Meditation. Contemplation. Imagery. All well known. All speak for themselves.
But then there is the wonderful, gentle but incredibly insightful process that centres around the interpretation of drawings that is not so well known. So this week, more on understanding the workings of our mind, plus a journey into the metaphorical world of drawings, their symbols and their interpretation, but first
Thought for the Day
Psychology has traditionally supported people
To move from minus ten to zero.
What I love about positive psychology
Is that it supports people to move from zero to plus ten.
John Higgins, philanthropist
Our active, thinking mind is comprised of the conscious and the unconscious. Some liken the relationship of the two to that of an iceberg, with just the tip of the conscious in our ordinary awareness and all the activity of the unconscious going on underneath with major consequence.
Clearly our lives are dramatically affected by the unconscious. The unconscious stores our memories then brings them together to formulate our beliefs and hold our habits.
How often do we feel constrained from doing what we consciously might choose to, or consider to be in our own best interests, when we know what is really holding us back is the underlying force of our own unconscious mind?
How often are our relationships affected by these same unconscious forces, held as hurts or fears; emerging as needs or avoidance?
Clearly there is the potential for great personal liberation in coming to know our own unconscious more directly. With such knowledge comes the prospect of freedom from the past and the freedom of a more open future.
So how to gain insight into the unconscious? This is where it helps to understand that the unconscious has its own language – that of imagery. The unconscious converts our day-to-day experiences into images and stores them as such. We remember the past by drawing on these images, we think using images, we plan for the future using images. Our habits and our beliefs are all made up of images.
Imagery is the language of the unconscious. That is what makes the unconscious so accessible. Drawing is a process of recording images. Through a simple technique using 3 specific drawings, we can gain an incredibly clear window into the workings of our own unconscious.
Excited? This is a fascinating process that stands alone for being gentle yet powerful. There is no need to be an artist. In fact, often the simpler the drawing style the more useful these types of drawings can be.
This is a process I have led several thousands of people through over the years. We used to include it unheralded in many programs and curiously it was not uncommon for some people to be reluctant to enter into the activity. However, with gentle persuasion, it is true to say that almost everyone who did it found major benefit and very often people felt their lives transformed for the better through what they learnt and what the exercise led on to.
So these days as Ruth and I present more regular meditation retreats, each with their own particular theme (like Imagery for Meditation Under the Long White Cloud in NZ), we are offering this program for those interested in their own psychology, the influences of the unconscious and how we can be free to live more in the moment.
Meditation, Images and Health is a program of direct relevance to health professionals. It could be useful in gaining more understanding of your own processes; and the interpretation of drawings is a technique that I learnt initially from a senior Jungian analyst, then adapted somewhat to the group situation. It is a technique that can be used in individual sessions or in groups and this program could well meet the needs of professional development.
Meditation, Images and Health will have plenty of meditation – a little instruction and good time to sit together - along with the usual basic hatha yoga, walking meditation, free time, great food and meaningful conversation. But then we will add this extra dimension of the drawings and all that they offer.
More details and a flier to download can be accessed by CLICKING HERE; bookings are through the Foundation – call +61 3 59671730.
Retreat and go forward
This blog comes to you from Fraser Island. The world’s biggest island of pure sand. Blue sky. Almost warm. Very bumpy tracks that give our car the chance to know it actually is a 4WD, and a place that brings to mind that great quote :
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
Tuesday July 29th : a free evening public talk in Bundaberg
Wednesday July 30th : a talk for dementia carers again in Bundaberg
then Mackay on Friday 1st August and on we go to Cairns, Mt Isa and eventually Adelaide.
Also, there are still 2 places left for anyone adventurous enough to join Meditation in the Desert at what is getting to be short notice :)