Courses News: Tariki Trust. May 2012
Late May is a time when, whilst some are thinking of holidays and strawberry teas, at Tariki we are starting to look forward to the future. As the sun streams in through my attic window, I am engaged in numerous conversations about the course programmes for the coming year and answering emails about our centre in France. This spring has been a time of consolidating our work at Tariki and of interesting conversations about new possibilities. I am therefore writing to you to share some of these ideas and to encourage you to get involved.
The Buddhist house is very much the centre of the Tariki world and the community here is developing its potential in various ways. This weekend Aramati is leading an introductory retreat which is being attended by members of the Tuesday evening meditation group (I am relegated to the kitchen as chief cook for the occasion!) Meantime, Bob is writing material to introduce our new counselling service on our web site. Last week we hosted the summer psychotherapy course block. Next week I will be attending a conference in Thailand. In between times the garden is at its best and we are enjoying eating, chanting and meditating in the open air.
I hope you find this newsletter interesting and useful. Do keep in touch through the tariki ning site or email, or better still come and see us.
Our recent course block was the last formal training of the academic year. It was a particularly rich event, starting off with a weekend using a dream matrix, led by Michael Whan, a Jungian analyst. I particularly enjoyed this as I got to join in! The dream weekend was followed by a four day group which used alternating sessions journaling and groupwork to explore personal themes. On Friday we generally have a day seminar and this block it looked at therapy in the global context, and how the profession both creates and responds to social phenomena. Finally Elise and I ran a weekend of urban ecotherapy, which despite cold English weather, proved that one does not need to be in the depths of the country to find natural healing environments.
This variety is very typical of the course which draws together the psychological and the spiritual, the inner process and the outer context, the personal journey and the study of method. Therapy is not something apart from life, but is a dialogue with it.
We have been pleased to award a number of certificates to students as we have had a lot of graduates recently. Since February we have issued the following certificates.
Diploma: Bodhakari & Fiona Robyn.
Advanced Certificate: Ray Brown, Helen Hinde, Gerald Beeck & Caroline Screen,
Foundation Certificate: Gina Howard, Aramati Heine, Archan James & Ian Finlay.
Post qualifying: Ann Rapstoff
Congratulations to everyone and good wishes for your continuing learning whether with us or elsewhere.
TRAINING AS A PRACTICE
Training in therapy is about giving attention to the subtleties of human process, both in our clients and in ourselves. As such it is rather like a kind of meditation or mindfulness training. As we train, we look at our attachment to being certain ways and try to be more honest about who and what we are. Carl Rogers, the well known American psychologist saw the therapist’s task as being to develop three core conditions: empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard (UPR). Empathy is about learning to see things as if through another’s eyes. In other words this is non-attachment to views. Congruence is about honesty and transparency. UPR is about letting go of judgement, which naturally follows when we recognise our own fallibility and bombu nature (to use a Pureland concept). Thus becoming a therapist is a process of conscious growth in which one cannot avoid facing one’s personal demons in the process of learning how to help others. One learns to befriend them as guides and thus to listen better to those with whom one works. In training we start to see the patterns of response to dukkha (affliction) in ourselves more dispassionately and to learn and grow by not diverting ourselves, but rather harnessing their energy. (You can see a parallel to this in the Sutta on Fear and Dread http://tarikitrust.ning.com/group/majjhima-nikaya-commentaries/foru...)
NEW DEVELOPMENTS ON THE COURSE
This month I have been meeting with the new staff team. I am delighted to welcome a number of new members onto the teaching team. This parallels developments in the Distance Learning programme and new tutoring arrangements. In all, five new staff have joined the existing team. Some will be teaching on course blocks and others contributing in other ways. Staff profiles will shortly be added to the web site at www.buddhistpsychology.info. The expanded team will consist of myself as full time course leader with contributions from Michael Whan, Mike Fitter, Elise Tate, Linda Hewines, Lisa Urbanic, Liz Igoe and Jeff Harrison. Other people may be invited to make occasional contributions. Our external moderator remains Annie Waldsax.
The Buddhist psychology distance learning programme is undergoing a major revision this year. Whilst the programme may still be taken as a two year sequence, we are introducing flexibility to allow those registered on the main attendance programme to make some choices about which units they take. For people who do not register as students there will be an option to take individual modules or learning units without signing up for the full programme. We plan to expand the range of distance learning units so that people can take them on an ongoing basis and study different aspects of Buddhist psychology, therapy theory and personal growth. For more details see http://buddhistpsychology.typepad.com/buddhist_psychology/buddhist-... Applications for October 2012 should be made by September 2012.
The recent Ten Directions course block took place at Amida France last month. We had a lovely week, working in the woods and fields of the centre. It was good to return after the winter and explore the spaces which we used in the spring. The rich environment gives opportunities for the different dimensions of the work to emerge. The ten directions model is grounded in the first two dimensions: embodied presence (1) and sacred space (2). By consciously grounding ourselves and bringing respectful attention to the places in which we work, we experience and offer holding for the therapeutic work. Within this container, the other-centred principles (triangular relationship (3) and object related mind (4)) help us to navigate a variety of methodologies exploring both the conditioned aspects of personal story (5) and collective myth (6), and the other-focused aspects of encounter (7) and creativity (8). The final dimensions are vibrancy (9), our energetic presence, and embedded living (10), our lifestyle choices. You can read more about the model on the web site at http://buddhistpsychology.typepad.com/amida_france/ten-directions.html. The next Ten Directions block will take place in France in August.
BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY SUMMER SCHOOL
If you would like to combine learning about Buddhist psychology with time in the sun, what better could you do than attend our Buddhist psychology summer school in France this summer. http://buddhistpsychology.typepad.com/amida_france/buddhist-psychol... This year the teaching will focus on the skandhas. The five aggregates can be seen to describe a cycle by which we attach to ‘objects’, thus building identity. Each of the five, Rupa, vedana, samjna, samskara and vijnana, represent a stage in this process, and each gives opportunities for exploration and therapeutic work. This summer school will include theory and experiential sessions and makes a good introduction. This course carries credits for the psychotherapy training programme.
Other events in France can be found at http://buddhistpsychology.typepad.com/amida_france/amida-france-eve...
June 23 is the date for the next therapist’s forum. These bi-monthly gatherings have proved a popular and significant meeting point for all those interested in the inter-face between Buddhism and psychotherapy. Our previous meetings have been particularly rich. Practitioners, some trained on our programme, others from elsewhere, discuss their work and raise dilemmas and theoretical questions for shared debate. The forum is followed by a retreat day on the Sunday. I will be leading the retreat day on 24th, offering a day of practice outdoors to explore our relationship to the natural world. (For those who enjoy this retreat there are five more days of retreat in nature in France in early July http://buddhistpsychology.typepad.com/amida_france/sacred-space-ret...)
The second weekend of training for hospital chaplains will take place at The Buddhist House June 9-10. Anyone interested in getting involved in hospital chaplaincy should contact me if they want to join us. Hospital chaplaincy is gradually moving towards a system of multifaith endorsement and this training is run in conjunction with the Buddhist Healthcare Chaplaincy Group which is leading this process for the Buddhist community.
COUNSELLING SERVICE & STUDENT PLACEMENTS
A new initiative taking place at The Buddhist House is the establishment of a new counseling service. Offering both full and low cost counseling, we hope to both provide a local service and offer placements to students who want to work in an other-centred or Buddhist model. It will also be possible to do therapy intensives, staying at the house and having daily therapy sessions. If you are looking for counseling or psychotherapy please contact us. http://buddhistpsychology.typepad.com/tariki/tariki-counselling-psy...
June 24th 10.00-4.00 Narbrough ‘Retreat in Nature’.
July 1st 10.00-4.00 Narborough ‘Introduction to Pureland Retreat’
July 2nd -6th Residential France ‘Sacred Space’ retreat.
Please book for retreats in advance. For more information on any of our events please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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