Today is the deadline for retreat deposits, of which there are only 7. Sadly this means the retreat scheduled for March is cancelled. We will look at running Cascade Retreat 2 later this year. All deposits and tickets will be fully refunded.

Apologies to those who were really looking forward to it - a Cascade Retreat is a truly special event, it's a shame it couldn't happen this time.

(It has been suggested that perhaps we could 'crowd fund' the retreat. It costs between £15,000 and £20,000 to run this kind of a retreat, which would equal at the low end a ticket price of £2,142 for each of the 7 students. However, if we include those that can't do both the retreat and research program, the number is actually 4. So that's a ticket price of £3,750 each, plus the cost of the research program that all 4 people also want to take part in. I've decided not to ask, not only because I'm pretty sure 2 of the 4 can't afford £5k (meaning the remaining two would need to stump up the majority of the £15k for a two person retreat) but also because it's not worth doing in terms of the work to outcome ratio for the service at this time.)


Would you be interested in taking part in a 3 month (13 week) 'guided growth' wisdom research pilot group of 10 people, the specific aim of which is producing accelerated awakening, mastery of wisdom practice and unparalleled personal transformation? 

The format will consist of daily contemplation practice, instruction through watching the new master class materials each Wednesday and Saturday (approximately 30 minutes of viewing time each day), and a group call every Sunday (approximately an hour or two) with periods of one-to-one support where appropriate.

The course will be split into two halves:

Part 1: the master class materials will be studied and practiced up until the midway point (week 7), covering exoteric, esoteric, dialectic and cosmological contemplation (approx. 30 videos), requiring the participants to sit everyday steadily building up sit length with the use of the new 'practice vow' functionality, plus additional weekly dialectic work and the introduction of cosmological contemplation practice.

Part 2: the group will begin to ramp up esoteric practice with longer and additional daily sits, focus on specific dialectic problems for each student specifically concerned with awakening, and introduce a regular cosmological contemplation practice for the same purpose. During this period participants will eventually be practicing up to 2 hours total time a day, with additional dialectic/cosmological practice, and the group talk commitments.

Participants will be required to take a survey before, during and after the 3 months. The aim is to create the ideal awakening program, and the data collected from this pilot group will inform the format of the next group, eventually contributing to the creation of a predictive model of awakening for participants. I'm working on this research program with Dr. Alex Fradera PhD, an academic expert in neuro-psychology.

The research program needs to be self-funded, so the three month 'guided growth' program will cost £1000 to take part. It's a big commitment to 13 weeks of intensive practice and development with the serious intention of waking up (or whatever the next level of realisation is for you) and mastering wisdom practice, so if you are interested, give it the appropriate consideration first. Taking part will no doubt change your life, and the opportunity to contribute to a research program of this significance would mean you would need to be serious about completing the entire 13 weeks.

We expect to run the pilot group this year from April to the end of June.

Comments are open below so you can let me know if you are interested. If you wish to take part and also attend the next retreat, but the cost of attending both is prohibitive, please mention this as well; at this point in the development of the service, if we have to choose one to do, it would be the research group as this is effectively a longer version of a retreat at home, and more significant in the outcomes expected. (As it currently stands, deposits have been low for the retreat in March, but this is normal for this time of year. Confirmation of the retreat happening will be given at the start of Feb or sooner depending on the outcome of this survey.)

Thank you for your consideration!




In less than three months the site is going to fall off a cliff, because Peter (the developer guy) and I (the content guy) will run out of both spare time and cash. This is because I've been suffering from a delusion when it comes to how to raise funds to finish the site. It seems I thought people would donate up front for something they may be grateful for in the future, when it turns out people only donate after they are grateful for receiving something. This is borne out by the number of new students (currently over 100) who have donated so far: zero. Seems rather obvious now.

And so, I've decided to introduce a harder membership model (if you remember from the 'help' video, this was stage 2 of the plan). This means there will now be a 2 week free period to work with the first part of the master class, earn some badges, ask a question or two, see if you like it, after which you can become a student by contributing a membership fee of a minimum of £10 a month. This will directly contribute to all of the new material and functionality in the pipeline.

Speaking of which, here'e an update: the 29 videos for Dialectic v2 are coming along on schedule for the end of this month, and then we expect the awesome new 'secret sauce' practice/community functionality (it's top secret so I can't tell you anymore) to drop in February with the remaining parts of the master class. What we have planned is very special, and if you do decide to become a student, you will be contributing to making it a reality!

In the meantime, I'll see you this Friday for the next Q&A!


You now have a chance to ask Alan questions about your practice or the service, and have them answered every Friday!

Just pop a question into the form, or vote for questions from other students you would like to see answered, and the most popular questions will make it into the video response (unless there's an unpopular question which is nevertheless important to answer).

The first video response will land this Friday, 2nd December!


The subscription options for ensuring the survival and development of the site have been updated to include a much wider range from £10 all the way up to £200!

If you're one of the small number of students who have already signed up, please feel free to revise the amount you give if the old options were previously set too high. You can find out how to do this under Settings.

If you wanted to support the site but were prohibited by the options previously available, we hope we've fixed this and we're deeply grateful for any support you can give!

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Attempting a dialectic contemplation with the current version of the interactive form is probably going to leave you confused and bamboozled, especially if you've never done one before or had a support session with a mentor.

The current form was the minimum for launch, and is certainly usable, but we need a new dialectic form with a more accessible structure, video instruction for each of the 5 types (dramas, dreams, daydreams, distractions and dialectic questions) and the form's questions tailored to each type.

We need Dialectic v2!

If you've watched the Basic Dialectic I did on retreat with Chad, you will recognise some of the steps in the proposed restructure for v2:

1. How to capture an appearance

2. How to get the analogy

3. The Apparent Name 

4. Past Examples

5. 5 Aspects of an Appearance

6. The Real Name

7. Reciprocal Relationship

Students will have a video walkthrough for the entire dialectic, with examples for each, including advice in terms of what to expect during the practice at each stage, especially in regards to common sticking points and self-sabotage.

We're currently working on Dialectic v2 in our spare time, but if you would like to ensure we get there by speeding up its development, please consider helping Fountainhead! 

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