By Colette Kelso, Program Participant
Is it possible to go too deep too often?
I asked myself that as I prepared to attend 3 residential programs in a row at Monroe. It made logical sense. Being able to stay for 3 weeks saved money and time. But I wondered if doing back-to-back programs was a wise choice.
My first program had been the Gateway Voyage, followed immediately by Guidelines. A month later I was returning to attend 3 programs in a row—Exploration 27, Remote Viewing, and Lucid Dreaming. Between the first week in June till mid-August, I was in residence at TMI for a total of 5 weeks. Phew!
The strangest transition was between Gateway and Guidelines. Gateway is, of course, very intense, because quite often it is the first deep exploration of expanded consciousness. It may be an introductory class, but it is a powerful, transformational introduction.
After Gateway, I left Roberts Mountain Retreat center late Friday morning, then returned for Guidelines a little over 24 hours later. It was as if I’d woken up from a dream, then gone back to sleep, and found myself back in the dream; same beautiful venue, same special vibe, but with an entirely different cast of characters walking around!
I had been sitting on a chair on the lawn next to Robert’s cabin talking to my new best friends on Friday morning, then on Saturday I sat on the same chair talking with different people. Everything else appeared the same, but those friends had been replaced by entirely unfamiliar faces. It took me a few days to get used to this shift. During the 3-program experience the next month, I was somewhat more prepared for this startling regime change.
… the experience of expanded consciousness that TMI offers goes far beyond the intent of any specific curriculum.
Though I may now return for one program at a time, what I realize about multiple programs is that, for me, the experience of expanded consciousness that TMI offers goes far beyond the intent of any specific curriculum.
What I discovered overall was that although there might be some minor, but nonetheless intriguing, disorientation along the way, the answer for me is, “Yes—go deep and go long.”
Upon reflection, here are some of the pros and cons of back-to-back programs:
- Rather than a blip of intense experience followed by the return, and overwhelm, of the “ordinary,” there is a deepening of the expansion of consciousness that continues and deepens rather than being minimized by an immediate return to “real life.”
- Each week builds upon the next, not just in regard to the specific topics, but the general direction of an awareness of what is true beyond ordinary waking consciousness. What you don’t get to stop and process on the way home from one program, informs and enlightens the experience of a second, and even third program.
- More new and exciting topics and experiences.
- More new and diverse trainers.
- More new friends.
- Fewer limiting beliefs.
- Retroactive Interference. Later learning can interfere with the recollection of earlier learning. By the end of the 3rd week, the 1st week was almost a dim memory.
- Mental fatigue. This was really only apparent between Gateway and Guidelines, as mentioned above. The first night of Guidelines felt like I was “tripping,” This sense of unreality did pass and became simply interesting by Day 2.
- Time and money.*
*The final con has an asterisk because the most frequent question put to me by fellow participants was “How did you find the time?” But, and most importantly, in the words of Robert Monroe, “The greatest illusion is that mankind has limitations.” The greatest perceived limitation we live within is the illusion of time and space. And money is too often perceived as a barrier to experience. To go to TMI is to transcend and see beyond those presumptions. Do I really not have the time? Or is this the very kind of self-created limitation that my stay at TMI might challenge?
Based on my experience, I'd say go ahead, take the leap. Attend back-to-back programs at TMI.
Choose Your Adventure
Colette Kelso offers individual and group sessions from a nondual perspective—challenging the assumption of an individual self that is separate from the experience of a world “out there.” A quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness,” is the guiding principle of this life and work. Further information can be found at thedeepestpeace.com.