03 Oct Straight to the Heart of Transformation – The Path of Love
The Path of Love is a life-changing seven-day intensive group process, which has been running for 18 years globally but only recently reached our shores. Founders, Turiya Hanover and Rafia Morgan bring their extensive experience (from Gestalt to Somatic Experiencing, meditation and much more) as facilitators and spiritual seekers (they are both veteran sannyasins) to the Path of Love. I did the course last November, and one aspect of them both that I appreciated greatly, was their humanness. They do not act like gurus. They are humble, funny and delicious and they tell great poetic tales with spiritual outcomes. Crucially, they are in love with the enduring transformational possibilities of POL for all sorts of different people and hence society.
When Rafia says: “The Path of Love is the fastest, deepest vehicle for transformation that I know of,” he’s being totally sincere. Interestingly, the fact that it’s a group process allows something almost magical to happen which is much quicker than individual therapy. Having 30 other participants revealing their shadow behaviour really helps you shine your own light into your most unpalatable corners. And the resulting trust that is built, really allows an accelerated personal growth to happen if you go for it.
This course is not for the faint-hearted. You get fulsome results if you’re willing to put yourself on the line. Courage is required. “People tend to come when they really want to work on themselves in a deep way, to really look at life’s big questions,” says Rafia, “they realise that seven days is a substantial amount of time to really go for it, in terms of profound exploring. They may have had an illness, a divorce, or simply feel they are at one of those crossroads in life where they take stock and recognise what they truly want and need.” Turiya describes POL as “an existential process, it’s really about why we are here and the meaning of our life so that we can die with a sense of completion rather than regret.” POL is similar to the Hoffman Process but it’s not focused on parental patterns, you can go wherever you want with the sensitive support of trained facilitators. There’s an incredible freedom to work on whatever area of your life needs attention.
What actually happens during the workshop? Well, much of the content is kept out of the public domain so that it has maximum effect when you’re there. But you can expect a lot of silence, group sharing of the most moving and bold kind, the opportunity to fully occupy your feelings whatever they are (from anger to sadness to joy) and to dance/move your way to freedom. Finally, you get to dwell in a tender heart space for so much longer than is usually possible. And you receive oodles of exquisite care. I’ve never been so thoroughly loved and held. That is their chief standalone transformational secret – the staff, ex-graduates, surround you with quiet presence and love which resources you throughout the process and afterwards.
The idea is that you let your fears guide you into revealing your shadow behaviour in order to free yourself into expansion and stillness. One of their key phrases is ‘all the barriers are on your side’. “It is a process that emphasises very clearly that you’re responsible for yourself and the life you lead, so it’s pretty challenging and tough on any victim identification. It’s not a process of transcendence but of human acceptance, transformation and spiritual surrender. We called it the Path of Love,” says Rafia, “because Osho spoke about the Path of Love, emphasising the need to bare the soul and open the heart to its fullest and most profound capacity.”
And what sorts of changes have people made to their lives? “Often changes of career, relationships, place of living,” says Turiya, “but also quieter, more subtle ones. People often find a spark of light inside which consciously connects them to the divine, allowing them to lead more peaceful and connected lives with themselves and the people around them. Often internal landscapes become much more vivid, free, turned on and happy which brings the feeling of deep and blessed participation in life. We offer a range of tools for living life in accordance with those inner discoveries, provide follow-up processes and a new community to be part of, if people want that.”
During POL, I allowed myself to admit that I longed for a relationship with an emotionally intelligent man. Six months later, I have met one. So for me, it was life changing.
1) Get to know yourself, your feelings and your body. Be aware of what’s going on inside.
2) Move your body – jump up and down, shake. It will help you move from your head (concepts, judgements) into your feelings and then into your heart.
3) Allow yourself to feel what you long for. Let that feeling of dissatisfaction guide you towards yearning.
4) Let a passionate prayer arise from within. Write it down, draw it, speak it. Let it have intention.
5) Keep your sense of the unknown so that your explorations can be as full as possible.
6) Remember the world is a reflection of yourself. Choose your glasses carefully.
7) True change happens on the inside. Don’t wait for someone else to rescue you.
8) Let go of your self-sufficiency.
9) Never give up.
10) Ask for Divine help. You can’t do it all on your own.