The True Refuge Companion Program is designed to support you and your meditation practice as you face the challenges posed by the “heavenly messengers” of aging, illness and death. Our volunteers are graduates of the eight-month IMCW Sacred Journey program, or a similar program, and will be practicing under the guidance of IMCW teacher Mary Aubry and guest teacher Susan Akers.
We are trained in cultivating a kind, personal relationship with these fading parts of our existence and have worked toward embracing them. We know our youth, health, and this very life are transient. True Refuge Companions can help bring mindful presence and loving awareness to these challenges through companioned meditation sessions, noble silence, and deeply listening in a way that helps to hold a space for whatever arises.
You can meet with your True Refuge Companion either in person, by phone or via Skype or other online communication service.
You can begin with a short meditation to help you and your Companion arrive in presence. This can be silent, or you may request guidance. The Companion can guide the meditation or you both can listen together to a recorded guided meditation.
After this, you might want to explore what has been going on in your meditation practice. This could be an opportunity to examine the difficulties you’ve encountered as well as insights and other fruits of practice that have emerged.
You will also have the opportunity for a longer sit with your Companion, either silent or guided.
To end, you might discuss how to apply mindfulness practices to the challenges of your daily life.
Sessions should last no more than one hour.
Submit our application form. Once you've been assigned a Companion, you are ready to begin the program. During your first meeting with your Companion you will review your True Refuge Companion Agreement. You’ll review your shared understanding of the relationship, how often you’ll meet, where and for how long.
If you have other questions about the program, please contact Jill Drew, True Refuge Companion Coordinator.
When you request a Companion, you can express whether you are interested in just one session or whether you would like to establish an ongoing relationship. Companions are prepared to meet once every one or two weeks for a session lasting no more than one hour. Once you have been paired with a Companion, the two of you can work out the details.
Sometimes you’ll find the perfect match. Sometimes it just isn’t there. If you find your relationship isn’t working you can end it at any time. If you have any questions, you can contact our administrator who might help you find a better match.
A True Refuge Companion is here to support you in your meditation practice and to be a loving presence for you. If you need help that goes beyond meditation support, your Companion could help you seek the professional, therapeutic or medical help you need.
Companions are freely volunteering their time and no compensation is expected or will be accepted. Gratitude is a natural response, however, and you might explore supporting IMCW through a donation.
Please give any feedback to the TRC Coordinator, Jill Drew. Your feedback is most welcome.