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Insight Seminar – My Experiences (Part I) December 12, 2008

Filed under: social interaction — Thinking Woman @ 12:03 am

Before I got married and had kids, I did a number of seminars with a self-help organization called Insight. I am so glad I did these when I had the opportunity. The work we did was very powerful and I still use some of the tools. I am going to try to recreate what I learned so I can focus on it and get some of these wonderful tools back into my life.

If you have the chance to do a seminar like this, definitely take that chance! The Insight I is remarkably affordable and fits around your schedule. Back when I took it, it was something crazy like $295 (is that possible?) and ran a few evenings and then the full weekend. So I think Wed-Fri it started at 7pm and went until midnight or 1am, and then Saturday and Sunday it was from 8am until midnight. There were easily 100 people in the room including all the volunteers and by the end of it, I loved many of them, liked most of them, and still do. If I knew where they were now, we’d pick up and continue our relationship with such a depth that few relationships ever get to. Luckily, my husband was there with me the whole time so I always carry a piece of the whole experience. We went on to do Insight II, III, and a few other workshops. I and II were best for me but other people have different experiences.

So what did we do? Lots of things! And by the way, most of it is not unique to Insight. I am sure EST and The Forum are wonderful tools for personal growth too, and others I’ve never heard of. I’d love to do one of these again, but now I’m a mom and put my kids first, it still doesn’t feel like the time to take that much time away from my younger daughter. Perhaps soon….

There is always a facilitator and many volunteers. I learned later when I volunteered inside the room (instead of just as a door guard outside for a few hours here and there) that the facilitator meets with the volunteers before the seminar starts and checks in to see how they’re doing. The volunteers get to participate in the processes but at the same time, keep everything running smoothly. For example, during an eyes-closed moving meditation, it is important to keep participants from bumping into each other so volunteers tiptoed around and took the bumps of anyone who was intruding on the space of another participant. And other boring stuff like chair setup. 🙂

The facilitator begins each day by talking for a while and perhaps calling on some participants to see what’s going on for them. Then there are different exercises. One-on-ones with a series of questions and small groups are common themes. It’s important to try to work with as many different people as possible throughout the time you are there. There are also meditations and some things that were more like games or puzzles. I wish I could remember more; I know I am missing some awesome things. Some participants made the mistake of analyzing me, but that ws never their job and I always stopped them. It was mine to figure out what was going on for me during a process.

One of my absolutely favorite things is that during the moving meditation in Insight I, you create a sanctuary for yourself. This was pure magic for me. I love my sanctuary and still go there. I don’t want to share too much but it occurred to me a few years ago that I could change it. I don’t know why I’d never realized this before! I put in a new garden and a hammock and spent some time simply whitewashing the walls one day. And I’ve taken my girls there in my mind. They do whatever I like when we visit. Very relaxing!

Oh yeah, another exercise involves working with everyone in the whole room. Everyone will give feedback to everyone. One of the things I learned from one of these feedback exercises is how powerful I am. I was able to start to own that. I had always seen myself as meek and even somewhat invisible. No one saw me that way. And further, no one thought I should be that way (meek and invisible). Clearly, they all thought it was totally awesome that I was so powerful.

I learned some joy. In fact, I was totally joyous for some time after starting these seminars. It was so valuable to me to find out not only how I was perceived, but that I was perceived in a positive light. The more I owned this, the happier I got, and the happier I got, the more people came to me. And not just in the seminars but in life. I started a new job right when I was first doing the seminars and I felt so totally loved by everyone there and so very confident that of course they’d all love me! What’s not to love?

Listening to others share was amazing for me. I’d never realized that we all have very heavy burdens we carry around. They may not be the same burden but we all have things to overcome and rise above. It made me feel less self-absorbed and more connected to everyone. I loved knowing deeply personal things about people. I felt that strangers were just friends I hadn’t met yet and I was able to walk down city streets making eye contact and smiling at people.

There was a lot of crying. A lot of releasing. Also a lot of energizing exercises that left us too high to safely drive home. The two methods for coming down a bit were to drink water and to touch the earth with bare feet. Even though it was well below freezing, some of us would get singled out at the end of the evening to walk barefoot in the snow. I know I had to at least once.

A core group of us from my Insight II started meeting regularly at various houses. The energy was not as open and thrilling as at the seminars, but it was still so real; we all loved just being in the same room together again. Many of those dear friends came to our wedding and I love seeing their gorgeous photos in my wedding album. One of my wedding gifts was closeup photos of most of the guests so I am blessed with these beautiful photos which capture their souls.

I realize I haven’t said much of anything here about the tools I came away with. That shows how much I can remember. I could talk about Insight for days and perhaps I should. Before we committed to do the first seminar, a lot of people all started talking to me about it at once and they all made it seem like some big secret, which only served to make me suspicious. That is not my intention at all. I do believe I made an agreement to only share what went on in Insight I except for 2 things (but I don’t recall what those 2 things were anymore) and not share too much about the other seminars. That is not because anything bad or weird happens, just that it’s best if it’s a surprise. So I feel really strange in some ways even saying as much as I have about Insight I.

But I can say more stuff. In Insight I, we did some exercises to deal with our mother and father. I really thought I worked through some stuff. I was stunned to be doing mother/father exercises at subsequent Insight workshops and seminars. I finally had to ask. I thought things got fixed and, well, you know, were all better! I was finally made to understand that some things will never be all better.  You can put them away for a while, but when you take them out and dust them off, they have more to teach you, if you’re willing to learn. During my one volunteer experience, my new husband shared that I was newly pregnant during the pre-seminar meeting. The facilitator shared with me that when she had her daughter, at each age, it brought up stuff from her own childhood at that same age. This was a helpful piece of information because the very same thing most certainly happened for me and it was helpful to understand what was going on. So yeah, that mother/father stuff keeps coming up for us!

I am going to have to dig a little deeper. That’s it for now! Stay tuned for Part II!


11 Responses to “Insight Seminar – My Experiences (Part I)”

  1. […] Insight Part II – musings on being an invisible angel December 29, 2008 Filed under: personal growth — Thinking Woman @ 2:30 am Continued from previous posting on Insight Seminars. […]

  2. keith leon Says:

    Insight rocks doesn’t it. I got more out of Insight 1, 2, and three than I did with all of my other seminars and classes combined.

    Glad to hear that you are still benefiting from your work.

    Here is my heart statement:

    I am a loving, trusting, worthy man…living in my heart and sharing my joy.





  4. I love Insight seminars. It was the seed that blossomed into 12 books. Thank you for Insight and thanks for reminding me of the good old times.

  5. Chuck Says:

    I did some Insight Seminars back in 1986. I liked them. Is there anyplace on the internet to connect with people who did them like a forum for people who did them.

    That is how I found this website. It would be nice to connect with some people that were in my seminars around Philadelphia.

    • Thinking Woman Says:

      Wish I knew how you’d go about finding people! No idea. I wonder why Insight disappeared. I guess there was some shady history, which is a shame, because there was so much good. I just listened to a podcast about techniques used to suck people in. I was aware even during the intro to Insight that I was being manipulated, but it never felt like it was in a bad way; it always felt like it would turn out to be a positive experience, which, sure enough, it did. The podcast was after the whole fake shaman incident where one of the dudes on “The Secret” was overly controlling and people wound up dying in a sweat lodge. Insight just can’t compare with any of that because we were not expected to to super crazy things. The craziest it got was not going to the bathroom until breaks but I never go the impression there was much going to happen if you just said you had to go. I seem to remember some people who objected to being controlled at that level simply doing what they wanted and the volunteers just shrugged. This ramble is obviously not in direct response to your comment, Chuck, but your having commented on this post I’d long since forgotten about brought it up and the thoughts that went around my mind when I listened to the talk on how masters control and manipulate. I do recall that the founder of Insight was a pretty shady dude. Even then, well over a decade ago, we were able to find some information online about him, but we chose to proceed anyway, instead trusting the friends who shared their experiences, and we don’t regret that choice. Clearly some of the methods of sales were overly manipulative. Oh well. I guess it proves that not everything that is a bit off is dangerous. Or something.

  6. leastar Says:

    Insight didn’t go away. We are having an Insight I this weekend in Colorado, and an Insight II in September, and a Teen I in July. Headquarters in LA still has some too. go to

  7. leastar Says:

    also, I would like to add that the Seminar has changed a lot since you took it. you can go to the bathroom whenever you want. It’s a lot more laid back than it used to be. but the material and work is still awesome.

    • Cathy Zaidlicz Says:

      It was so cool reading your comments about Insight. I did Insight I, II, and III in Baltimore, Maryland in the mid-1980’s. Those seminars were the best seminars that I have ever attended. They were really life changing events for me. I permanently slayed some of my dragons and will be forever grateful that someone pushed me to attend Insight I. I am sorry that none are scheduled for the East Coast because I would love my daughters (18) and (24) to participate but they are not interested in traveling out West in unfamilar territory to attend a seminar that they don’t understand.

      Is there any where to purchase the audiotapes or CDs of some of the Insight processes. I had the “Return to the Sanctuary” and “The Forgiveness Process” on tape. I listened to them so much that the tapes broke. I would love to get my hands on one of those tapes again. The Insight Foundation used to have a bookstore but that looks like it doesn’t exist anymore.

      Please let me know if any one knows if a tape or CD is available.

  8. Darrell Says:

    Yes, INSIGHT… I found out about Insight from doing a course on ‘Creating A Peaceful Place’ & ‘Life Directions’ seminar with ex Australian Vietnam Col. Sandy McGregor who highly recommended it to us.. He has worked with ‘healing’ Vietnam vets.. as he was also there himself.. He did the course after his two daughters were murdered.. I ended up doing Inight I, II & III in Sydney, Australia between May through Nov 1998.. And it was a life changing experience.. getting me to think & act outside the ‘square’.. Meeting all kinds of people from all over the world in such a powerful & deeply healing environment.. And I’ll never forget the words of one of the great faciliatators, named Blake, who said, “Darrell.. You realise that if you want to go & live on a desert island.. You can do that you know”.. I, & we all developed a great respect for all of the faciliators, but were especially drawn to some in particular.. Who seemed to know how to go straight to the heart.. Well, that was the whole purpose of the process of course.. Connecting with one’s true heart within.. AND that message has certainly stayed with me.. Insight Australia also organised a ‘trek’ through Nepal & the Himmalays in Sept/Oct 2000, where I met a number of other ‘Insight’ friends.. I loved it all….

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