Our path is the often surprising turn of events that occurs when our soul/deepest self determines that it’s time—time to deepen our preparation to engage our destiny pattern…to find out who and what we are and what is our service on the planet, whatever it is. Not that our entire life hasn’t been moving in this direction, but, if we say ‘Yes’ to The Call, these events set in motion an energetic shift and a focus.
Each of us has a back story that informs our lives and enumerates these often surprising events and decisions that propel us. In making a decision about whom you might choose to work with to do deeper psycho-spiritual /spiritual work, it can be helpful to know some of that, especially if you haven’t met the teacher. I also think it’s important to acknowledge one’s teachers, and this, too, informs others about the various influences in one’s life, and helps to see if you resonate with a person.
My Experiences along the Path
I’d completed my PhD in Counseling Psychology and had a pretty good grasp on the basic fundamentals in traditional psychology. I was a Licensed Psychologist (Psy5649) in California and a Counseling Psychologist in the Counseling Center at California State University, Long Beach, as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, and had spent 3 years as a research psychologist for Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department studying stress and law enforcement. Psychology was really finding itself, and the notions of depth work, consciousness, transformation were new, and definitely unknown to me.
In the late 1970’s I had two experiences unlike any I’d had before. My inner voice was very clear and specific about what I should do. Having a strong background in traditional Christianity, I knew the stories of people in the Bible being directed as to what they should do. So, while these events took me by surprise, they did not frighten me, and the clarity and specificity of the direction made the message very clear. On two different occasions I had the inner experience of a long finger coming out of the heaven pointing at the teacher with the instruction that I must study with these two individuals. I felt the truth of the message, even though it was a new experience. Within the next 5 or so years, I began my work with each of these people—work that was to span decades as I went deeper and deeper into my process. See below.
The work with Jean Houston has broadened my experience of the world, life, the inner world, the possible human, the mythic underpinnings of life, and the interconnectedness of everything. In addition, my travel with her to China, India, and Nepal during the 80’s opened up the world. Her broad view of life continues to inform me.
My work with Brugh Joy, over a thirty year span, initiated me into a life long journey of deepening into The Heart Center, taking me deeper into the Unconscious (and Carl Jung), energy work, intuitional development, as well as the process of doing this deeper work with individuals and with a group. I became comfortable opening to my deeper layers, as well as with the layers of clients who’ve sought me out.
The Anger Workshop
I also met a psychologist, Roger Daldrup, who had developed a process of working with old childhood uncompleted emotions, called The Anger Workshop, which I adapted and conducted eight to eleven times a year for about thirty years. It provided an on-going container to deeply understand personal woundings and how they‘ve affected us, as well as a process to express and release old emotional material that gets in our way in the present. It opened the ranges of emotion and feelings for me and participants in a deep, experiential way. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to have been present with so many people willing to be totally vulnerable to their feelings and emotions during these years as we worked through them.
The Heart Center
Brugh used to talk about a renovation of consciousness, not just painting over, laying new carpet, and buying new furniture, but a renovation, tearing down the walls and redoing the inner structure. That’s what happened to me through my work with these teachers and the countless experiences stemming from the work.
Brugh taught from the perspective of the mystical Heart Center, both thought of as the fourth chakra, as well as part of the subtle energy system. The primary attribute of the Heart Center is Unconditional Love, a non-personal, deeply feeling, transcendent experience which enables a person who opens to this realm to totally shift ‘where they come from’ and to more deeply engage their own soul-depths with ease. The mystical Heart Center is not about human love and relationship or romance. It’s a state of consciousness leading us to appreciate this deeper state of connection with The Mystery, and to open to the manifestation of this mystery of Beingness which is manifesting through us. I will do my best to use words which point the way to this experience, knowing that I will be mostly unsuccessful. At best, I might describe ‘a’ path, ‘a’ way of seeing things that might assist you to de-clutter your mind. It is a personal experience and a realization which you must experience for your self. Intellectual knowing is not enough. Read more: The Heart Center.
Brugh also brought forward dream work, opening to energy fields, group energy, and intuitional work. I learned to work with our inner world with a clarity of mind and an appreciation of the soul’s journey, as well as the relationship to the feminine dimensions of the mind and body, feeling, intuition, sexual and non-linear thinking, as well as the thinking, logical, linear, masculine, conceptual, scientific world.
I’ve learned to deeply appreciate the working of the mind (and ego.. .sometimes I use these interchangeably) and how they deal with life. As we become conscious of how the ego and mind work, and learn to subordinate the ego to the Self (Jung: the inner organizing principle of the Psyche) then we can have a partnership in our journey of awakening. When I first heard Brugh speak, he spoke of ‘using the mind to break through the mind’. Having never heard this before, I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew it was my path. I’ve also learned to deeply appreciate the Mystery in this journey, and how to gratefully engage these dynamics and wait for It to reveal Itself to me.
We all have woundings and confused experiences that the ego cannot handle. Through the shift in consciousness we can transform our relationship with all of our being, and deal with all our life experiences in a way that brings us to a place of inner peace, of spiritual maturity and understanding of our soul’s path. Learning to see through the eyes of the Heart Center gives us a clearer view of our woundings and fears, the ego’s dances, and how events and situations in life fit together, feed on each other, and assist us in our development. I’ll do my best to use words which point the way to this experience, knowing that I will be mostly unsuccessful. At best, I might describe ‘a’ path, ‘a’ way of seeing things that might assist you to de-clutter your mind, and help set the stage for deeper awakenings. It’s a personal experience and a realization you must experience for your self. Read more: The Heart Center. Read more: The Unconscious.
This, too, is the key to my own work.
Along with my own personal depth work which was the essential ingredient, I was deeply engaged in my private practice and finding ways to bring back what I was learning. In addition to traditional psychology, I began to do group work and conduct retreats. Everything in my life seemed to be there to give me greater opportunities for my own personal and professional development. All events/experiences in our lives have meaning and fit together to facilitate our development and to bring meaning. This is all revealed over time as we do our deeper work. Everything is connected: ‘the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone…. is connected to the knee bone… is connected to the leg bone…..’
The process continues. The path continues to unveil itself. And we are always a beginner.