i n t e g r a l c o u n s e l i n g i n s t i t u t e
February 2005 Book Review and Quotes Archive
The Sacred Mirror
This collection of essays adds to the body of writing that attempts to integrate Eastern philosophies and Western psychologies,
addressing the specific impact of nondual experiences on the psychotherapeutic relationship. Nondual wisdom is defined here
as ³the direct experience of a fundamental consciousness that underlies the apparent distinction between perceiver and perceived².
Sacred Mirroring is multidimensional and practiced by therapists who are ³awakening ³ to the notion that they are not limited to
their ego identifications or their roles as therapist.
by the misperception that we are separate selves. In terms of the therapy relationship, many of the authors discussed the practice
of being present (or Present as they often emphasized). One author describes the process of our day-to-day experience of duality
as arising from the basic nature of our minds and bodies in space-time, ³the unified field of Awareness is split by the mind into
separate subject and object². The act of ³being with² the client is to be attuned and enhancing the quality of the present moment.
The therapist ³simultaneously identifies and disidentifies with the client¹s experience. The capacity to identify is love, to disidentify
of Yoga Nidra in psychotherapy, deconstruction of the self and of course the natural interface of Jungian analysis with a nondual
meditation and transpersonal awareness. The client and therapist create a² resonant field² where the therapist experiences the
resistance, suffering and essence of the client as
their own, because of course they are not separate!
versus vertical work). But a therapist Œs own practice of meditation inquiry and awareness of nonduality infuses even more
traditional psychotherapy with expanded possibilities for our client¹s to tolerate and be present with all that is experienced. We
become more able to hold what our clients bring to us from the embodied, relational samsaric self. In identifying an emerging
spiritual evolutionary task, one of the essayists, John Welwood noted, ³We have not yet learned to fully stand in our humanness
while also being able to step beyond it, to be true persons, with one foot in the absolute and the other foot planted in the
transformative process of interpersonal relationship.²
February 2005 Weekly Quotes
"Nondual wisdom refers to the understanding and direct experience of a fundamental consciousness that underlies the
apparent distinction between perceiver and perceived. From the nondual perspective, the split between self and other
is a mental construct. This understanding, rooted in the direct experience of countless sages through millennia, is
at the heart of Hindu Vedanta, most schools of Buddhism, and Taoism, and mystical Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
Nonduality is a particularly elegant and clear formulation, since it describes reality in terms of what it is not (unsplit,
undivided) rather than what it is. It has the added advantage of being nonsectarian, unhinged to any particular religious
or psychospiritual tradition, yet adaptable to many. It is a word that points to that which is before and beyond the
projections of a separate, self-reflexive mind. What is pointed to can never be adequately conceptualized. It can only
be lived in the timeless now"
John Pendergast, from "The Sacred Mirror".
"It may be helpful to think of psychotherapy, and all of life for that matter, as having a horizontal and vertical dimension.
The horizontal refers to the realm of form, the evolution of phenomenal life in time and space. The vertical refers to that
which is formless and exists outside of time and space. Psychology, like all disciplines, evolves on the horizontal
plane as new information about the development and functioning of the human body/mind is discovered and synthesized,
leading to new schools of thought. While the concept of nondual awareness has already been incorporated horizontally
into Transpersonal and Integral, it's main effect occurs vertically as practitioners deepen in their intimacy with their true
John Pendergast, from "The Sacred Mirror".
"The not-doing that I have been-doing has been disatisfying like feeling put-upon by baking a pie instead of oneness
with the pie."
"When we ask what makes a happy and meaningful life, one problem that can arise is the tendency to respond with an
answer that doesn’t really come from the heart. At such times the conscious mind has one answer and the unconscious
has another, so we become conflicted. An easy way to tell if you suffer from such an inner conflict is to see how well your
daily activities match up with your beliefs. If you say that family is important but somehow don’t find much quality
time with yours each week; if you say that spirituality is important but spend only a few hours a week actively engages
in spiritual practice; if you say that helping others is important but you can’t think easily of recent examples of your doing
so, then there’s probably a significant gap between the beliefs you hold consciously and the unconscious ones that are
running your life."
Lorne Ladner, Ph.D., The Lost Art of Compassion