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Framework for Teaching the Option Method.
“The requirements for a successful learning of The Option Method
are exactly the same as for a successful life by any standard. Happiness
first, not second.” Bruce M. Di Marsico
As described in the How and Why section, our approach to teaching The Option Method starts with the Explore phase, which includes opportunities to learn about the fundamental principles of The Option Method. This sets the stage for the Experience phase of training, which includes the O.M.Dialogue and progresses to O.M.Dialogue reviews. During this phase of the training, additional and more in-depth training on the fundamental principles is available to coincide with the student’s dialogue experience. The Embrace phase of training is designed to help the student progress to the teacher level, both in doing dialogues with themselves, or doing dialogues with others on a personal and/or professional level. Additional and in-depth training on the fundamental principles is available to coincide with this phase of training.
True to Bruce’s teachings, our goal is teach individuals how to do The Method so that they can be self-sufficient in proceeding on their own path to happiness. We encourage our students to become teachers as well, both by living The Method and teaching it to others. When we talk about “living the Method”, we simply mean honoring the fundamental principles. Teaching The Method and its principles to others is an important step in fully integrating its truths into our lives – in being authentically ourselves in all aspects of our lives. By carrying the truths of The Method into our everyday lives with our loved ones, friends, coworkers, even strangers, we can become the catalyst for powerful changes in the world. Most important, we embrace our own happiness and let it shine through everything we do and say.
We think about The Option Method in terms of a student and a teacher on three different levels. The first level is the dialogue between two people – the teacher and the student. The teacher’s goal is to help the student see that they don’t have to be unhappy and the student’s goal is to understand their unhappiness and stop being unhappy. The teacher is a very special sort of teacher. They are not a teacher who creates solutions or shows how to fix things. They are not a teacher who applies labels. Most, important, they are not a teacher who judges in any way. Their role is to be catalyst for self-inquiry and change through open-ended questions.
So, The Option Method teacher is one who asks questions. In fact, in The Option Method “classroom,” the teacher’s blackboard has only questions, but no answers. The answers come only from the student. And in this way, the student is on a true path to self-discovery.
The second level of the teacher/student interaction happens in the process of teaching The Option Method to the student. In the beginning, the teacher and student work through the student’s problems using The Option Method. In this dialogue practice, which can take weeks, months or years depending on the student, the student is immersed in their own self-exploration through The Option Method. They get a sense of how The Method works but their attention is typically focused on the revelations they are experiencing as their beliefs emerge one after the other.
However, there comes a time when the student is ready to begin using The Method on their own. The teacher must then be prepared to instruct the student in the use of The Option Method questions. At the center we achieve this through O.M.Dialogue reviews where the student works out a dialogue on their own, gives it in written or recorded form to the teacher, who then reviews it to see how the student is using The Method. In the review session, the teacher and student then discuss how the student used The Method, what results were achieved, what questions were used and why, any roadblocks that occurred, etc.
Finally, the third level of teacher/student interaction is when we use The Option Method to help ourselves to be happier. In a sense, then we play both roles. As the teacher, in our minds we stand apart from the person who is unhappy and use The Option Method to ask questions. As the student, we answer the questions and become enriched with the knowledge of the true cause and effect of our unhappiness – our own beliefs.
Essentially, in using The Option Method, we learn to hear our thoughts through the tutelage of our most loving, accepting, gracious self. We learn to guide ourselves always to a fearless state of mind, free of irrational conclusions that led us to a state of unhappiness in the past. It doesn’t matter whether we call this self a teacher, guide, seer, inner self, etc. What matters is that we learn to appreciate that the voice that expresses negative beliefs that feel so real to us – is just a facet of our being. It doesn’t define us. It doesn’t rule us. It may not even have real meaning to us when we learn to question it. We can find the part of ourselves that asks the questions and leads us infallibly to the truth about ourselves: that we can always be happy. And how can we can learn to know that truth? You will find that there is nothing to learn – you already know it.
We all know that the best teachers in our lives ask the life-changing questions. Be that teacher for yourself and all you know. As Bruce said, “There is no greater kindness nor a more loving vocation than to question unhappiness!”
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No thing in the world gives happiness. No thing or lack of any thing causes unhappiness. Happiness i…
No thing in the world gives happiness. No thing or lack of any thing causes unhappiness. Happiness is.[ Bruce Di Marsico ]