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The Psyche and the Sacred

2010 March 6
by Peter

Peter Cole and Daisy Reese

October 2009

“Humanity, ill-nourished in the foods of the soul, suffers from Failure to Thrive Syndrome.”

Sufi teacher Gayan Macher

Our struggles, challenges, addictions, fears and patterns of behavior can constrict our range and narrow us until our lives become a shadow of what they might otherwise be.

But when we hold those very same struggles and challenges, fears and addictions and in a sacred space then the path begins to broaden out – and we experience a life that has more range, more self-hood more connection, more contact.

The group then is a place where we create sacred space for each other. Each component of the group is meant to facilitate this sacred space. Centering helps to bring us to ourselves and into initial contact with each other. Drumming brings us from the every-day reality into the sacred. It is the transitional experience.

The Group is where we move most fully into the present moment. Everything we have done up to that point is intended as a support for the work that happens here. Here – every person in the group and everything each group member feels – whether articulated or not – is an honored part of the here and now. In group, all feelings are allowed in the context of behavior that is responsible to each other. We strive to put feelings into words. We agree to be physically and emotionally respectful of each other, to create a safe place by being responsive and responsible even when we are having strong feelings toward other group members and the leaders.

As a group member, the most valuable things you can bring are your willingness to risk being seen and heard, to be vulnerable, to be honest, and to give others feedback around how you experience them. While the social norms of everyday life importantly serve to help make society function, we need broader norms for the group process. In group we seek norms that facilitate growth

To be Honest

To be Compassionate

To speak fully and

To listen fully

To be present in the moment

To risk with others

To hang in there with each other – even when the going gets rough

It has been said that the wound to the spiritual body is the illusion of aloneness. (Dick Olney) Group is a place where we may begin to heal that wound.

5 Responses leave one →
  1. Ronnie permalink
    June 7, 2011

    Ho Daisy and Peter, I just read your opening piece on your intention for the Psyche and the Sacred group. It is really lovely. The Dick Olney quote speaks directly to the heart of the matter. As does the intention so beautifully stated in the description of the group. I forget (consciously) that this is what the group is all about . I’m wondering whether there is some way to bring that in as the intention, the holder of the container, that we’re embarking on each day that we meet together in sacred space. I think Daisy that’s a peice of what you’ve often done when reading from one of the spiritual books. I wonder whether a short time of quiet meditation could also be held as we begin and end each day as a way of holding the temenos – the sacred space – of the group.

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