1760 The Alameda, Ste 100, San Jose, CA 95126

5905 Soquel Drive, Ste 400, Soquel, CA 95073

Phone: 408-963-6694  ext 422

Daily Meditation

The Observer

I will not pretend that I have access to a reality separate from the moment, that I am somehow detached and able to observe from a neutral, non-partisan position. Neutrality is only a matter of degree and can be an illusion. I am always a part of, a participant. Even the act of observing impacts and affects that which is observed. Just by being in a situation, even if I do not feel myself to be participating, I affect it.

I take responsibility for my effect.

The observer is part of the process so that we experience as well as experiment. You have a larger view of life if you have a scientific view of nature as well as a view of the machine of nature. (The purpose) is to live more fully, to perceive more fully instead of just studying nature. And. of course, at the end of the day it comes back to us because we are the observer, there’s no one else. I can’t look at the world in any other way than through my own eyes. So I’m part of what I’m looking at. Scientific objectivity in terms of looking away from ourselves at the external world is no longer viable. We are part of our own picture.

Richard Dixey, The Soul and the Universe

Daily Meditation

A Communion of Subjects

All that is alive is subjective. When I look at life as a collection of inanimate objects, I disempower the moment, I reduce the process of living to navigating an obstacle course. Even if the objects are friends, they carry only a superficial, designated sort of meaning.

For anything to be deep, it has to be alive. For anything to carry relevant meaning, it has to be interactive. For anything to have a soul, both the perceiver and the perceived must contain particles that are of the one particle, the one life, the one soul. Our minds can only go as deep as our world because we are contained within it. One mind, one soul, one particle.

I recognize the many contained in the one and the one contained in the many.

The universe ultimately is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects… It’s the deep mystery, the mystery of the sunset, the deep mystery of the stars at night, the mystery in the song of the birds, the waves of the sea, the mystery of the seagull. All these things carry the deep mystery of the universe.

Thomas Berry, The Soul and the Universe

Daily Meditation

Living the Life That Suits Me

What I have to offer is unique, and the satisfaction of pursuing it is all I need for a soul growth experience. Soul in this sense is completely personal. It is my engagement with the process of self-expansion that develops soul and brings it into my day-to-day living. Years ago I had a friend who lived a somewhat nonconventional life, particularly for the times. When I pursued this with him, he said, “I go to a tailor to order a suit, instead of buying it off the rack so that I can get it to fit me perfectly. The arms are the right length. The shape suits my body and I choose the material and the cut that looks best on me. That’s how I live my life. I tailor it to suit me. I live the life that fits me, that I can move about in easily, that feels the most comfortable.”

Living the life that fits me, that is carefully tailored to my own personal inner form will, like a tailored jacket, last longer, wear out slower and look the best because it was designed especially for me.

I tailor my life to my own shape.

The heaven of each is but what each desires.
Thomas Moore

The Process Model: Whole Brain Therapy

I am often asked what to expect in therapy.  The short answer is that most of the people I see have no problem with their logical minds.  If there was a “think longer, harder, clearer” answer to the issue that brings them to therapy, their well-toned left hemisphere would have solved it by now.

Like many other process-oriented therapists, I see my job in therapy as inviting my clients to get reacquainted with the answers about their selves that lie in their right hemisphere…the side of our brain that we get to use as children, but neglect as adults.  My sessions incorporate sandtray, chair work, art, movement, and mindfulness invitations…all with the intention of moving from cognitive knowledge of “the problem” to an experience of a (not the!) solution in the room.  The beautiful part of experiencing something new in the therapy room is that our brains do not know the difference between what we “practice” in therapy and what “really happens” in the world.  The solution to any stuck place lies in experiencing a different way of being, for without the experience, its all just theory.

So what will happen in therapy?  I’ll invite your right brain in as often as possible, and I’ll invite your overworked left brain to go out for coffee, balance the bank account, or come up with all the incredibly logical reasons why this is silly.  It might feel silly to play, to draw, to move, to dance, to talk to the parts of you that make up the whole.  That’s ok.  That’s just your left brain doing its job.  At the end of each session, I’ll invite your left brain back in to integrate, organize, and process what you’ve experienced so that your wonderful brain can find ways to apply your work intherapy to the “real” world.

Just for fun, I’ve attached my favorite recent representation of the division of labor between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.  I am mesmerized by these, and I hope you’ll enjoy them as well.  Notice which side you feel more drawn to when you look at the images, then notice which you are more drawn to when you read the words…

Full size:  Passion       Paint

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Daily Meditation

Understanding how I experienced certain life events gives me greater knowledge of myself and more detachment from my self-destructive patterns. When I refuse to remember the pain of early experiences – projecting it onto others and making it about them, rather than sitting with it and feeling it myself – rather than resolve the problem, I compound it. This is one way that I pass on pain through the generations. In my inability to sit with my own pain, I ask others to contain it for me through dynamics such as projection. It is identifying in someone else what I should be identifying in myself, displacing a painful feeling by dumping it onto an unsuspecting receiver. This does not allow me to do the inner work I require to be clean and healthy, and it crosses another person’s boundary in an unfair, unhealthy way. My greatest potential for learning is in studying myself with honesty and openness.

I will look honestly at myself.

The wish for healing has ever been the half of health.