Landmark Education and the Landmark Forum

June 15, 2011

The Landmark Forum, Mindfulness, and the Illusion of Someday

Filed under: inspiration — Tags: , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 6:19 pm

Hello there! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted something – life gets busy and all that; you know the story.

I saw today that someone who was talking about The Landmark Forum associated it with this article on mindfulness. I notice that a lot of people do this – they associate whatever they got with the notion of being completely present in the moment with whatever you are doing. I find this curious because the Landmark Forum doesn’t actually talk about the zen concept of mindfulness – I don’t think the word has ever been used in any Landmark course I’ve done, and while the idea of being present in the moment has been mentioned, it’s hardly been the focus of any of the courses.

However, while mindfulness isn’t really talked about at Landmark, I think people bring it up because the opposite of mindfulness IS talked about at Landmark – the thought process that one is left with if one isn’t being full present in the moment. It’s what I’d call the illusion of someday, or, ‘this isn’t it’.

In the ‘illusion of someday’, it’s implied that right now things aren’t perfect, they aren’t ideal, but we’re working on it, and someday things will be much better. In this way of thinking, I may have a crappy job and my marriage isn’t idea, but I won’t think too much about it, because I’m doing the best I can, and someday, hopefully, it won’t be like this. The illusion is obvious from the outside – ‘someday’ never comes. If things are one way now, they’re likely to be that way in the future unless one mindfully alters things.

And thinking from ‘this isn’t it; my real life will start someday’ causes the exact opposite of mindfulness in the present moment – it will be what has one ‘zoned out’ as you go through your day, whether it’s washing dishes or even being with the ones you love as you try to get to someday or to get to those parts of life that one truly enjoys.

Valuing one part of life over another is consistent with living a life of trying to get through something. When this illusion is punctured, the reality of ‘this is it!’ is experienced, and the possibility of real mindfulness begins.

February 10, 2011

More on the Power of Acknowledgment

Filed under: inspiration — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 6:12 pm

This is quite sappy and it’s not directly related to Landmark (except by association), but it gets me every time – it’s always worth remembering the power of acknowledgment. Check out this video.

Also check out this other great movie on the magic that acknowledgment brings.

November 8, 2010

Something Worth Listening to

Filed under: inspiration — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 6:48 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write anything Landmark related or otherwise – life gets very busy sometimes. I recently noticed something worth passing on.

The Solid Gold Creativity blog, which I’ve quoted for its thoughtful writing in the past about the Landmark Forum, shares about an ABC Radio show that describes a man who founded a group of homes for the intellectually disabled, and what he learned over time about people with disabilities. He describes discovering a calmness and a special being inside of people unable to even talk – it’s really quite beautiful. Here’s the Solid Gold blog, always good reading, and here’s a link straight to the radio show itself.

September 28, 2010

No More Excuses

Filed under: inspiration — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 5:38 pm

I recently read a blog post about the Landmark Forum which could be summed up as follows: no more excuses.

The basic point of the post is that the only thing that matters is action right now, and that much of what we spend our time on is a justification for why we can’t take action right now on something important. There’s a bit more to it, but essentially, this is what the person got out of the Landmark Forum (they’re inspired and excited about it, incidentally).

Some people would say that this is rather obvious, to which I would respond, obvious intellectually perhaps, but not obvious internally in a way that matters until one actually experiences the extent to which excuses can run our life.

On the other hand, the ‘No More Excuses’ mantra, which does indeed sum up what a lot of people get out of the Landmark Forum, actually explains some of the hostility directed towards the course. After all, we cherish our excuses highly.

I’m not joking about this. If there’s something you know you should be doing that you’re not doing – losing weight, finding a new job, getting involved in your community, or whatever it is – the only way you can justify your behavior and stay sane is to put a lot of faith and importance in your reasons and justifications for not doing it – otherwise known as your excuses. Whether it’s not having the time or the money, or you’re somehow not capable of it, or there are obstacles in your way or whatever, those excuses represent why you are still a good person and perfectly justified in not doing what needs to be done.

To which I say: there’s a lot of power in admitting you were wrong and just letting go – letting go of the excuses and reasons for being small. No more excuses folks!

September 20, 2010

Comprehensive Landmark Forum Review

Filed under: inspiration — Tags: — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 3:47 pm

This one is an old Landmark Forum review but a good one; I just encountered it on the web, linked to from another site, and written in December 2006. Although I think Landmark has changed from that time, I think everything written in this review pretty much still applies.

The Landmark Forum review is a lengthy one, far more comprehensive than someone as lazy as I am would be inclined to write, and covers almost everything one could want to know:

  • A review of the logistics of the course
  • A description of exactly what goes on in each part of the Landmark forum
  • an honest recounting of exactly how each part of the course applied to the real life of the reviewer, and what they took from it
  • what people are likely to find challenging in the landmark forum

And more good stuff. Read this 2006 review today.

September 9, 2010

A Landmark Wedding

Filed under: Breakthrough Results, inspiration — Tags: , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 6:30 pm

I was just reading a story about a very moving proposal a man made at the end of his landmark forum to his girlfriend. The man writes how he saw in the landmark forum that it made a huge difference to get beyond that voice of doubt in our heads that tell us something isn’t possible.

He had a dozen friends at the end of his course, including his girlfriend, and he took them all aside after the forum completed, told them all how much they meant to them and what future he saw that he could have together, and ended by proposing to his girlfriend, who of course tearfully accepted. My summation is a terribly clumsy recap of this moving story – read for yourself the story of Monica and Mark.

August 30, 2010

What You Already Know

Filed under: inspiration — Tags: — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 3:22 pm

The paradox of the Landmark Forum, in my view, is that the course has one see blind spots about themselves and life that they didn’t realize, while at the same time the content of the Landmark Forum isn’t anything that you don’t already know. Usually, however, what we already know doesn’t make very much difference. You may know that you need to exercise more and eat less to lose weight, but this doesn’t make any difference – it’s when you see the impact of what you’ve been doing that you’re suddenly moved to take action on what you already know.

It’s in this context that I relate a few points from a blog post that I read recently where a person shares what they got out of the Landmark Forum. What’s interesting is that they said they already knew these things – and yet it made a big difference. Here are few things they saw about life that they ‘already knew’:

1) We can’t change who our family is – it’s futile to wish for a different one.

2) You can’t change anyone.

3) There’s no perfect partner out there – anyone could be ‘the one’.

4) Life is unpredictable!

Read the post about the Landmark Forum at the Red Rapture blog.

August 3, 2010

Creating the Future Now

Filed under: inspiration — Tags: , , , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 9:13 pm

I was reading a women writing about the future that she was creating for her life, and I was struck by how much it sounded like an exercise I had done years ago in a Landmark Education course (the Advanced Course, I think). Then I noticed that she indeed wrote of taking Landmark Education classes, and that she worked for the athletic clothing company Lululemon, where many of the employees take part in Landmark. In fact, the post about creating her future was in answer to a Lululemon questionnaire about her future plans.

Whether Lululemon or Landmark, it presents an interesting way of creating one’s future. Rather than simply listing future goals, it speaks in the present tense, as if those things have actually been accomplished, and speaks from the pride of having fulfilled those things. Three different time slots are written about – 1 year, 3 years and 10 years out, so you can still see the future building over time.

One of the most valuable things I got out of taking part in Landmark is the idea of living into a future now. Rather than having future goals that one hopes to achieve someday, you create possibilities for the future that impact you right NOW, so you are moved into action NOW, rather than someday. In this way your goals give you power in the present, rather than being a mirage out in front of you.

I hope this makes sense – I recommend reading the ‘Glo’s World‘ blog and you’ll get a clearer picture of this.

July 26, 2010

Compassion for our Parents

Filed under: inspiration — Tags: , , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 3:42 pm

Life is still crazy, and it’s been a while since I’ve had much of a chance to write anything Landmark Forum related or otherwise, but I saw a recent Landmark review that I thought was notable in the comment it made about our parents.

As anyone who has taken part in the Landmark Forum knows, getting ‘complete’ with and being at peace with one’s parents is a key part of the course, in that it’s hard to have a great, free life if one is trotting around a lot of baggage and resentment towards those who are responsible for you being alive.

This review/share of Landmark discusses a particular moment in her course I found moving:

“Jan asked everyone in the room age 25 or younger to stand up. Perhaps a dozen of the approximately 100 people in the room stood up. ‘These are your parents when you were born,’ he said. In my head, walls fell down, lights went on, my heart broke open. I ‘got’ it. These people looked like children to me.”

The reviewer goes on to share how she reached out to her parents after decades of estrangement. I think the point is very powerful: we think our parents made careful decisions about how they raised us that reflect their feelings about us, when in many cases they were young kids who had no real idea what they were doing. If you let that sink in, it makes forgiveness for supposed slights much easier.

The full review at Sojourner in the 21st century.

July 2, 2010

Integrity and Having your Life Work

Filed under: inspiration — Tags: , , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 8:32 pm

I’ve written about integrity, and the Landmark Education definition of it, a few times before, but I think it’s worth reviewing the issue as relates to personal effectiveness and performance. I’ve been reading bits of a good book titled ‘The Economics of Integrity’ which shows how our entire economy is built on trust, and when it disappears, the economic consequences can be devastating. It also discusses the recent global financial crisis, where it’s pretty obvious that a lack of integrity demonstrated by many people in the financial industry has had a huge impact on all of us.

All of this is fairly obvious to most people, and yet we are very remiss in applying the principle to ourselves. Said in a slightly different way, when it’s so clear that a lack of integrity can make the economy and society unworkable, why do we think we can get a way with a lack of integrity in our lives? Why do we think we can lack integrity in our lives and have them still be workable?

People that know me and know Landmark Education know the idea that we’re not talking about integrity as a moral issue, but as an issue of workability – being late for a meeting doesn’t make you a bad person, but it makes the meeting less workable, to give a simple example.

Generally, we think that a lack of integrity in society is bad for society, and a lack of integrity on our own part might speak bad of us, but we don’t really think that it will make our lives work less effectively.

One of my favorite blogs, Solid Gold Creativity, has written an excellent post that makes the point very well (and also links to a document created by one of Landmark’s founders, check it out). It points out how every broken promise (even to yourself) or lie or not doing what you know to do adds up and has a huge impact on your life. It affects the view others have of view, the view you have of yourself, your view of what’s possible in life, and it affects what results it’s possible for you to produce.

I know personally that the seemingly little things, like paying a bill late or not exercising when I’ve told myself to do it, or not returning a phone call subtly add up to a mountain – collectively those things can destroy the ‘blank canvas’ for my life, my view that today is a new day and I can accomplish anything. Instead they leave me feeling mediocre and resigned.

So lately I’ve started a bit of an experiment: integrity for its own sake. Not because it makes me a good person, or that it will immediately lead to some great result, but just to see what becomes possible when I honour my word. We’ll see what happens!

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