MY PHILOSOPHY

Learn about my work to assist clients in finding greater freedom through the cultivation of presence and embodiment and through inquiry to untangle from subconscious psychic and spiritual knots.

Landscape with Mountains and a Natural Path

We are all on a path moving toward greater joy, peace, aliveness and freedom. Many of us are looking to reduce stress. I teach a variety of tools that assist in this journey, including mindfulness, embodiment, self-kindness, self-inquiry, inner guidance, and meditation.

 

Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to present-moment experiences with an attitude of allowing whatever is present to be just as it is. Most of us tend to live our lives caught in story about who we are and where we are going. We spend most of our time contemplating past and future. There is a striving and stress in this constant focus on the story of our lives. 

 

As we cultivate mindfulness, we learn to become aware of our body sensations, our emotions, our thought patterns, and the environment in a way that helps us to more skillfully navigate our daily lives. We learn to live more intentionally, moment to moment. We learn to lessen our reactivity to life events. We learn to notice and savor that which is pleasant and all around. All of this enhances our experience of well-being.

Embodiment: Most of us maintain attention largely in the mind, trying to rationally solve our problems, or in the environment, looking for what needs fixing. For most of us, our bodies are but vehicles to support our minds. Yet, there is great power and wisdom available to us when we bring increased attention and awareness into the body. As we cultivate a deeper experience of embodied presence we find these benefits: 

 

  • A sense of groundedness or feeling at home, less likely to be thrown by outside events 

  • A greater sense of confidence as we move through the world

  • A more-open heart with less defendedness

  • A more-fundamental sense of kindness, both for ourselves and for others

  • A more-authentic expression, saying and creating what we really mean

  • A connection with an intuitive guidance that goes beyond what the rational mind can know

We also gain access to our subconscious filters. Our subconscious minds speak to us largely through body sensations (and also through imagery). Cultivating embodied presence assists us in the inquiry needed to discover and upgrade our subconscious filters.

Self-Kindness: In my view, perhaps the single biggest source of suffering and cruelty in the world comes from how unkind most of us are toward ourselves. We each carry around within us an inner critic that nags at us, mostly in the background, about how we are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way. It is like a thorn that is always lodged in the psyche. 

 

Carl Rogers writes, "The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change."

We think that we need this critic around to motivate us to change, but mostly the critic is counterproductive. In order to grow, I have to take risks. If I know that I will be self-punishing should the result not come out as I would like, then I am much less likely to take that risk. If I know I will be kind to myself, no matter the result, I am more willing to take the risk. Cultivating self-kindness is foundational to a sense of well-being and efficacy.

Self-Inquiry: How we see the world and ourselves affects our sense of freedom and joy. Seeing reality through one set of filters, we experience well-being; seen through a different set of filters we experience affliction. Most of the ways that we see the world and ourselves is held subconsciously, affecting our moment to moment experience without any conscious awareness. Changing those subconscious filters takes some exploration, first to discover which filters are actually present, and then to create the conditions for those filters to be upgraded.

The subconscious mind speaks to the conscious mind largely through body sensations and imagery, not so much through the story of our lives. The practice of self-inquiry involves using body sensations and imagery to help guide to a greater sense of freedom, aliveness, peace, and joy.

Inner Guidance: We each have an inner guidance system that leads us in the direction we most need to go. There is power and wisdom and confidence when we connect with this innate guidance. Many of us have a weak connection to that inner guidance. There can be a tendency to let the messages and judgments of the outside world take precedence as we make our daily decisions. Through various meditative practices, our connection with inner guidance can be strengthened. 

Meditation: While there are many different forms of meditation, at its core, meditation facilitates the communication between the conscious and subconscious minds. During meditation, we find ourselves in a somewhat altered state where the subconscious mind becomes more available and more malleable. Through meditation we can learn to deepen a sense of embodiment, make mindfulness more regular, cultivate kindness, inquiry into psychic knots that keep us stuck, and developing a stronger relationship with inner guidance. 

My work is to assist clients in finding greater freedom through the cultivation of presence and embodiment and through inquiry to untangle from subconscious psychic and spiritual knots. I guide clients in various meditations, mindfulness practices, and inquiry experiences. I teach classes and courses, lead retreats, offer workshops, guide daily meditation, and work with individuals and small groups. My teaching and guidance is informed by Buddhist philosophy, Western psychology, and other spiritual traditions. Some of my offerings are Buddhist-based; many, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction courses are secular in nature. Throughout all of my work, I encourage a deep sense of self-kindness and consultation with your own inner guidance.

We each are on a path of psychological and spiritual growth and awakening. While the general direction is similar, each path is different. If you feel drawn to this work, I would be honored to walk with you on your path for a while, offering guidance and feedback, and sharing in the mystery and unfolding with you.