The AOM Curriculum

A Brief Tour Of The Various Retreats And Workshops We Host

The Art of Meditation curriculum is designed to help you develop both of the two main threads of meditation practice and discipline side by side, namely Serenity/ Concentration meditation and Insight/ Vipassana meditation.

In general, the modern approach to meditation has been to bypass the rigorous training and development of genuine concentration in favor of mindfulness practices. While this has proved to be an appropriate way to bring meditation to the masses there inevitably comes a point beyond which the meditator cannot progress without sufficiently stable and penetrative concentration. Our curriculum is designed to enable you to develop ever deeper and subtler levels of concentration as the basis for the deepening levels of insight that emerge through the practice of vipassana. 

The Rationale Behind The Curriculum

Meditation is a vast field and there are many practices that do many different things. We understand that each of you may come to meditation with different goals and for different reasons. So while our foundation programmes form a thorough grounding for everyone seeking structured and supported guidance and instruction in the fundamentals of meditation, our program develops beyond that to take those of you who are committed to the longer term, through the intermediate stages to the advanced levels of higher meditation. 

Each of the Level’s 1, 2 and 3 of our Core Program seeks to help you cultivate every level of your mind. Our intention is that your mind becomes equally stable, balanced and peaceful, and subtle, penetrative and insightful. The progressive transformation of our mind eventually gives us reliable access to deepening states of being whilst fully integrating this transformation into our daily life. The Vipassana retreat and The Heart Essence retreat can be done once you have completed a Level 2 retreat: but for those of you who wish to explore the basics of Vipassana without such a long-term commitment, we offer an introductory Vipassana retreat for which only our Level 1 retreat is a prerequisite. All of our retreats and courses work synergistically with each other to offer broad training rather than ending up leaning on one particular thread that later might mean your practice stops progressing because other aspects of your mind remain uncultivated. 

Over and above your the training we offer in meditation, we also offer supplementary online courses such as The Art of Living, Living Dharma and The Give Back Generation which focus on the refinement of our character as the basis for genuine meditative stability. The courses and retreats are all supported extensively by the teachings contained in the Flavour of Liberation Series of books, Vol. 1-4, together with regular blog posts and videos that are released regularly across the various channels.

In short, this is a very complete system that if followed to the end will lead you to an ever-deepening and fulfilling relationship to your life. And ultimately to the experience of awakening and freedom from suffering. We hope that the thoroughness and depth of our curriculum will encourage many of you to journey beyond the preliminary levels of meditation to the rich and rewarding terrain that becomes open to us through gradual and sustained practice over the course of a number of years.

For all of you who embark on this wonderful journey of meditative discovery, we will be there to support you all the way. We hope you enjoy!!

Art of Meditation Core Teachings

Level 1:

The Art of Meditation 7day Foundation Retreat

The 7day retreat is the core ‘foundation’ retreat that we run. It’s for beginners and experienced students alike. If you kept coming back to re-sit this retreat ten times, you still wouldn’t get bored. There’s so much to laying the foundation of your meditation practice, so don’t assume that once you have done this retreat, you need to move on to something more advanced. Many experienced students still attend this retreat ten or fifteen times over many years, continually deepening and developing their meditative stability with this practice. We recommend you sit this retreat once every nine or twelve months. Each retreat is unique and is specifically tailored to the group that attends. [more info]

Online Course: AOM Foundations in Meditation

This course consolidates the material leaned on the level 1 foundation retreat and helps to integrate it into our life, ensuring we ground our practice and build it into our daily routine.[more info]

Level 1 can be seen as complete once we have done both Level 1 retreat and Level 1 online course.

Just Let Go Weekend Workshop

For those who either can’t take a week away from work, or who are still on the fence about booking a retreat, this is where to start. It is also an excellent way for students who have already been on retreat to ‘plug’ back into the teachings.

All those that attend have a deeply restorative time, and leave knowing what it feels like to meditate and hopefully are inspired to join a 7day retreat. [more info]

Level 2:

The Art of Meditation Intermediate Body and Healing Meditation Retreat

This retreat is designed for those of you who are confident in your foundation level 1 practices and feel ready to progress to a higher level. If you have done one or two retreats already with us and have a solid home practice then this retreat is for you.[more info]

Online Course: AOM Intermediate Body and Healing meditation

This course will begin to deepen our capacity to pay more detailed attention to the structural aspects of the body. We will spend time developing the skeleton meditation so we can clearly feel and sustain our attention on the bones reliably. We will then move into the softer tissues of the muscles and the digestive system, respiratory system. Through this we will learn to perceive clearly the different textures of the materiality of the body parts which will pave the way for our investigation of the 4 elements of material states which will form the latter part of the course. The powerful wholesome quality of our mind as it learns to abide in the different aspects of the body will bring deepening levels of healing to both our physical body and our mind as the course progresses.[more info]

Level 2 can be seen as complete once we have done both Level 1 and the Level 2 retreats and online courses.

Level 3:

The Art of Meditation Advanced Healing and Subtle Body Meditation Retreat

Through Level’s 1 and 2 our practice has been built on slowly so that our meditative stability gives us access to deeply regenerative states of meditation whenever we decide to meditate. By now we fully understand the benefits of a daily practice and we are able to bring ourselves into an organised state from an incoherent state.

Level 3 now seeks to develop our meditative skill further by developing our capacity to feel and perceive clearly subtle material and mental states. The retreat begins by stabilising our concentration preparing the mind for the deeper and subtle work of the retreat. At this level we are starting to glean profound insight into the nature of our being. Through practising this level our meditation becomes deep and stable and we can reliably bring about profound levels of healing and cultivate deep energetic integrity that transforms the quality of life and gives us access to ever deepening and beautiful states of being and giving us a capacity to practice Vipassana very deeply.[more info]

Online Course: AOM Advanced Healing and Sutble Body Meditation

This 16 week course is a supplement and support to our Level 3 Retreat and includes the meditation practices that are taught on it. The aim of this course is to consolidate and deepen our developing awareness of the subtle material systems and energetics of the body and mind so we can enter these states outside of a retreat environment so our meditative mind becomes stabilised and reliable. It will also pay dividends when we do go on retreat again and serve as a wonderful support to both Vipassana, Heart Essence and Long Retreat.[more info]

Level 3 can be seen as complete once we have done both Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 retreats and online courses.

Insight/Vipassana And Other Retreats

Once you have a solid foundation in the Core Teachings you may want to go deeper into your meditation practice and see where it can really take you: At this point, it might be appropriate for you to try one of our Insight based retreats. These retreats will draw on the skill you have previously developed as we start to investigate the path of “Liberating Insight” taught by the Buddha.


Introduction to Vipassana & Heart Essence Retreat

An initial look at the practice of Vipassana and the teachings on the Heart Essence of the Awakened Mind. This retreat is suitable for everyone who has already sat the 7day Art of Meditation retreat. [more info]

 

Vipassana Retreat

This is the detailed practice that Burgs teaches over a number of years. It is based on the system of practice he was taught by Pa Auk Sayadaw during his time in Burma (Myanmar) and is considerably more thorough than the basic Vipassana practice. For those who have sat retreat with us and are committed to their practice. The prerequisites for this retreat are Core Levels 1 and 2: Runs once a year. [more info]


Heart Essence of the Awakened Mind

This is the Tibetan Buddhist branch of teachings that Burgs received while in India under the Guidance of the Dzogchen master Dodrupchen Rinpoche. These teachings are powerful and profound transmissions of insight and experience that lead to a direct introduction to the heart essence of our awakened higher mind. These are precious subtle and advanced teachings and it is recommended that you have a stable grounding in the core teachings. However, Burgs recommend that every student attend this retreat at least once at some point in their career. Generally runs once each year. [more info]

 

Internal Alchemy Healing Meditation Retreat

Aimed at the under 45’s, this retreat shares the teachings to develop and build your internal energy. The practices may be at times physically demanding but the result is that you should have more energy available to put towards your meditation practice, as well as your daily life. [more info]

 

Healing Power of Dream and Sleep

Ever wanted to really know what your dreams are made of? Have you ever had a lucid dream? How can you be open to deep healing experiences during sleep? These and other experiences are explored on this retreat. [more info]

 

Spiritual Care in Death and Dying

The one thing we all know for sure, is that one day we will be separated from all of our loved ones, whether it be because we pass on, or they do. This retreat looks at how we can make peace with this certainty. It also looks at ways in which we can support ourselves, and others through the dying process. [more info]

 

Detox Healing Retreat

A special programme specifically put together by Burgs and his team, with the aim to help clear the physical debris that holds us back energetically. Over a lifetime we accrue toxins in the blood and organs of the body. Giving these a clear out helps free up our immune system, and gets our body firing on all cylinders and helping us feel energised and happy. [more info]

Advanced Meditation Retreats

The Art of Concentration: Towards Samadhi

This is a time for committed practitioners to take time out from daily life to develop their meditation practice. Burgs will give expert and detailed guidance in the delicate process of developing deep levels of concentration up to the level of Jhana ( absorption Samadhi). Individual guidance is given by Burgs as appropriate and at this level, each student will progress at their own pace depending on aptitude effort and “paramis” (talent). The role of the teacher at this level becomes key in helping each individual identify the appropriate pathway towards samadhi in line with their own character, temperament, and makeup. Burgs will work closely with these students over a period of a few years. [more info]

 

Winter Long Retreats

If you’re committed to your practice and want to really know what meditation can do, then this is for you. Retreats run from three weeks to five months in duration. Applicants should have a solid meditation practice. [more info]