New Approach To Healing With Interactive, Open-Eye, Deep Meditation

by Tamara

“The most common thing, particularly in Western society is we think we have to control everything; what we’re doing, the environment, people, even the information coming in through the sensory channels”, says Dr. Warren Stanton, founder of Self Awareness Training (SAT). “Most people find that if they let go, they don’t need to control anything, but end up with a sense of being in charge”.

Dr. Stanton’s approach has transformed the lives of many people. Part of his work is unique, combining Eastern and Western philosophies in a way that doesn’t clash, but rather complements each other. Dr. Stanton describes SAT as a health promotion program, which encourages people to explore their sense of well being as the source of all the things they want in life.

“I start by inviting people to confirm that their sense of being is in fact a wonderful, harmonious, and enjoyable experience,” he says. “When people confirm that this well-being is the one thing they haven’t created in their own mind, it becomes the perfect reference point to start addressing some of those issues that cause disharmony.”

The process can be described as an applied mindfulness meditation. There are different types of meditation which are about allowing your thought processes to become less active. Dr. Stanton’s approach is a matter of opening up to everything that’s going on around you and being aware. “So it’s an awareness based technique in which you stay mindful of what you’re experiencing.” The process is done as an open-eye, interactive experience.

Warren says a component of the process is to redefine our use of beliefs. While they’re important in how we make sense of the world, we tend to live by those beliefs rather than how things actually are (an experience of well-being). So the procedure works to suspend running all experiences through those beliefs. This usually gives a more balanced experience and sense of being in charge.

Warren started working in psychology in his early 20s, searching for things that he felt worked. Back then he really couldn’t make sense of much at all and felt there was more to life than what he was being presented with. He enjoyed exploring his mind. “I often joke about having a misspent youth studying people’s behaviour, but it just fascinated me. I wondered why people said what they said, what their action at the time had to do with what they were saying.” So he continued on his journey, and eventually out of perseverance and study increased his understanding of how the mind works.

Tina, group participant of the last five years is currently in training to be a facilitator of SAT. She is enthusiastic about her work and would make a wonderful facilitator thanks to her many positive qualities. She is grounded, centered, down to earth, caring, thoughtful, insightful, and extremely passionate. Speaking about facilitating puts her on a high.

Tina sees her facilitator training as similar to the sessions with Warren. “Facilitating is still about self awareness, but extending that to other people, and tuning into them.” She wants to be a facilitator because the process has helped her so much and she wants to be able to do that for others.

Tina says that ultimately our life experience is a perception of how we see life. “We can’t choose the situations that arise in our life, but we can choose to take responsibility for the way we interact in those situations.” She says to get balance and feel good about things, you really have to change thought patterns.

Tina says she used to get bogged down in really bad thought patterns, but it’s about knowing she doesn’t have to have these thought patterns and not allowing them to exist. It is good to learn how to turn things around to deal with things in a positive way. “Stuff still happens in your life, but it’s how you interact with it that counts.”

She used to be a uni student, and back then life was unsatisfying – she had low self esteem and suffered from depression because she didn’t have the tools to change things in her life. “I’m really glad Warren has made himself available because it’s turned my life right around, and if I can share that with other people, that’s great.”

Her ultimate goal is to be self aware and have 100 percent self esteem so that people will actually benefit from having interactions with her. “As a facilitator, using that focus and actually handing it to people is such an amazing thing. Most people have learned to compromise their integrity, but we all have the capacity to re-awaken it and live the beauty of our truth.”

Artist Kristy, 37, is a pensive and reflective group participant. She first saw Dr. Stanton in 1998 while she was in the middle of having a nervous breakdown. With deep thoughtful eyes and much care and deliberation, she recalls having had many pressures all piled on top of each other, which drove her to overdosing. “I almost died but didn’t, I spent three days on a bathroom floor.”

She recalls having panic attacks. She wasn’t sleeping, she couldn’t process all the memories that were coming up for her, she was hallucinating. “It was really intense. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t even drive my car. I was not okay; I was scared I was going to do something.”

She had completely fallen apart and was filled with acupuncture needles to calm down, and then taken to see Dr. Stanton. “That was the beginning. I painted for six months and had big sessions with Warren and just tried to put my psyche back together.”

She wasn’t handling things very well and it was difficult for her to be out in public. She had a few one on one sessions with Dr. Stanton, “just going there and being in that space for an hour, it had a really healing, calming, different feel to anything I’d been feeling for the last so many months.” she says. “I’d come out of there actually feeling like a human being again.”

Kristy regards herself as a highly sensitive person. During that difficult time in her life she had a lot of stimulus coming in, but because she’d completely lost her own centre she found it extremely difficult to cope. It was Dr. Stanton who guided her back to finding her centre.

Her brother died, which was the catalyst for her nervous breakdown. It forced her to stop. “I’d been barrelling on for years, almost workaholic, always taking on huge projects, doing them and having lots of energy, but never stopping and looking at things. When my brother died it fractured everything, fractured everyone pretending everything was okay.”

She says she remembers after her first session with Dr. Stanton she did a series of paintings of what she was going through. She visualised in colour the first realisation she had with Dr. Stanton. “I did a painting – gold coming in and red coming out, which was like letting the light in and letting all the crap out.”

Dirk has been a group participant for about 14 months. With his loud booming voice, and deep expressive eyes he tells of how he met Dr. Stanton at a time when he was ready to look at emotional issues that he’d been holding inside for 20 years. He tried to avoid most of his problems with a strong marijuana habit. Somewhere along the line he realised he started smoking so he didn’t have to look at some of the emotional problems that were going on back then. (Dirk had given up his marijuana habit 9 months previously).

“I was protecting myself, like putting a nice big cuddly blanket around myself. I’d just have a smoke so I wouldn’t have to look at things too much. And whenever anything painful came into my life, I’d get stoned and I wouldn’t have to think about it.”

Dirk wasn’t happy, he was distressed by a few things and a friend told him he should go to see Dr. Stanton. “I was on the brink of tears, but just talking on the phone I felt better straight away; he tuned straight in to how I was feeling. I’d spoken to him for three minutes and straight away I felt better and more hopeful.”

Dirk can remember in his first session when Dr. Stanton asked him to describe what he was feeling. “I felt like Euphoria was about to erupt, and the only other experience like that I’ve had was when I was on drugs. And of course with drugs there’s a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, but with Warren there was none of that, there was just total calmness.” Dirk says “it felt like my brain was being squashed like a sponge. You squeeze a sponge, you put it down and then it starts to open.”

Dirk says when he’s doing the meditation with Warren he notices a sensation he can feel in his body, which is a warm tingly sort of sensation. “Working with Warren has enabled me to visualise that feeling, so I can practice that technique myself. It’s literally a warm fuzzy feeling right in your belly. It feels like a warm teddy; it’s comforting. You don’t ‘need’ anything outside of you, you have yourself.”

Warren says being self aware is an ideal state. He acknowledges that a lot of people find it hard because they allow lots of things to get in the way. “But it depends on how much you value your well being, that’s the basic choice. If you think all the creations from your mind are more important, then that’s going to take you away from your innate sense of well being. It’s ultimately making a choice that what you do is going to support your sense of well being.”

Explore The Core – Find Your True Identity

by Tessa Buckman

We’ve lost our sense of self, but fortunately, we don’t have to look far to find it.

In fact, according to Dr Warren Stanton, an authentic sense of self can be rediscovered in a surprisingly short amount of time (which is handy). So cancel those trips to distant lands, the quest for self-discovery begins now.

Dr Stanton is a qualified teacher and psychologist with a PhD in human thought processes; he is also the creator of a process designed to assist personal development, namely The Well-Being Process.

The technique itself slips through the fingers of definition, blending a range of practices with intense self-exploration and a dash of individuality. Even the label “The Well-Being Process” is tentatively placed.

“It’s about people coming to know themselves, which ultimately means it’s a difficult thing to define,” explains Dr Stanton. “Whereas many schools of thought involve routine and discipline, this process is the antithesis of that because it’s based on our natural instincts. If I package it, the mechanism is an applied meditation, although I could call it deep meditation or advanced mediation. It is probably aligned with the mindfulness approach based on awareness of our existence.”

A session with Dr Stanton is also strangely inexplicable. Sitting opposite him, you are invited to maintain eye contact whilst attempting to zone into your inner sense of self. Perhaps a little disconcerting at first, the awkwardness that accompanies an unwavering gaze doesn’t last long. In its place, a calm sensation seems to creep into the room.

Fortunately, the basic concept behind the process is less evasive. Our true nature is goodwill; according to Dr Stanton, once you tune into that goodwill, you will be immersed in a sense of harmony while social constructs (beliefs) that trigger fear and negativity will dissolve.

“The core sense of self contains everything people want in life; peace of mind, a sense of belonging, satisfaction and the feeling completeness, it’s all there as our birthright.”

Regrettably, our core sense of self has become entrenched in the muddy layers of convention. Beliefs and opinions we are taught from infancy cloud our true nature. The most notorious of these is control.

“Particularly in Western culture, we’ve been taught to use the intellect to control our lives,” says Dr Stanton “Our instincts are one of the things we decided to control. But other instincts, including our sense of self, were also lost through this control and replaced with a set of beliefs. We’ve lost our sense of self, which then causes people to feel alienated or shallow.”

It is ironic that we are so easily willing to forgo our instincts. Naturally, we absorb the information and behavioural patterns offered to us by our caregivers. We then go on to live our lives according to these taught beliefs rather than those we develop through experience and intuition. In other words, our individual sense of identity is created.

Dr Stanton explains: “We are taught to detach ourselves from our core self fairly early in life. When you’re a child, you haven’t got the capacity to challenge what is presented to you. Instinctively, it might not feel good, but it’s being presented to you by significant caregivers who you love, trust and depend upon and so we just soak up.”

The problem is locked in when people are unwilling to challenge the beliefs that have negative affects. In our creative capacity, we develop ways to get what we want. We are prepared to use intimidation, aggression, and even temper tantrums when necessary. However, what we think we want is warped by our taught beliefs.

“We have become willing to upset ourselves and others to achieve what we think we want. But if we listen to our instincts, what we really want is to feel good, happy and harmonious. Our natural experience of life is just that. It’s an amazing, incredible experience,” Dr Stanton explains.

The Well-Being Process is designed to rekindle an instinctive sense of self by teaching people to let go of control and the beliefs that promote negative behaviour.  But before you abandon the rules and let the James Dean inside you run riot, Dr Stanton insists that our belief structures are not only indispensable, but absolutely essential.

“There is a difference between having beliefs and holding them. Everyone has beliefs; they are scripts that we use to interface with the world. Many of them are functional, for example, you believe if you turn a tap, water is going to come out.”

By denouncing your beliefs, you not only run the run the risk of dehydration, but you will also become alienated from a society that depends upon them. As an alternative, we need to begin looking at life as a duality.

It has long been acknowledged that we have two minds, namely the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind contains beliefs, the ego and for the majority of people, their identity. The other is based upon actual experience and is devoid of opinion.

“One is time-based, limited and fragmented, while the other is connected, unlimited and timeless. Your conscious mind is used to imagine things, interface with the world and is essentially there to serve us. So, if you identify the conscious mind as all there is, you have a very limited sense of who you are.”

The key is to find your true identity within the subconscious mind. Once learnt, The Well-Being Process will enable you to tune into the core sense of self and therefore your natural sense of goodwill to give you a little lift.

“If you are able to tune into the part of you that feels good, you will feel in charge. When you open your conscious mind to the sense of self, found in the subconscious, you feel the effect, be it uplifting, centring or that wave of peace of mind. It allows you to turn your life around, instead of thinking you’ve got to get happiness out of life, you begin with happiness, it is your birthright and so you take happiness into everything you do.”

Dr Warren Stanton is a principle life-guide, consultant and facilitator for positive change For more information, please contact him on 0412-049667 or

“There is a difference between having beliefs and holding them.”

(Published with permission of the publisher of the “Living Now” Magazine.)