Last time I shared how Marlyse and I got together in 1994.
It was like the Universe had been planning it for years. We had the same vision and complementary talents.
We knew we wanted to make a difference and wrote down our vision: ‘To help make planet Earth a better place for our children and grandchildren by assisting in raising the consciousness of humankind.’
Having decided to run meditation classes we let friends know and jumped straight in. Those early classes were very unstructured with just some chanting and meditation.
It didn’t take too long to realise that attendance was very erratic. Some nights we’d have eight, some nights two and some nights none.
So having a regular Tuesday night time slot was only part of the equation.
We needed something more progressive and structured so we decided to run ‘A Course in Wellbeing’. It started as an eight-week course and very quickly turned into a ten-week course.
At the beginning, Marlyse and I would go for a walk in Westerfold Park each Sunday. As we walked we brainstormed ideas and recorded them in a portable dictation machine.
It was like a download from Spirit and Marlyse would go home to write up the notes for that week’s class.
We managed to combine the wisdom of the East with that of contemporary Western science.
My role was to do the marketing and to set up systems so that we could support each student by having notes ready for them each week.
Our marketing concept was simple. Offer a free introductory session that gave incredible value so people could assess what we did. It proved to be a very successful plan.
Knowing the incredible benefit of meditation to health I also wrote to all doctors within a 5km radius to let them know about our course. One doctor called me and asked me to visit him to discuss our plans.
His name is Arthur Zulman and, after he saw our program, he began referring patients to us. This was significant because meditation was not mainstream in those days.
We owe a great deal to Dr Zulman because, over the years, he single-handedly helped us to grow Inner Peace by continuing to refer patients.
I guess he was happy with the results 🙂
Over time, more and more doctors, psychiatrists and neurologists started referring patients also.
But probably the secret to our success was happy past students referring all their friends and family.
After spending ten weeks with us most people were asking for more, so we then created ‘Advanced’ ten-week courses. These included:
The Chakras, Abundance, Great Relationships & Looking Good, Feeling Good.
Many people were still thirsty for more so we created 2½, then 3½ and finally 7-day residential retreats. These retreats made a difference for many thousands of people.
Here’s a link to a story about the learning experiences we had running our first retreat:
The first In-Tuition & Purpose
Eventually, we decided to offer Australia’s first Professional Meditation Teacher Vocational Diploma program. More than 200 people graduated over the 10 years it was running.
Mind you not everything we tried was successful and that’s a story for another day.
Next time I’ll talk about future plans for Inner Peace.
And until then, be sure to enjoy as much inner peace as possible.
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