With a programme like Being Here, Present Now, it’s hard to know how or where to start in order to fully express the depth, magic, beauty and wonder. Words can point but never fully articulate the freedom that in truth I had been longing for, the freedom which awaited me. However, I shall attempt to do my best using the tools I have at my disposal.

As the programme commenced on Thursday evening, right from the beginning I could tell that I had no clue as to what was going to happen. I’ve done almost all of the Concord programmes and nearly every assisting role available; I have a good understanding of how things work, how each programme is delivered, and how on each venture into exploring the nature and potential of being human within the Concord curriculum I would have to keep letting go of my idea of where a programme would take me (my ‘already knowing’ of which I’m sure many can relate).

In Being Here, Present Now, I was clear from the start of the first session that I was venturing into completely new territory regarding the work at Concord. And Evan is like no human being I have ever met. My experience of working with him was utterly unique. His filter is so clear that my sense is that I am talking directly with Universal Energy. In the process I had the magical experience of realising my connection to everything that is, that ever was and could be. Where does one find the words to express that kind of realisation?!

Upon returning home on Thursday evening, my partner asked me how the session had been – a perfectly reasonable question considering I’d only been at the centre a few hours (and one from which an ensuing conversation was expected) – and yet I found I just couldn’t share. Only a few hours had passed and yet the programme had already hit deep. It felt like ‘day two’; not the start of something. I explained to my partner that I was too immersed in a process to talk and then swiftly headed to bed.

The three days that followed were utterly remarkable, deeply challenging, profoundly moving, so different and yet vitally complimentary to the Concord work as a whole.

Personal responsibility is a key element: there is nobody standing at the front of the room teaching us. Rather, insights (profound insights!) are shared as one gets a window on the mechanisms that run us. The course is almost entirely experiential. We each do the work for ourselves and with each other as a group. For me, something magical happened, uncovering my Self and opening to a new freedom where I had struggled before.

It occurs to me that, as the learning transpires mainly from what comes forth from within, from the interactions in the moment, and because my fellow travellers and I did the work of direct self-enquiry, the grounding of this programme has been deep and lasting. As I write these words almost two years later, I am still living with the magic, the gifts and freedom of Being Here, Present Now today. The paradigm shift that took place on this astonishing journey was like nothing I have experienced before.

When and if I find myself hooked, I have the power now to regain access to the present moment with much less effort. For me this was and is life changing. The level of trust and connection and serendipity that’s been opened in me is incredible. In truth, this fills a longing I believe we all have: to stand more permanently with our feet planted in the present, and to access the beauty of what we experienced within the course as it lands in our life outside of the course room.

To see and feel this landing maintain into the days, months and now (almost two) years is truly what I am experiencing from this course. The years and the history of all the beautiful and invaluable work I have done with Concord, solidifying and now – a whole new paradigm opening before my eyes.

I cannot say or predict what this course is nor what it would be or do for anyone else, except that it is an opportunity to see and be with yourself, look deeply and evolve. For me, participating in Being Here, Present Now was the most profound transformational experience of my life.

Carly Ashdown