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The Psychology of Awakening
Deep within the human spirit, now largely severed from its ancient moorings, there is a new search unfolding- for a larger vision of the human journey that includes all the different sides of our nature. The traditional spiritual cultures of the East have focused on the timeless, suprapersonal ground of being - the "heaven" side of human nature - while Western psychology has studied the earthly half- the personal and the interpersonal. At this time in history, we need a new vision that embraces all three domains of human existence -the suprapersonal, the personal, and the interpersonal- which no single tradition, East or West, has ever fully addressed within a single framework of understanding and practice.

The psychology of awakening is an approach that bridges two previously separate domains: individual and interpersonal psychology, as studied in the West, and the path of awakening, as articulated by the meditative traditions of the East.

All psychological problems are at root spiritual issues- symptoms of disconnection from our deeper nature. Conventional psychotherapy rarely addresses this disconnect from our being that is at the root of all emotional distress. Spiritual practices, on the other hand, often bypass, and thus fail to transform, the conditioned patterns and unconscious identities that arise from our personal history. Yet when we bring psychological and spiritual work together, then each approach can complement and enhance the other, creating a new synergy that increases the growth potentials in each. We then find that every emotional issue or difficulty provides its own kind of spiritual opportunity. It shows us where we are cut off from ourselves, and thus becomes an entry-point for developing and embodying deeper, hidden resources. Thus awakening needs psychology just as much as psychology needs awakening.

John'a approach emphasizes integrated practice in four domains- meditation for the suprapersonal dimension, psychological work for the personal, conscious relationship practice for the interpersonal, and sensory awareness for the somatic, which allows us to embody the other dimensions of growth more fully. All of these practices work together and enhance one another.

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