The School of Awareness in
London specialises in providing small group experiential workshops and meditations for inner personal growth and spiritual development including Inner
Child, Tantra, Inner Personal Power, Living in the Moment, Creating Your Spiritual Business, Group Sharing, Active Meditations, and Socials in the Forest. All
events are income based to make them open and accessible to all.
The School of Awareness aims to support and expand
individual and collective Self-Awareness, Consciousness and search for individual Truth by delivering high quality Empowering, Experiential and Transformational
workshops, meditations and events that are affordable and open to all.
We are not here to make you more knowledgeable, but with guidance allow you to go deeper into yourself to
experience the real freedom, love, joy and peace it brings, and so become aware of your truth - who you truly are. Our aim is to show you that path, light the way and
support you on your journey – but only you can actually walk Your Path. We do not represent any religion, sect, creed or cult - SofA is about You finding and
experiencing Your truth, not about us telling you how it 'should be'.
The School of Awareness (SofA) was founded in March 2010 by Ankur to continue and expand the workshops,
meditations and events, started in 2007 whilst he was a facilitator at the London College of Spirituality.
SofA specialises in running high quality one-day workshops and events, mainly at weekends. To ensure these
are open to as many people as possible, all chargeable events are ‘Income Based’ so participants choose what they pay based on what they can afford - see
individual events for details.
Workshops, Meditations and Events are currently held in and around London. Currently we run events in South
London, Central London, East London and, in summer, Epping Forest. See individual events for venue details.
By Awareness we mean Self-Awareness which is
literally the ‘instinct’ or ‘sense’ that the self is separate from the thoughts that are occurring at any point in time, meaning that you are
not your thoughts, and therefore you are not who you think you are! With awareness you can start to connect more deeply with your body, your emotions and your deeper
Self-awareness can result in ‘Aha-a’
moments, as the self lets go of the thoughts. It is the absence of these thoughts that can lead to moments of inner peace and insights into Your Truth.
From deep awareness, change
happens, understanding arises and truth can be known.
Ankur transformed from a sceptical City Bank Manager to a Spiritual Coach, Meditation
teacher and Workshop Facilitator over a 7-year period of travel and intensive personal
self-development work. He left the bank in 2000 with the simple thought ’there must
be more to life’ and started to look for something different. After several years
travelling, he stumbled upon an ashram in India and decided to give meditation a try.
Realising that there really was something more, he embarked on several years of deep
work which brought him a new view of the world, including a direct experience of his
true self and an abundance of the inner qualities of peace, joy, love and total fulfilment
! This brought him a new level of freedom and choice about how he now lives his life.
He currently focus on enabling others to transform their lives and discover their deeper
qualities via Intensive and Experiential workshops and events. The techniques he uses
focus on increasing self-awareness and liberation from the restrictions of our minds, so
bringing new levels of freedom into our lives. Ultimately, this empowers us to live with real choice, allowing us to enjoy the life we truly want.
For the ‘First Steps’ of Ankur’s journey see adjacent tab.
First Steps (A Brief Summary of (the Beginning of) My Spiritual Journey) by Ankur - written in 2007
I was a spectator, not only of the spectacular crescendo of explosions that
enlightened the Thames in the first minutes of the 21st century, but I was a spectator in my life too. Just watching it bounce along in no particular direction.
Of course I did have direction, but it was from work and others. My life was being directed by others; I was just fitting in, to their show. What was
I getting out of my life? Where was I going?
I was a bank manager. A hard working, focussed, stressed and thoroughly pissed-off bank manager. I had a
‘good’ job and I played hard too, but I was (very) slow in realising that I didn’t have a Life. I was merely a distant and powerless observer
of my existence, as it slid aimlessly down a slippery slope - devoid of feeling, unknown to joy, and had never been truly ’in love’. And I was a
complete stranger to the values of peace and fulfilment. Plus I was lost in the maze that is the corporate jungle!
And then it all changed.
Within months I had a choice to make. Move to another role with the bank or
take a redundancy. I thought, I analysed (’cos that’s what I did best), I thought again, and from somewhere I found uncertain courage to take the
money and run. And run I did. Well actually I stumbled a bit at first. But once in my stride I ran and ran and ran. For six years, through over 50 countries and
across six continents (Antarctica still eludes me).
Along the way I ended up in India and thought that I would take in an ’ashram’ for a week
just because... well, to see what it was like and to try something different (I had never meditated before). And luckily I found a fellow traveller to drag me
along to one (which turned out to be the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune), although not without a stack of reservations on my part... about...
So what was it like? Like getting up at 5.30am to do a one-hour very
active meditation, then a shower, then a one-hour very silent meditation, and that was all before breakfast. And then meditate some more during the
morning, more in the afternoon and some more in the evening. And they were the easy bits! I struggled with the numerous petty rules - you must wear a robe, and
it must be this colour during the day and this colour in the evening (more stuff to buy), and only this colour trunks in the swimming pool! and use this payment
card in the day but only this one in the evening and... AAAAAAARGGG! Plus it was very expensive by Indian standards and I was a backpacker on a budget. Now
suddenly submerged and lost in a bewildering world, rules stalked me - openly, money flowed worryingly quickly from ATM to ashram, and the only thing I was
’Being’ was totally confused. For five long days I fought and struggled bravely with these multi-headed monsters. And then tragedy! I was shocked to
learn that my mind, which I had considered to be my ultra reliable and dependable sidekick ’til then, was actually the sworn enemy of meditation and
even that it wasn’t me at all! By now my world was gyrating uncertainly.
Sure, there was value in the meditations, and some of the multitude of
multi-day courses looked good if I could only understand what they were all about, but they were sooooo expensive! and anyway, I was only there a week, so
no time for that. But it was playing on my mind - if indeed it was MY mind? Confusion reigned.
I was just about to book my tickets for ’elsewhere’ when my
resistance suddenly ceased! It was the calm after the storm. OK so maybe the clothes weren’t totally ridiculous and everyone else wore them, and
besides I had bought them now. And comparing the ashram prices to those in UK made it a little easier to swallow. In these terms, maybe it wasn’t sooo bad.
But that lead to a new dis-ease around there being nothing now to stop me carrying on and ’doing stuff’ here. The meditating felt good, and I
somehow felt a desperate need to do these courses. And I realised I needed some help, so ’I’ could look at ‘me’ - was this a ridiculous
concept? Could I really broaden my vision and shed the narrow view I had held all my life? And for the first time ever, could I challenge myself, challenge what I
thought, connect with my feelings, have emotions, feel true love and discover who I really was? Now I was getting scared!
And that is when my journey really began.
I stayed a month, I had to
move on because my visa was running out, but the seed had been sewn and I had taken a new name, Ankur (meaning 'new growth'). I had only scratched the surface,
but at least I now knew where to dig. And just 12 months later I was back, this time for four months. Many hours of meditation, numerous courses, much pain
and self-discovery later I emerged a very different person: with emotion, with a heart, with an awareness of true self and a new level of self-esteem. I experienced
the qualities of joy, peace and total fulfilment that are my true self and can just feel how incredible it is to be in that space. I was not complete though, these
were just the first few steps, but I had found a path.
And as well as going back to that ashram, further steps on my journey have
included studying NLP, Life Coaching and Enlightenment Intensive work which I now combine with my experience for my new roles in life, as a Spiritual Life Change
Coach and Meditation Teacher - my path it seems, is also to help others discover themselves.
So am I still a spectator of my life? Yes, I certainly am. But I am
no longer looking from afar. I am looking from the inside, at the inside, aware of who I am and how I feel in every moment (well, most of them); and I realise
that I am responsible for my own feelings and behaviour and I have real choices about my future. I am finally scripting my own show.
Now with new Openness and Awareness, I constantly seek the courage to Allow and
Accept whatever is there. Just trying to be connected with myself and be real in every moment is an enormous challenge, which I relish simply because I can feel
the benefits in every moment. I create my own reality and my intention is always to do that from the blissful space of my True Self.