option works best for you I do strongly encourage you to take that step of adding some structure to your practice as we start this new year. Perhaps make it one of your new year aspirations to really work at taking your meditation to the next level (or levels ) over the next 12 months.

Online Courses:

If you have not done our online courses I strongly encourage you to start with these. This is by far the best way to work gradually through the developmental stages of meditation and mental/ spiritual cultivation that ripen you to higher levels of practice. Perhaps treat yourself this month to whatever is the next course in the series for you, be that: The Stillness Program, Level 1 The Art of Meditation, Level 2 The Foundations of Healing Meditation.

New Online Course - 'Love as the Path'

If you have already completed all these three online courses then you are eligible to join this years extended online course 'Love as the Path'. You can email us and we will send you the relevant information.

If you have been on a residential 7day retreat with me and/or you completed at least three of our live online retreats during the pandemic then you will have already received an email inviting you to join this programme.

Accessing Dharma talks and other media

With regard to the Dharma ( the spiritual teachings that compliment our meditation), things works slightly differently. To develop our own genuine transformative insight is indeed one of the reasons we practice meditation, and insight does not develop in quite such a linear way. For this reason the teachings are varied and multi-layered in their depth and breadth. In their totality they speak to every aspect of our being and existential quest for happiness and the cessation of suffering.

Furthermore, the make up of our individual psyche and ego is unique to each of us and so unlocking our entanglement with and releasing and freeing ourselves from the blockages and blindspots we have woven into our personal narrative is different for everyone. There are however some fundamental milestones in the removing of obstacles and the refinement of both character and view that are consistent and relevant to all of us.

My approach as a teacher has always been to allow my students to 'absorb by osmosis' the transformative potential of the Dharma through repetitive exposure to it in a non-linear way. The reason for this is because taught like this, it speaks more to your heart than your head. Each of us are unlocked in surprising ways that are not easy to anticipate. Furthermore it is a certainty that we need to listen many times to each aspect of the teachings to reveal the many levels at which it is speaking to us. In effect this is why I encourage people to keep returning to retreat and to keep revisiting the teachings over and over again so that they can be gradually assimilated by the heart at a deeper than intellectual level. This is what I mean by 'absorption by osmosis'.

Not withstanding all of this, the Dharma is deep in its potential to unlock us and not everyone has chosen or feels ready for the insight it brings to us. For this reason I have recently changed my attitude and approach with regards to how I share the Dharma with you. I am no longer going to put it as widely into the public domain as I have done in recent years. Historically this would never have happened. The teachings are more normally given in a timely way to those who have become receptive of them and who seek them out sincerely.

To this end we have recently launched a new community portal through  Patreon . This is a more private space where I can share with an audience who I know is sincere in their wish to engage in these teachings.

Over the coming year I will be exploring many threads and themes of the Dharma with you in this space, as a compliment and support to your own ongoing efforts with meditation. This way you can tailor your engagement to suit your needs. You will also be able to give structure to your meditation practice while allowing yourself to absorb in a more fluid way the heart essence of the Dharma itself.

I hope that his gives you some clarification and guidance if you are contemplating whether and how to continue your journey with us at AOM.

It is a great honour to be able to share this work with each of you. I do apologise that I have had to take more of a back seat in recent months, but with the changes we have made and the plans for the future I feel confident that we will be able to continue to support, guide and inspire you on your journey.

I have to admit that I have found it difficult trying to live up to everyone's expectations as a spiritual teacher in recent years. In truth I do not see myself as that. I am simply passing on to you what has been passed on to me to the best of my ability while sharing the insights that come from the many years of following the path personally.

It is really important to understand that no one, not even the Buddha, has ever freed another being from suffering. It is something that each of us must do for ourselves.

While careful and skilled guidance from a teacher can certainly count for a lot, ultimately I would like you all to find your own inner refuge. You each already have within you all that you need to realise the complete freedom from suffering. The teacher can merely point you towards it. You must reveal it from within yourselves. In that I wish you all success.

I send my warmest and most heartfelt love to each of you.

May all beings be happy.



Update from Burgs and what’s happening in 2023