Avatar EPC Course – Finding Fulfillment, Dis-Creating Unhealthy Beliefs

There are many ways to look at the concept of “green living,” which is part of our mission here at Blue Planet Green Living. For us, it’s not strictly about being environmentalists. It has to do with having a balanced life that respects the environment, each other, and ourselves.

If you are a seeker, someone who is dedicated to making the most of your time on this planet, then you will likely be interested to learn about Avatar, a program designed for that purpose. Today’s interview is with Mark Dobkin, artist, entrepreneur, and Avatar Master. Dobkin explains a bit about how Avatar has impacted his own life and what it might be able to do for yours (and mine!). — Julia Wasson, Publisher

DOBKIN: I have been doing “work on myself” really seriously for about 23 years, taking a lot of workshops and seminars, group and individual therapies. I did all this work, but it just wasn’t enough to let go of some core issues that I finally had awareness of, addressed, and let go of.

And so, when I reconnected with an acquaintance of mine, Marilyn, who was one of the trainers of the Sage Experience — the first transformation weekend that I did about 18 to 20 years ago — she talked to me about Avatar. I said, “Why should I do Avatar?”

She asked me about my life, and I said, “Well, I feel like there’s further to go.” She also asked me a couple of other questions, which revealed beliefs that were holding me back from a life I truly wanted.

BPGL: Tell me more about that will you?

DOBKIN: I’m finding that I have a lot of beliefs still inside my head that are running my life after over 20 years of doing some very deep, deep serious work on myself.  The more I am able to use the processes of Avatar, the more these beliefs are revealed, and then I can truly let them go.

Having the awareness of the belief is seldom enough to let it go. It has taken the amazing methodology (as I call it) of Avatar to truly dis-create, or unhook myself from that belief, finally, after having to go through decades of unfulfillment, suffering, and other nonsense. (Does this ring a bell in anyone reading this?)

The more work that I did with Marilyn, the more I found I was completely infiltrated with these beliefs. That was pretty much what was driving my ego — not my true self, but my ego. She didn’t have to coax me to do the first two days of Avatar, which is called Resurfacing. I was tired of the suffering or accepting or, more accurately said, “SETTLING” for a life in which I knew I was not reaching my full potential. Not to mention the relationship area — that’s a whole other can of worms for most of us isn’t it?

BPGL: Tell me about Resurfacing.

DOBKIN: Resurfacing is the first 2 days of Avatar. It’s about examining in detail the “blueprint” of your life to the present time, seeing what has truly happened and what has been “running you.”

It’s also packed with exercises to truly expand your consciousness, creating more presence and free attention for yourself and others. And it’s about taking more responsibility for one’s own life. I ended up doing the full course a month later, doing the Master’s course a month and a half after that, and taking the third and final course six weeks after that.

One of the premises of Avatar is to actually see the beliefs that are running your life.  And then decide, Are those beliefs serving you? Do they serve others? And if they do not, you can pretty much dis-create those beliefs, and actually create new beliefs that will redirect your experience and change your reality.

The more I do this work, the more I am actualizing this to be true.  It’s amazing work!

BPGL: Then, there’s no sense of ever being a “victim” of circumstance or of someone else’s actions.

DOBKIN: I am choosing to believe that I create all of it. And I find this a much more empowering way of living than the other ways that I have chosen to live in the past. It’s what Harry Palmer, who founded Avatar, would call “living deliberately.” What I am also finding is that amazing magic is happening in my life. Your readers can ask me about this personally if they want.

The tools are there to truly create the experience of having what you want. And there are ways of dis-creating what’s not real, by eliminating what you are dragging around.

BPGL: What do you mean by “dis-creating” something?

DOBKIN: What I believe from my experience is that emotions do not have to be dragged around for a lifetime. You can deal with them in a very efficient way and, using the tools of Avatar, pretty much let them go permanently. Well, I can’t say “permanently,” because I’ve only been involved for a little less than a year. But there are some things that have plagued my life since I was three years old that I’ve let go of very quickly in Avatar.

This work is the most efficient, effective, fun — I’m not just exaggerating that word — fun and enjoyable work that I’ve done to bring me back into my connection with my highest Self or the Divine. To let go of my ego and nonsense. To keep showing up to do the next thing. And to move me forward with power and confidence and honesty and integrity to truly have what I’m looking for in life. And, most importantly, to give my life to humanity.

It’s fantastic. People from 9 years old into their 90s have been in that room.

BPGL: Nine years old?

This beautiful exercise is from the Avatar EPC Course. Courtesy of Avatar EPC

DOBKIN: Yes, nine years old, with their parents who have already gone through the Avatar and Master’s course.

Can you imagine a world that has brought up their children to be fully responsible for their lives and have the ability to stay connected to their highest “Self” at will?


BPGL: How long does an Avatar class last?

DOBKIN: Avatar is the first course. It lasts eight days. But Avatar can be experienced by the first two days as a separate entity called Resurfacing, and then you can finish the rest. Or you can experience it fully all at one time.

BPGL: How much does the full course cost?

DOBKIN: The full, eight-day course is $2,295.

BPGL: How many people are in a class?

DOBKIN: In Resurfacing, sometimes there are only 5 to 10 people, although there have been Resurfacings with 15 to 25 those first two days. My Avatar course had approximately 45 to 50 participants, and it had at least 40 Master Teachers and Trainers. It was almost one to one, which was amazing!

It’s a step-by-step methodology and every step of the way your whole self is being held with extraordinary love, care, and acceptance. Everyone pretty much feels supported in a way that makes it easier to move forward very quickly.

BPGL: If only one person in a couple takes the course, does the relationship tend to get better, or does it tend to cause more tension?

DOBKIN: There’s a million sets of what could happen, depending on a million different partners. But what I have seen, and also heard, is the person who has done Avatar has an increased capacity to be with the other person who didn’t go, with more love and much more compassion.

It’s really about love and compassion. When couples take it together, their relationships have grown by leaps and bounds. I have learned this from couples that I’ve talked to who have done Avatar together.

If your relationship is a certain way, there’s something you’re doing that’s creating that. Even when one person in a couple starts to take more responsibility, that can launch the relationship into a whole other dynamic. But when both people do, it’s just amazing!

And, of course, the truth is revealed. Truth is truth, which, of course could be different for both parties. The tools of Avatar assist the individual in living a more honest life, if they choose to use the tools.

What the individual or couple chooses from increased integrity, love, and compassion is up to them.

A very big focal point of Avatar and all the courses is not just to live deliberately, but to be fully responsible for what you are creating in your life, which of course bleeds into all your relationships.

And once I started owning up to the nonsense I’d been putting out into the world, as well as the good — which was also hard to take responsibility for — when I could really take responsibility for both ends, WOW. There’s amazing power in that.

BPGL: There are a lot of unhappy people out there.

DOBKIN: And they have a lot of “good reasons” to be unhappy. They have a lot of beliefs and a lot of shame and guilt and powerlessness, and things they’ve created for themselves. A lot of baggage. And most of it they bought into as innocent children, well-meaning beings making up something from an experience that just wasn’t real but could have felt very traumatic.

The innocence people experience again from participating in Avatar… it’s so precious and beautiful.

So that’s why I’m really hot on Avatar, because that baggage can be let go of pretty quickly. In fact, sometimes it can happen in five minutes, if someone is willing to really face up to the facts and to experience that creation.

For example, when I was in the third-level course, there was something that was agitating me. I asked for some help, and finally got to something that happened when I was three-and-a-half years old.

I had cut my eyelid on a tennis court net. My mom got hold of me and rushed me to the doctor. She was probably freaking out in a ton of fear. I don’t know what an eyelid looks like when it’s sliced, and you can see the eyeball through the eyelid. But it took four people and my mom to hold me down — a 38- or 40-pound three-and-a-half-year-old — for the doctor to stitch me.

Now, I had a lot of things that I made up in that moment. One of them was, I am powerless, and other people have power over me. What else was a three-and-a-half-year-old to make out of that experience? It was the most traumatic thing in my life at that point. So I’ve pretty much lived a part of my life being powerless. Off-and-on financial success. Off-and-on relationship success. Because something outside of me had more power than I do.

BPGL: The world is dominated by people who think that they win by defeating you.

DOBKIN: There is something very deep that undercuts people to be victims. That is something that they have created, and it is pulling them to actually want to keep experiencing it. Until it’s truly experienced, which involves feeling, it can’t be completed. What is that quote? You can’t move forward until you complete something in the past, or What you resist persists. That’s been a premise for so many different spiritual paths. I think there’s some truth in that.

I don’t have a picture of what that has to be, but so far, it’s been me going back into that experience and feeling that “powerlessness.” We’ll see if it’s gone forever, but I don’t know. I can tell you that when I had that experience, there was such a deep stillness inside of myself for a couple of minutes, and then I started laughing hysterically and couldn’t stop for quite a while.

I experienced such an amazing healing and opening.  This was a natural response to what had just happened.


I hope this example is going to trigger some people to start thinking there’s something they want to get to the bottom of. I want people to get to the bottom of it, so they can move on, if that’s what it takes.

It’s endless. And some say the starting point is when you’re completely done with the illusion. That’s when the true path really starts.

BPGL: What would you say to anyone who is interested in trying Avatar?

DOBKIN: Are you ready to rocket your life to the next place? The next Avartar Course is this coming Saturday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Call me to register and for the details.

Mark Dobkin is an Avatar Master.  He assists people in going through the Avatar Course with love, compassion, and care and has been working with people for over 20 years.

For further information, you can reach Mark by phone at (415) 785-7867 or by email: markdobkin@earthlink.net

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

Top Ten Must-See Environmental Films

Top ten environmental films worth seeing, according to writer Josh Hubanks.

There are some fantastic films on the environment, but it can often be difficult to find the truly great ones. To make your life a little bit easier, here is a list of ten fantastic, eye-opening movies for any individual passionate about saving our planet.

10. Tapped, 2009

Director Stephanie Soechtig’s examination of the bottled water industry’s “effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil.” The documentary debuted at last year’s Los Angeles United Film Festival and has yet to score major distribution, but fret not: Netflix is already offering a public queue in advance of a presumed-to-be forthcoming DVD release, so get in line for this one while it’s hot.

Why It’s Noteworthy

Tapped dares to challenge the moral and environmental efficacy of a habit all too many of us share: chronic bottled water consumption. The film deserves credit, especially, for never straying into the realm of moral high ground-itude, instead presenting a sober and earnest look at a lifestyle choice we all might behoove ourselves to rethink.

9. The 11th Hour, 2007

Narrated and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, The 11th Hour takes a holistic look at the deluge of environmental problems currently facing our planet. Perhaps more than others of its ilk, The 11th Hour concerns itself with offering practical solutions, if only in theory, to the environmental truths it confronts.

Why It’s Noteworthy

In many ways, The 11th Hour is nothing more than An Inconvenient Truth with less teeth and more star power (Roger Ebert called it a bore, urging people to rent Gore’s film instead). Still, it deserves credit for at least attempting to contribute something to the canon of 2000s-era enviro-docs, even if lacks the punch packed by certain of its contemporaries.

8. Fast Food Nation, 2006

“Do you want lies with that?” reads the tagline of Fast Food Nation, Richard Linklater’s feature-length adaptation of Eric Schlosser’s 2001 book of the same name. In the film, an ensemble cast rounded out by the likes of Greg Kinnear and Wilmer Valderrama explores the political, environmental, economical, and social ethics pursuant to fast food meat production.

Why It’s Noteworthy

Part drama, part black comedy, Fast Food Nation is one of the most gleefully subversive polemics out there. Don’t plan to hit up McDonald’s after seeing this one, though; Fast Food Nation is far from feel-good fare, featuring scenes from a real-life abattoir. Yum!

7. King Corn, 2007

King Corn is the tale of two best friends from college who travel to America’s heartland to plant and farm one of our nation’s most heavily subsidized crops: corn. In attempting to trace the path of their product from field to market, the two friends uncover shocking truths about the inner workings of an industry we as Americans are inextricably linked to.

Why It’s Noteworthy

Hailed by the Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday as “required viewing before entering a supermarket” and boasting a formidable 100% rating on RottenTomatoes.com, King Corn is easily one of the best-reviewed environmental docs out there. That, coupled with its slick production, likable characters and down-home presentation, make King Corn a documentary anyone can enjoy — regardless of political stripe or environmental proclivity.

6. Avatar, 2009

Ostensibly Fern Gully with guns and aliens, James Cameron’s 3-D blockbuster-to-end-all-blockbusters packs with its punch a surprisingly noble message: Don’t mess with nature, lest it mess back. In the film, paraplegic space marine Jake Sully is charged with infiltrating a race of blue, 10-foot-tall aliens in an effort to co-opt their resource-rich planet. New-found inter-species romance eventually intervenes, however, swaying hearts and minds while sparking interstellar war in the process. You know — that old chestnut.

Why It’s Noteworthy

Avatar is oft-interpreted as a parable for the United States’ seemingly insatiable thirst for oil, and frankly, it’s hard to walk away from the film with a reading to the contrary. Avatar deals heavily in the follies of ethnocentrism, too, and it’s for these reasons in aggregate that Cameron deserves credit: He’s crafted a film that’s at once technically stunning, hyper-mainstream, and appropriately didactic. I see you, James.

5. An Inconvenient Truth, 2006

Former Vice President Al Gore’s groundbreaking[ly infamous] foray into documentary filmmaking, An Inconvenient Truth boasts two Oscars and one of the highest-ever box office grosses for a film of its kind. The doc weaves Gore’s personal travails into a larger appeal to grassroots-level advocacy, urging its viewers to consider the mounting pile of evidence in support of climate change‘s existence.

Why It’s Noteworthy

To paraphrase a good friend of mine, “Screw the politics. What other movie in the past decade has spurred as much debate as An Inconvenient Truth?” And you know what? He’s right: Regardless of your disposition toward climate change, this documentary gets people talking. This reason alone justifies the film’s existence, and then some. See it.

4. Earthlings, 2005

Narrated by animal rights advocate, lifelong vegan, and Academy Award-nominee Joaquin Phoenix, Earthlings utilizes hidden-camera footage to chronicle “the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.” In a departure of form from similar documentaries, Earthlings opts not to focus solely on the animals-as-food controversy. Instead, Phoenix implores viewers to consider their reliance on animals for clothing, entertainment, experimentation, and companionship.

Why It’s Noteworthy

To the extent that animal consumption is linked to environmental concerns (read: wholly and as yet unalterably), this film makes a compelling, if pathos-heavy, argument. Moreover, Earthlings willfully denies its viewers the all-too-popular conceit that meat consumption is not an environmental issue. A strong word of caution to would-be viewers, though: Earthlings is not a film for the faint of heart.

3. Food, Inc., 2008

Robert Kenner’s Food, Inc. takes to task the notion that the modern-day food industry bears any resemblance to the bucolic, agrarian antecedent to which it professes kinship. In scene after stunning scene, the film deconstructs “the spinning of the pastoral fantasy,” positing instead a horrifyingly singular vision of for-profit conspiracy in which we’re all complicit.

Why It’s Noteworthy

The truths contained within Food, Inc. are truly hair-raising; for instance, who knew how nefarious an out-of-season piece of fruit could be made to seem? And yet this is the power of Food, Inc.: It can take the seemingly innocuous and impel you to reconsider its indispensability in your day-to-day life.

2. WALL-E, 2008

Academy Award-winner for Best Animated Feature in 2009, Pixar Studios’ WALL-E tells the story of a small waste-collecting robot who “inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.” For all its charming pretensions, though, WALL-E is more than just the Next Big Thing from the studio that brought the world Toy Story. Quite the opposite, WALL-E is a cautionary tale for the ages, foretelling what might be if mankind’s unsustainable habits are allowed to continue unabated.

Why It’s Noteworthy

Pixar’s depiction of a future in which Earth has been abandoned — rendered naught by environmental complacency — is simply astonishing. It’s in the conveyance of this bleak hypothetical that the film transcends its otherwise carefree ambitions, insisting instead that viewers consider the repercussions of an overly-consumptive lifestyle. As both a tool of education and a piece of entertainment, WALL-E is in a class of its own.

1. Koyaanisqatsi, 1982

Part documentary, part avant-garde concept piece, Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 opus is a work of visual and aural art unlike any other. The title, taken from the Hopi Indian language, means “life out of balance,” and it’s on this theme that the film dwells. With no characters, no plot and no dialogue to speak of, Koyaanisqatsi is 87 minutes of breathtaking imagery set to renowned composer Philip Glass’ now-famous score.

Why It’s Noteworthy

Koyaanisqatsi is the quintessence of filmmaking-as-art, functioning to simultaneously titillate, confound, and horrify its viewers into a consideration of the themes it treats. Of the films on this list, Koyaanisqatsi is among the least popular, but undoubtedly the most profound. It stands as both an exercise in and contention for environmental consciousness, and deserves to be seen without question or hesitation.

Facetious Runner-Up

The Happening, 2008 – (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD) In writer-director M. Night Shyamalan’s (The Sixth Sense, Signs) lowest cinematic low, sentient trees force people to kill themselves. (Yes, really.)

Why It’s Noteworthy

It’s not; it’s awful.

The Small Print

Blue Planet Green Living has not received any complimentary copies of any of the films described in this post. No compensation or incentive was provided to us for publishing this review.

Our policy is to review only those products we feel merit overall positive comments. If we do not like a product, we do not review it. We are not influenced by complimentary products and provide our honest opinions. For more information, please visit the Policies tab on the top navigation bar.

Blue Planet Green Living has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com. If you purchase these films or any other products through Amazon by clicking on our affiliate link, we will receive a small financial compensation from Amazon, which we use to sustain this website.

Josh Hubanks

Guest Writer

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)


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