Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) provides a number of different, practical emotional skills which lead to a better understanding of our emotional life and support an increase in constructive emotional episodes. The contemplative practices of CEB emphasize the cultivation of the happiness of being or the happiness we bring into the world by aligning with our core values and aspirations, developing attention skills, and utilizing contemplative inquiry to investigate our lived experience.
The course consists of 2 hours meetings per week, during which we will study our emotions, investigate the triggers of different emotions and behavioral patterns, do group discussions, and learn meditation techniques aiming at relaxation, developing attentional skills and heart qualities like compassion, love, equanimity, and empathetic joy. Participants will do a reflective study about emotions using Emotional Episode Diary (EED) and create the habit of meditation between the sessions.
Cultivating Emotional Balance curriculum course is an 18-week program which is divided into three parts.
Below is the description of all 6 sessions of Part 1.
The first session is devoted to the introduction of the CEB curriculum, an overview of Shamatha practice, and different tools which will be used throughout the course such as Emotional Episode Diary, Meditation Diary, and Aspiration Worksheet. We will learn about the distinction between genuine happiness and hedonic happiness. We will also learn how to practice one type of Shamatha meditation – Full Body Awareness.
In this session, we will study 4 Balances (Emotional, Attentional, Conative, and Cognitive), Affective Domains and Characteristics of Emotions. We will also practice another type of Shamatha meditation with the focus on the Abdomen.
This whole session will be devoted to studying the Emotional Timeline Episode and its elements such as Events, States, and Actions as well as Emotional Triggers, Physical States and Emotional States. We will study their definitions and apply examples to master the Emotional Timeline Episode tool.
During this session, we will practice the third type of Shamatha meditation with the focus on the sensations at the nostrils.
This session is devoted to the emotion of Anger. We will study the definition of Anger, its theme, and how to manage Anger wisely, as well as guidelines for the time-out when the emotional episode of Anger arises. This session will end with learning about the tool – 3-minutes breathing space – and introduction to Loving Kindness.
In this session, we will do an overview of Anger homework and continue with the Loving Kindness practice.