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Background

Loss of Self in the Modern World

Living in today’s world is challenging. Starting at birth and continuing throughout childhood we develop a social mask — an image of how we want others to see us. Many forces play a role in influencing our lives — creating a complex environment in which we learn how to present ourselves. Over time we lose touch with our essential qualities.

In our adult years we are faced with constant distractions, external demands, and pressure to conform to society’s standards. This way of living takes its toll: stress, anxiety, depression, health problems. Life becomes mechanical, monotonous, dull, empty. Resignation sets in or we are driven to distraction by a compulsive quest for self-improvement. Either way we become disillusioned, go numb, and get disconnected from our natural self-expression.

Pain and Suffering

Pain is a part of life. There’s no escaping the loss of self and the pain of the world. As difficult as these experiences are, they present us with an opportunity to heal a part of ourselves, a chance to become more fully human. But first we must consciously enter into our pain, enter into our lives. The path to personal freedom is not about rising above or transcending our pain, but moving through it. By becoming directly present to each experience and each moment an initiation into life occurs. By failing to embrace life in the moment, especially our pain and emptiness, we suffer more and become disengaged from life itself.

The Role of Helper

Oftentimes, there are people along one’s path of transformation who profoundly affect the way the person relates to their pain and emptiness. He or she is a catalyst for change, a mirror for deeper self-reflection, a mid-wife of consciousness. A Helper assists the afflicted in uncovering and actualizing their buried potentials. It is the beginning of opening up to our true selves, our fundamental nature. A Helper views symptoms, whether physical or emotional, as a wake-up call — an invitation to look deeper. The task of the Helper is not to fix. The task is to cooperate with the natural movement toward authenticity in the person.

My Approach

Liberation Through Living

My practice is devoted to helping people move through their pain, uncover and actualize buried potentials, and achieve a more integrated, engaged, and conscious life. Each counseling session is focused on helping the person cultivate discriminating awareness, skillful action, and authenticity. My approach is practical, experiential, and built around a very straightforward form of inquiry into present moment experience.

The foundation of my practice is based on the following premises:

• Life is an unfolding spiral rather than a straight line. We return to the same issues and themes throughout life, yet at different stages of the journey.

• Life’s pain and hardship present opportunities to become more conscious and evolve on many levels.

• Symptoms, whether physical or emotional, are messages that change is needed.

• Health is not merely the absence of bodily or emotional symptoms, it is a dynamic state of well-being that requires conscious attention to all areas of our life.

• Individual psychological development unfolds in relationship to the greater world.

• Individuation is a natural process that occurs spontaneously and unconsciously. If we become aware of the process it can be made conscious and helped along.

• Systems, philosophies, beliefs are all static; life is dynamic. We do not need more instructions on how to live.

• Every human being has a basic nature of goodness.

• Unless we discover the ground of goodness in our own lives, we cannot hope to improve the lives of others.

• There is a natural order and harmony to this world, which we can discover.

• Before we can address the larger issues of the world, each individual needs to discover what they inherently have to offer the world.

• Reaching a higher level of personal freedom and well-being is a challenging undertaking but is attainable by everyone.