Becoming Alive

One Year To Live: A 12 Month Program

By Dr. Manijeh Motaghy

Starting January 2018

If you were told you only had one year to live, what would you want to do during this precious time? After recovering from the shock, would you spontaneously or impulsively be thinking about traveling, spending more time with your family or what…? What would you be thinking about? Some may spend time to reflect on the past and how to better live the remaining time. Most people, however, may get lost in running around trying to increase the time on the physical aspect of life and live in fear, worry and resistance.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Becoming Alive course is designed based on the One Year to Live book by Steven Levine. It aims to provide the space and guidance for participants to understand life and the ending of life at a more intimate level and ways to enrich living. The imagined sense of urgency of the one year to live will allow us to delve deeply into our lives and explore it on many levels including emotional, relational and spiritual. The process will be a gentle exploration that is also fiercely determined. You will be guided in a safe environment filled with love, compassion and encouragement.

We all experience those flashing moments, when we realize that our lives are quickly passing and every year feels shorter than the last. There was so much we intended to do, and perhaps we gave up on many dreams. Year after year, we get closer to the end. We find no time to stop and examine the purpose and quality of our lives. We continue in autopilot doing more and more and find themselves regretful when the actual end arrives. 

FORMAT: The group will meet in a retreat setting, once monthly for four hours. You will be matched with a Journey Buddy (your own JB). You can arrange to meet with your JB during the month to share, give and receive feedback and support.

There is a great saying, “When death arrives may it find you alive.” I witnessed a close family member pass while extremely unhappy. She clung to life as her body was failing; tears of sadness, regret and hopelessness filled her eyes. She was a religious woman with 4 children, several grandchildren and a womanizer as a husband. Sacrificing all her life, she lived with hatred and resentment and it was too late to change that. She hadn’t taken the time to heal, to forgive and to cultivate an emotionally and spiritually mature sense of fulfillment. No matter how determined she was to live, cancer had taken over. No mind nor spirit could save her soul nor bring joy to her heart. Watching her, so desperate and helpless, broke my heart. Yet, her suffering awakened something in me. When I witnessed such sad ending, I took an honest and determined vow to understand how life works and take charge of my own happiness.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS: The proposed outline here is broad – the actual experience will incorporate detailed and intimate exercises – The process is meant to be organic, responding to what is most essentially present and need attention. As a result program components outlined here may change.

I. Life Review: bucket list, obstacles in the way, aspirations, level of happiness, vision, etc.

II. Exploring what legacy one will leave behind – Taking charge of that

III. Deepening, understanding and increasing Personal Accountability

IV. Exercises include, but not limited to:

  • Meditation, contemplation
  • Reflections journals
  • Field trips – TBA
  • Guest Speakers – TBA
  • Group experiences: As appropriate
  • Home Assignments:

COURSE DURATION: 12 (4 hour sessions) in 12 months. A total of 48 hours for the year.

START DATE: 1st Sunday of September 2017 to August 2018, meeting once per month

LIMIT: 20 per class

PROGRAM FEE: Based on Sliding Scale $995 – $1395 (covers 48 hours of class time plus two short private sessions with the instructor as needed to address individual goals and concerns.). this fee has been decreased by the generosity of a donor to enable all levels of financial ability to participate.  If you are able to contribute extra, it can help others with more serious financial difficulty to participate as well. We are a Non-profit 501C3 organization and all contributions are fully tax deductible.  No one is turned away for lack of funds. (If you are in need of financial aid, please write a letter of hardship for us to consider partial scholarship and work exchange opportunities.) Payment arrangements may be made as well. 

Registration closes July 30th, 2017. All fees must be paid in full by July 30th, unless otherwise arranged. If you want to experience the process with a friend, family member, or partner in the same section, be sure to indicate this on your Intent Form. Any other questions please contact instructor at manijeh@perfectlyhere.org.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Manijeh Motaghy finished her Doctorate in Psychology of Management Consulting, while going through a chaotic and emotional divorce. She overcame many challenges throughout her life, co-founded Mindful Valley, founded Perfectly Here and Mindful Business Institute. She became certified and Authorized to teach Mindfulness courses designed by UCLA Semel Institute, Mindful Awareness Research Center. She designed Mindful Employee (ME), trains and coaches corporations in Mindfulness-Based programs and is a full time Mindfulness teacher at Perfectly Here in Tarzana.

Ever since childhood, Manijeh sought after inner peace and joy. She found such peace in communing with rocks and ants, fallen leaves and streams. Growing up her grandmother was her inspiration in so many ways especially in the matters of the heart, forgiveness, generosity, compassion, Loving Kindness and gratitude were her grandma’s ways.

When she finally came to the practice of Mindfulness, though it felt like home, Manijeh found herself having a hard time to meditate and stay with the breath. It was the practices of loving kindness that helped her excel in meditation and Mindfulness.

Manijeh has attended numerous 10 day silent retreats and has accumulated thousands of hours of practice in Mindfulness and meditation with an emphasis on loving kindness. Her Mindfulness teachers include Diana Winston, Ajahn Yatiko and Ajahn Amaro. Currently, she practices her spiritual path with Ajahn Pasanno, the Abbot of Abhayagiri monastery in Redwood Valley. In addition to the yearly 10 day silent retreats, Manijeh takes 1-2 weeks / year to visit the Abhayagiri immersing herself with wisdom practices, constantly inquiring into teachings that lead to clarity and understanding the causes of both suffering and happiness.

Manijeh has written over a hundred poems, a way to express her sorrows and joy, her vision and understandings of life. She is fierce in challenging her students to see things as they are and to raise the bar on their happiness. She is greatly appreciated and loved by her students and private clients for her non-judgment, her heart of kindness and gentle approach.

May your effort, intention and participation in this course cause

the ripple effect of joy and contentment for all beings.