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