Make Space for Change
a 6–week online meditation and group coaching program
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Meditation is a great support for your aspirations.
BUT if your meditation practice isn’t supported, it can’t support you.
You are a changemaker — whether you’re an artist, an activist, an entrepreneur, a student, a seeker, a parent, a teacher, or a healer — you aspire to help create a more beautiful world, starting with you.
You know meditation is useful for stress relief, balance, clarity, focus, spiritual exploration… But it’s been hard for you to stay consistent. You are too busy, distracted, or unsure. When you do meditate, you’re dealing with overwhelm, judging inner voice(s), lack of focus… In other words, it just doesn’t feel like it’s working.
I’m Sebene, and I totally get it. For years I struggled to establish a daily meditation practice. Once I did, I quickly saw benefits like more clarity and less stress. But I STILL experienced a lot of confusion, overwhelm, and distraction. Meditation is not a cureall, you also need personal development in order for meditation to become the foundation for your aspirations.
The great thing is this: meditation practice supports self–development and self–development supports meditation practice.
Over years, I worked with coaches & teachers on my own development — creating new practices, structures, and capacities. This allowed meditation to become a solid foundation for my work in the world as a changemaker — that work is sacred and needs support.
Your work is sacred and deserves to be supported.
And that’s why I created Make Space for Change, to help you cultivate a meditation practice that serves as the foundation for your deepest aspirations — whether that’s being a more mindful parent (perhaps the most sacred work), creating art that connects people, serving vulnerable communities, or seeking to understand your vision & direction. Your aspirations to create a more beautiful world require your commitment to personal development.
As part of the process, we will use self–compassion to work with the central paradox of self–development — that change comes from acceptance. Or as Zen master Suzuki Roshi said:
“You are perfect just as you are, and you could use a little improvement.”
But we will not ignore the realities of the world out there and how they effect our well–being and ability for even “a little improvement.” Race, gender, class, sexual orientation, abilities, size and other factors play a role in our internal and external resources. We will acknowledge both that personal transformation requires social transformation AND that social transformation requires personal transformation.
Social change DOES start with you. Or as bell hooks put it:
“If you’re f*cked up and lead the revolution, you’re going to have a f*cked up revolution.”
- You want to see change in the world AND you want to work on yourself, but you get caught up in the same patterns over and over again.
- You feel the pressure to respond to the needs of friends, family, causes, and communities.
- You want to be engaged in the issues of the world but you don’t want to get burned out (again).
- You get overwhelmed and start dropping balls or getting stressed out.
- You try self care for a while, but quickly get swept up into busyness again.
- You’ve been to classes for help, but you were made to feel like you should be able to just meditate your way to happiness regardless of personal and political circumstances.
If you’re not careful, your pace will lead to burnout.
- You’ll give up on your aspirations for well–being, clarity, direction and impact.
- You will settle for just surviving, never going deeper to understand how you can effect change in your life & in the world.
- You will drop even more balls and your stress will start to hurt your work or relationships (or both).
- You may even get sick (I did, I’m a 3–time cancer survivor).
Make Space for Change
It doesn’t have to be this way. In Make Space for Change you will learn how to cultivate a meditation practice in a holistic way. You will explore what sustains and what challenges you and you will cultivate habits, routines and a plan for your personal development.
WEEK 1: ground yourself — develop or deepen a meditation practice so that you can build a foundation for what you’re most called to do in the world
WEEK 2: know yourself — explore your essence, values, and aspirations so that you can claim the vision & direction you create for your life
WEEK 3: love yourself — cultivate kindness & compassion to meet the challenges (both internal & external) that will inevitably arise
WEEK 4: check yourself — create habits & tendencies that empower you so that you are not thrown off course when you lose steam or inspiration
WEEK 5: cultivate yourself — design a plan for your ongoing practices so that you have a clear map for your aspirations
WEEK 6: integrate yourself — engage what you’ve planned and make adjustments so that you can anticipate how it will be moving forward
By the end of this program you will have:
- a clear idea of what type of meditation practice works for your life and schedule
- insights into your values & vision to help guide your direction
- a deep understanding of your personal strengths & challenges and how to work with them to best support your aspirations
- a morning routine to support your meditation practice, your work, and your life
- a journaling/planning practice to support your aspirations going forward
Beginners are welcome; instruction and support will be given for every level of meditation.
Sebene’s life coaching was literally life changing; through our sessions together, I found a whole new understanding and awareness about certain thoughts, feelings and issues that I’ve been struggling with for awhile. Her questions prompted me to delve a lot deeper in myself, which could be uncomfortable at times, yet necessary for awareness and growth. I always prided myself on being a more insightful, reflective person, but after my time with Sebene, I realized that I was only skimming the surface. —Maria
Sebene has the unique capacity to bring together meditation, Buddhist philosophy, sociopolitical studies and psychology. This multidisciplinary approach along with her kind and compassionate heart is what makes her stand out. It’s also exactly what has made her classes, teachings and one-on-one conversations such a unique contribution to my life. Sebene was the teacher that introduced me to meditation nearly four years ago and today — after having studied with many different teachers in the U.S. and abroad — I still can’t believe how lucky I was to just walk into her class. —Ellie
I remember walking away from my first session with Sebene feeling like my life would not be the same. I felt so deeply heard that I was able to hear myself in a new way that was more compassionate and respectful. Her recommended exercises, feedback and encouragement helped me to nurture a deeper connection with myself and face my fears with courage and love. —Hanna
- Weekly 2–hour live online video classes
These calls on Zoom are limited to 10 people so there is intimacy and support. Each session will include meditation (with video turned off 😉), new information and resources, and plenty of time for dialogue and inquiry. All calls will be recorded. Everything (call recordings, readings, resources, etc) will be “forever” accessible to you.
- Two 30 minute one–on–one coaching sessions with me
These sessions will give you a chance for focused and individualized support on setting your intentions & aspirations as well as time to ask more about your practice.
- Resources sent by email weekly including:
prompts & worksheets
readings & reflections
guided audio meditations
- (optional) Facebook group for all
This group will offer you a place to ask questions and get extra support for your meditation practice.
- (optional) Three check-in groups for people of color
I will offer special support for people of color in this affinity group where the extra burdens of systemic racism can be explored in safety and confidence.
Having taught this material before as an in–person course, I know the value of combining meditation & self–development. For the online version, I have added plenty of coaching support to help you even more.
Sebene’s presence is a gift. I’ve known Sebene for a bit over five years and feel lucky to be able to call her a mentor and guiding teacher. My life has been enriched by her wisdom, kindness, and honesty. I feel that Sebene accepts me as I am while, at the same time, encouraging me to be my most present, brave, and loving self. —Danny
What type of meditation will you be teaching?
I will primarily be teaching mindfulness meditation (seated, lying down, standing, and walking) because it is a powerful & accessible practice that can be integrated into daily life. I will also introduce kindness & compassion meditations to help tame the inner critics (that are within us all).
Do I have to be a Buddhist?
I come from a Buddhist tradition but my orientation as a teacher comes from a deep appreciation for all wisdom traditions as well as for kindness & compassion, mystery, nature, indigenous ways of knowing, and the sacred in everyday life. We are all literally stardust and that is mindblowing… I also acknowledge the existence of social and political forces in our lives and how those impact our ability to care for ourselves and our communities. I am interested in intergenerational trauma and I am also interested in intergenerational resilience.
What if I can’t come to the live calls?
No problem, over six weeks, it’s possible something will come up. I hope you can make it to all the calls but everything will be recorded and shared!!
How much time will this take?
The weekly live online classes (which are 2 hours a week) and two one-one-one session with me (sometime over the six weeks) are the heart of this course. Everything else is optional. You can expect that meditation practice, readings and contemplations would add up to about 1 hour per day.
What if I have a meditation practice?
Great! This program will allow you to explore what’s working about your practice and what might be stuck or need refinement. And the self–development work will allow you to explore any insights from practice and how they can inform your daily life.
What if I’m brand new to meditation?
Great! Instruction will be given in class and resources (including guided meditations) will be shared. The weekly live Q&A’s and the one–on–one coaching calls will be a time to explore any challenges.
Why are you having groups for people of color?
I will offer special support for people of color (POC) in these affinity groups because the extra burdens of structural racism, micoragressions, internalized oppression, stereotype threat, and other realities of racism make the POC relationship to self–development different than for white people in our society. These are topics that often are not explored and/or are sidelined in mixed–race groups. I am committed to offering my time for these conversations in safety and confidence.
Do you ever run courses just for POC?
I teach POC groups and many of my courses and retreats are often majority POC but I do not have an online course for POC (yet?).
Do you have scholarships or sliding scale?
I will offer a few sliding scale/scholarship spots in future iterations.
Sebene is an ideal teacher–patient, wise, and strong. In ‘make space,’ she provided us with insightful tools for self-reflection and was thoughtful and generous in sharing her own process for making space and conceiving the course. It was an experience that continues to feed me. —Amira
Sebene Selassie is incredible at holding space. Her ability to observe and make simple reflective comments leaves me feeling open to hearing more about what she sees. Her openness to the mysteries in the universe also allow me to step into the often childlike wonder and awe that I so often feel self-conscious about openly expressing as an adult. —Peace