Inner development through “Learning by Doing”
Facilitated by Inessa Burdich MSc
We are pleased to present an experiential course on Self-development based on the teaching of Rudolf Steiner, who dedicated a significant part of his work to individual spiritual development through meditation exercises. Steiner’s entire Spiritual Science paradigm or Anthroposophy is not only a revelation of spiritual perceptions but also a call for us to embark on a personal path of Inner Development, a vital prerequisite to fulfilling our mission here on Earth.
Inessa Burdich has been practising meditation for more than 30 years, and using her resultant supersensible perceptive abilities – acquired through this meditative work and continuously fine-tuned through her ongoing work with many clients – will guide you through a practical approach to Inner Work.
The path of self-development based upon Spiritual Science presented in this course will focus on you strengthening your “I” (your sense of Self) as a foundation of all spiritual work. You will learn approaches to increasingly focus your thinking, purify and refine your feeling life, and strengthen your will.
Why embark on a spiritual path?
The course offers an overview of the foundations of Anthroposophical “Spiritual Science”, which can be experienced as something that nourishes the inner life, supports creativity, and helps participants to work in the world for its genuine progress and improvement.
We bring awareness to the whole of our individual system, especially in purifying and refining thinking and feelings, achieving subtle attentiveness and strengthening the will. We develop new capacities; we learn valuable skills that we then convey back to our personal and professional fields. These capacities lead to new insights and innovations one can bring into all of life, and all disciplines can benefit.
The main objectives of the course are:
- Learning and deepening the fundamental aspects of Spiritual Science, its insights and methods.
- Learning how to attain a higher level of awareness and mastery of our inner soul-spiritual life.
- Fostering a moral development and enriching the soul’s life based on a core understanding of the Higher (spiritual) Worlds and man’s relationship with them.
- Learning how to bring a positive and supportive supersensible contribution to the spiritual and moral development of the world.
- Learning how to conduct effective and lawful experiential research in supersensible realms.
How does Research in Spiritual Science work?
The first circle of sessions in the Research in Spiritual Science course focuses on researching ourselves and our supersensible constitution. This is the first step in the spiritual diagnosis, by which we learn to deepen our understanding of the fundamental aspects of our inner soul and spiritual life. In each session, we will perform meditative exercises, deepened by studying the most influential research attitudes and understanding how to attain a higher level of awareness of our inner life.
The course is conducted through the format of collaborative meditative study and research.
We will be guided by different questions, such as:
- How can I begin to perform spiritual research?
- What are the spiritually lawful research methods used in Spiritual Science?
- What is the relationship between research and meditation?
- How is it possible to make a subjective first-person meditative experience objective?
Launched in 2018, this course has been successfully presented throughout Europe, frequently accompanied by artistic contributions such as classical music, poetry, eurythmy, Bothmer gymnastics, singing and drawing. Such soul-nourishing artistic intermezzos, brought to previous courses by gifted and enthused participants, are wholeheartedly welcomed on all of Inessa’s courses.
What is the content of the Research in Spiritual Science course?
The Research in Spiritual Science course consists of seven themes, each including a talk and practical workshops. The course is usually facilitated during seven weekends – either in person or online.
Please note: All talks and workshops are based on our direct supersensible observations of many individuals over the years. The themes are as follows.
TALK – Meditation as a path of spiritual development and as a method for spiritual science research
Meditation has recently become an increasingly popular subject but is described and applied in many different ways. So what is it? In this talk, we will explore meditation as a way to nourish and train our soul in a similar way that food and physical exercise are daily necessities for us.
Moreover, you will learn that meditation can also be used as a tool for spiritual research over a wide range of areas.
Focusing on an inner core question is the first aspect of spiritual research and creating a clear content-less inner space is a crucial requirement for it. Achieving these aspects gives the higher worlds the possibility to provide clear insights concerning the research topic.
WORKSHOP – How to control your thoughts
In the workshop, we will discover and apply practical exercises to deepen the topic of the talk. This will be a space to explore the value and practice of meditation as a training and research process. Subjects covered include the following.
- Experiencing and researching will-o’-the-wisp thoughts;
- Practising concentration of thoughts;
- Exploring feelings of stability and confidence.
- Researching the phenomenon and requirements of a lawful research question.
TALK – The Etheric realm (vital forces) in human beings and nature
In this talk, mainly dedicated to the etheric realm, we will look at the functions of our ‘vital body’ (also called our etheric body) and how it is affected by our everyday activities.
- How does the etheric body in the human and nature appear from a supersensible (non-physical) point of view?
- How does our etheric body change with age or after specific treatments or illnesses?
- What are the four different types of etheric?
- How can we experience them in our life?
- How can we develop our etheric body?
- How do addictions appear from a spiritual point of view?
WORKSHOP – How can I gain Self-control?
This workshop, which also incorporates practical exercises, aims to deepen the topics of the talk.
- How do I train myself to control my actions and will?
- How do I uncover and explore an inner drive to become more active?
- How do I become more aware of my own etheric body?
- How can I bring the principle of rhythm into my life, and why is it so important?
- How do I begin a new self-study curriculum and allocate particular times for daily meditation?
TALK – The Astral realm (emotional forces) in human beings and nature
These days of materialism and intellectualism, our feelings are often accorded little importance. Yet it is increasingly recognised that they play a significant role in our well-being and, very importantly, our bodily health.
This talk is mainly dedicated to the area of our feelings and emotions (also called the astral body) and subjects which will be considered include the following.
- How does the astral body in the human appear from a supersensible point of view? How does it change with age or illness, your profession, etc.?
- How can the astral body be affected by our biographical situations, usual daily activities, and negative spiritual influences, even if they are not directly perceived?
- How do I train myself to control my feelings? How do I become more aware of my own astral body?
- How can I quieten my soul and maintain this quietness and equanimity?
WORKSHOP – How do I master my feelings & learn the crucial role of quietness in this process?
The workshop will give practical exercises to deepen the talk’s content.
- Where are my feelings “located”?
- How can I train myself to control my feelings?
- Experiencing and researching feelings of heightened jubilation and deep sadness.
- Exploring the feeling of inner quietness.
- Why did Rudolf Steiner consider the complete quietness in the soul as the first level of higher initiation?
TALK – Dimensions of the sense of Self (I-manifestation) and its relation to hypersensitivity.
In our individual spiritual journey, we ask ourselves, again and again, the core question: “Who am I?” The mystery of the I is the biggest enigma of our existence. It is incarnating in our lower bodies and manifesting itself there. In this talk, we will discuss the problems of the manifestation of the “I”, i.e. the “sense of Self”, also called our I-body or I-bearer.
Strengthening the I-manifestation is considered to be a powerful remedy against many mental disorders and other illnesses and is the basis of all spiritual work. Aspects of strengthening our ‘I’ and the correlations between a strong I-manifestation and our health and diseases will be explored using the example of hypersensitivity.
Today hypersensitivity is an increasingly common phenomenon. People with hypersensitivity have a distinct supersensible constitution, and as part of this talk, we will explore the genesis of hypersensitivity and ways of increasing personal resilience to overcome it.
WORKSHOP – How can I become aware of the strength of my I-manifestation?
In the workshop, we will learn practical exercises to deepen the topics of the talk.
- Am I “the master of my house”?
- How can I strengthen my inner self, i.e. my I-manifestation?
- Nowadays, many people feel disorientated and scattered and cannot find a connection with themselves – how can we bring ourselves back to our true selves?
Positivity has a proven influence on the development of our I-manifestation, so we will explore how to consciously turn our mind to the positive aspects of each experience in our life, researching and applying processes by which negative experiences can be transformed into positive ones and the resultant feelings of spiritual happiness.
TALK – The spiritual parts of the human constitution
This talk, mainly dedicated to spiritual worlds, explores the phenomenon of the human spiritual constitution. Our developed higher spiritual structure consists of three parts – Spirit Self, Life Spirit and Spirit Man. Human beings are able to develop their higher spiritual bodies by working on themselves via an inner spiritual path.
The higher spiritual bodies can be developed over multiple lifetimes and do not perish with the physical body but, on the contrary, stay active in spiritual worlds. They give us an orientation towards other souls in a “spiritual-community building” process. We will consider the principles of this possibility.
WORKSHOP – Human spiritual constitution and the role of objectivity in research
This workshop, which will include practical exercises, will deepen our understanding of the topics discussed in the talk. It is mainly dedicated to the part of the human spiritual constitution called the Spirit Self.We will consider the following subjects:
- Exploring and researching the fundamental role of objectivity in spiritual scientific research.
- Investigating the processes involved in transforming our subjective experiences into objective ones.
- Developing an attitude of being completely objective. Becoming aware of the Spirit Self.
TALK – The soul parts of the human constitution
This talk examines the phenomenon of the human-soul constitution and its division into three aspects, i.e. the Sentient, the Intellectual, and the Consciousness parts of the soul. Of these, the Sentient and the Consciousness parts will be mainly addressed in the talk.
Each part of the soul constitutes specific soul qualities. The “sentient” part is “responsible” for our instincts, anxiety, fears, anger and other subconscious “animalistic” emotions. The relationship between relevant illnesses and our souls will be examined. We will address the question: How can we support and harmonise our souls?
Allowing truth and good to dwell and live within us, we rise above the Sentient soul. What the soul carries within itself as truth and good is immortal and eternally radiant. This part of the soul is called the Consciousness soul.
WORKSHOP – How can I gain equilibrium and balance of soul?
This workshop, which will include practical exercises, will deepen our understanding of the topics discussed in the talk. On a path of inner development, we become aware of how our life is full of disturbances and attractions that pull us in different directions every day.
- How do I find a spiritual centre of gravity that gives me strength and confidence and supports me in keeping a steady balance of inner equilibrium and harmony?
- How does an inner balance between my soul and spiritual forces bring harmony into the relationship between my intellect, feelings and morality?
In this workshop, we will explore how we can develop an equilibrium of the soul, a spiritually inspired mood, which enables us to work safely and effectively in the world.
TALK – Mechanics of the Mind
In this talk, primarily dedicated to the area of our thinking processes (‘lower’ spiritual realm), we will look at the functions of the intellectual part of the soul (mental processes) and how it is affected by our everyday activities. Our thinking occurs in the so-called intellectual part of our soul, which can be understood as a kind of “stage” where the beings of thoughts can “appear and act”.
The intellectual part of the soul can receive thought content and is receptive to a higher perception. A correctly formed research question activates a connection between the intellectual mind and spiritual insight, but to obtain a clear answer from the spiritual worlds, we have to provide a ‘state of mind without content’, i.e. a so-called ‘empty mind’ devoid of thoughts, wishes, images, bias, and preconceptions. Achievement of the empty mind is an essential step in our inner development and a core requirement for spiritual science research.
WORKSHOP – Levels of thinking and Empty mind
In this workshop, we will work with practical exercises to deepen the topics addressed in the talk. We will explore the following aspects:
- Where are our thoughts ‘located’?
- How do we experience a difference between the activity of thinking and the content of this thinking?
- Why, for most of us, an observation of our thinking during the process of thinking is challenging and can even be described as an ‘exceptional state’?
We will also research how we can develop the ability to think nothing and will practise and research how to achieve a state of mind that has no content.