The Path of Meditation that Leads to Living ALOHA provides training toward realigning with our true nature: ALOHA. Each of the course sections is identified by a different color belt. In physical and mental martial arts, the belts indicate growth and evolution.
LEVEL I – WHITE BELT – BREATHE
White signifies the beginning or a seed. The white belt student is beginning the life cycle of the path. White represents the seed as it lies beneath the snow in the winter.
Through the practice of sitting meditation, we will remember our natural confidence and relax into the freshness of the present moment, no matter what that moment may bring. In particular, this teaching offers the possibility of our experiencing ALOHA as the unconditional ground of existence and as the inspiration for leading a fuller life and contributing to caring for all beings and the environment. It introduces the possibility of no longer avoiding fear but befriending it and going through it. The fruit of such leadership is joy.
– Strengthen mindfulness
– Improve attention & focus
– Embody quietude
– Increase motivation
– Reduce stress
LEVEL II – ORANGE BELT – DEEPEN
Orange represents the power of the sun as it warms the earth to prepare the seed for new growth. The orange belt student is starting to feel their heart and mind open and develop.
Having glimpsed ALOHA, we long to experience it more deeply and are willing to do so. In this training, we examine our fears and habitual patterns by training the mind to meet challenging moments with courage and confidence. The metaphor of our “cocoon” of habit introduces the possibility of noticing how unwillingness to stay with fear, sadness, or other challenging experiences leads to habitual patterns as a way of masking, buffering, or avoiding discomfort. Not turning away from and non-judgmentally witnessing these habitual patterns of the cocoon is fearlessness. This training intensifies the discipline of meditation practice, which enables us to begin seeing through obscurations of habitual patterns that we have created over our life-time. Learning to practice fearlessness brings doubtlessness: our connection with ALOHA cannot be destroyed.
– Overcome fear
– Control anxiety & reactivity
– Regulate emotions
– Reverse self-criticism
– Abolish prejudice
– Tame your mind
– Regain control
LEVEL III – BLUE BELT – EXPAND
Blue signifies the blue sky as the seed sprouts from the earth and begins to grow up. A blue belt student grows in experience just as a plant grows taller. The light feeds the plant so it can continue to grow. The Path feeds the student with expanding knowledge in order for their heart and mind to continue to develop and strengthen.
Having learned not to turn away from fear brings the daring to extend that bravery into our everyday life situation without the padding of the cocoon. We discover softness and sensitivity to the world that feels both vulnerable and genuine. With gentle fearlessness, we learn to step beyond our conditioning and open to the freshness of each new moment. We continue to relate to our perceptions and our world directly through meditation practice, and we further develop our capacity to relate to others and our environment with humor, kindness, and strength. Our lives are no longer a series of threats or distractions but a call to be wakeful and responsive. We learn that we can apply our practice to whatever arises, developing more confidence in all aspects of our world to further awaken the mind and heart.
– Cultivate gentleness
– Foster compassion
– Return to feel
– Broaden awareness
– Develop confidence
– Sharpen perception
LEVEL IV – GREEN BELT – STRETCH
Green signifies the plant as it grows – reaching toward the sun – and matures. A green belt student embodies primordial confidence and refines their techniques.
Having further awakened our minds and hearts in Expand, we continue our journey by allowing our natural curiosity to show us more of our world outside the parameters of our usual fears. Connecting and communicating with the world more directly also connects us to our hearts and allows us to acknowledge how we respond to experience. Rather than regenerating habitual patterns, our reactions are reminders to wake up further. We will explore a meditation practice that teaches us to apply the mind of meditation to the challenges of everyday life. With this expanded meditation practice, our lives become filled with more options, more potential, and more chances to see the world with confidence, patience, and generosity. Meeting the world in this way, without hope and fear, provides resources of steadiness and energy. This brings love for the journey.
– Improve communication
– Utilize curiosity
– Identify reality of any situation
– Uncover your authentic self
LEVEL V – PURPLE BELT – ALLOW
Purple represents the changing sky of dawn, as once again the student undergoes a new change and prepares for the transition to advanced student. A purple belt begins to understand the meaning of the black belt.
Our training and exertion ready us to relax into unconditional trust, which brings a sense of freedom and a spacious, engaged outlook. In this training, we learn to inhabit the gentleness, openness, and precision of our authentic selves so that the present moment – ALOHA – can unfold around us. Experience always arises as a dot of nowness. Seeing the contrast between this and the cocoon cultivates our ability to discriminate what is helpful in the journey. While we are becoming more familiar with ALOHA, we may still be slightly hesitant to let ourselves fully relax into It. By softening our hearts and appreciating our experience, we learn that our life of living ALOHA itself becomes a delightful source of wisdom and uplifted energy.
– Manifest trust
– Attract abundance
– Live your dreams
– Experience freedom
– Realize happiness
– Live expansively
BLACK BELT – A WEEK-LONG SILENT MEDITATION RETREAT
Black signifies limitless space. A black belt seeks new, more profound knowledge of the Path by deepening their practice.