Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Discovering a Timeless Spaciousness in Psychotherapy

Here is another post from the Science and Nonduality Conference hosted by I think that intersubjectivity theory attempts to create this kind of open space in the therapy dyad, but does not use the same terminology. The Empathic Ground by Judith Blackstone attempts to discuss a space similar to that described in this talk.

Discovering a Timeless Spaciousness in Psychotherapy from Science and Nonduality on

Discovering a Timeless Spaciousness in Psychotherapy: John Prendergast, PhD & Kaisa Puhakka (NDWPI)

Most clients entering psychotherapy, as well as most psychotherapists, identify with a narrative that binds themselves in time and space. This presentation will explore how this binding narrative may deconstruct in the field of open presence, leaving both client and therapist resting in what subjectively feels like a timeless spaciousness. Themes that will be explored include:

1) That the experience of timelessness corresponds with spacious awareness.

2) How discovery of our timeless and spacious nature arises spontaneously out of nondual awareness, that it is not a technique. Presence evokes itself.

3) That timeless awareness is always available regardless of the content of a session and that certain moments of non-directional silence can lend themselves as experiential portals to contact this awareness.

4) That refined attunement to or resonance with present experience is a portal.

5) That investigation of the truth of any belief and the resting in not-knowing is a portal.

6) That time and the timeless are ultimately undivided or nondual.

7) The different motives and capacities that clients bring to therapy in contrast to what students may bring to their spiritual teachers.

John Prendergast Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies
Senior Editor of The Sacred Mirror and Listening from the Heart of Silence

John J. Prendergast, Ph.D, is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at CIIS, and the senior editor of (with P. Fenner and S. Krystal) and contributor to The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy (2003) and (with K. Bradford) Listening from the Heart of Silence (2007). He has a private psychotherapy practice in San Rafael and runs several self-inquiry groups. His primary teachers have been Jean Klein and Adyashanti.

Kaisa Puhakka Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Professor, CIIS

Kaisa Puhakka, Ph.D., is on the core faculty at California Institute of Integral Studies teaching psychotherapy and its integration with Buddhist practice. She also works with clients and supervises interns at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and in private practice. Co-author of Transpersonal knowing: Exploring the horizon of consciousness, Kaisa has published some fifty articles and book chapters in East-West philosophy and psychotherapy. The urgency of awakening has fueled her journey since her late teens when she left her native Finland for the U.S., and her ongoing inquiry draws from Zen practice, Dzogchen texts, and Krishnamurti among other sources.

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