The Satipatthana Sutta, the discourse on the foundations of mindfulness, is generally regarded as the buddhist text with the fullest instructions on the system of meditation technique unique to the Buddha himself.
The practice of Satipatthana meditation centres on the methodical cultivation of one simple mental faculty readily available to all of us at any moment.
This is the faculty of mindfulness, the capacity for attending to the content of our experience as it becomes manifest in the immediate present.
Sati = mindfulness. The minute by minute, present moment awareness.
The goal of therapy is transformation, a client seeks therapy as a motivated and mobilised move toward optimal health.
Through listening, through heart, through compassion. Through receiving, through inter-personal presence. Through the authenticity that builds trust and safety, the relationship itself orients to the whole person, this depth of awareness has the capacity to receive the client at depth and open the client toward their own inherent wholeness, to touch their core state and know their brilliant sanity.
There is, over time, a move from informaton and parts of a whole, to integration and fluidity, toward peace and ease. A move from intellect to embodiment. The therapist listens artfully through all their sensory tools, hearing, seeing, feeling vicerally, resonating, responding, they are being affected through piercing presence and attuned awareness.
Therapy is more art, than science, it is creative. A collaborative process, drawing, painting, sketching, color strands, light, dark; through these strokes available and hidden tools emerge en-mass in the forefront, to be understood, explored and enquired into. The client has the courage to enquire, to contemplate, to move through, to wade through, to breeze through, to pain through.
A process in motion forming and ceasing from one landscape to another. It is dynamic and colorful, it is an art of the senses all happening in the co-created field of the therapy room.
Brilliant Sanity, it means that who we most fundamentally are. It is our inherent nature; it is what we are no matter what we might be feeling in any particular moment. Everyone is or has brilliant sanity at their core at all times.
Brilliant sanity describes our nature, who we most basically are. We are not always in touch with it, but it is always there and available to us, it steadily and absolutely underpins our very being. It is open, clear and spacious. We know when we feel it within, we have glimpses of it in our daily life but may bounce to and fro, in and out, unable to sustain a constant knowing to it’s source.
Core process psychotherapy, a form of contemplative therapy; the original mindfulness based psychotherapy (established over 30 years ago), works with this knowing at the core of it’s approach to the clients suffering. That no matter what, at depth, we are intrinsically well. And although this wellbeing may be obscured, it may be recovered through compassionate enquiry and depth therapeutic skills.
We work with a depth understanding of what helps and what hinders healing, insight and transformation.
What happens to the body when facilitated to rest into deep stillness?
It is invited and given the opportunity to re-connect to it’s underlying intrinsic health.
The behaviour of cells, tissues and fluids that make up the body systems are enabled to drop below the mode of more superficial workings, that of fighting infection, maintaining homeostasis, centering around strain patterns and what potentially begins, is a deeper conversation.
In this deep stillness a spaciousness opens and the possibility for something other than the cyclic motion is possible.
From the stillness, we discover the body is not subject only to habitual conditions but seeks another way to re-connect to a much wider radiance, a pool of inherent health beyond pathology.
What opens up in the pure moment of the present moment, over and over and over is un-affected, un-adulterated potential.
The pure potential that is neither clouded by future fantasy, or colored by the recent or distant past, is ever available. This pure potential is constantly underpinning our distracted mind-state. In most of our experience we are reacting to the world around us automatically and in this automation we are plagued by a convergence of both our past and our future. We rarely reside purely in a moment and experience this moment’s pure potential, simply engaging with how it is.
The beauty of clear, receptive experience is that it offers; clarity and space, an opening into perceptive potential. Understood and experienced in this way each moment is new and we are afresh in every moment, we have the potential to continually become and not be subject to the condition of who we have been and who we project ourselves to be.
We then, are not static but utterly potent and capable of renewal in each and every moment. There is pure, clear, alive, fresh and exciting potential within this creative engagement, this is mindfulness, a slowing down and a being aware of and responding to, what is actually arising in the here and now. This is discernment, choosing to experience the present moment in pure piercing awareness. This is momentary freedom from conditionality. This is actuality.
Can forgive the past
It starts singing.
When the violin can stop worrying
About the future
You will become
Such a drunk laughing nuisance
Will then lean down
And start combing you into
When the violin can forgive
Every wound caused by
The heart starts
Poem From ‘The Gift’, By Hafiz
The absolute truth cannot be realized within the domain of the ordinary mind. And the path beyond the ordinary mind, all the great wisdom traditions have told us, is through the heart.
May 10th, ‘Glimpse after Glimpse’ extracts from the Tibetan book of Living and Dying
An extract from ‘Embodying Your Realization, Psychological Work in the Service of Spiritual Development’, by John Welwood.
Indeed, expressing absolute true nature in a thoroughly personal, human form may be one of the most important evolutionary potentials of the cross fertilization of East and West, of contemplative and psychological understanding. Bringing these two approaches into closer dialogue may help us discover how to transform our personality in a more complete way- developing it into an instrument of higher purposes- thus redeeming the whole personal realm, instead of just seeking liberation from it.
These two convergent streams would then recognize each other as two vitally important limbs of an evolving humanity that is still moving toward realizing it’s potential as:
-the being that can open, and know itself as belonging to the universal mystery and presence that surrounds and inhabits all things, and
-the being that can embody that larger openness as human presence in the world, through it’s capacity to manifest all the deeper resources implicit in it’s nature, thus serving as a crucial link between heaven and earth, form and emptiness.