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Special thanks to Jane Johnston for the cover art, a ritual Mandala entitled “Surrender.” Jane writes:
Jung observed mandalas, or sacred circles, depicted in art worldwide are representations of the self, and that drawing these circles assist in the containment and integration of life events.
Engaging in a deep inquiry requires a large container, and a year long meditation of painting a sacred mandala while holding a particular question is challenging, surprising, healing, truthful, connective and transformational. This form of self inquiry disrupts binaries, deepens self-awareness, and knowledge of the relationships between all things is gained allowing for a more realized wholeness.
The mandala is structured in such as way as to allow the painter access into progressively deeper levels of awareness, consciously moving through personal obstacles/defences. Both the inner and the outer world is engaged... (click title for more
The French writer Albert Camus wrote, "A man's life is nothing but a slow trek to rediscover through the detours…those one or two images in whose presence his heart first opened.” The poet Stanley Kunitz believed that writers have key images that captivated them as children, and they keep working these images over and over again in their writings. The mythologist Michael Meade says that at the core of each of our lives is an image that first “moved us” into the world. And Walt Whitman poetically wrote, “There was a child went forth, and the first thing he looked upon, that object he became.”
This place is a dream, only a sleeper considers it real
then death comes like dawn and you wake up laughing
at what you thought was your grief
A man goes to sleep in the town where he has always lived
and he dreams he's living in another town
in the dream he doesn't remember the town he's sleeping in his bed in
he believes the reality of the dream town
the world... (See the rest of the poem by Rumi by clicking the title)
When I tell people that I am a poet and poetry teacher with a depth psychological perspective, someone inevitably asks, “Did you say depth? What is depth psychology?” Without getting into a lengthy academic discussion about the theories of Freud, Jung, and Hillman, this isn’t an easy question to answer.
Yet, like everyone who practices in this rewarding field, I try, usually by offering the following: “Depth psychology is the study of the unconscious, the world of dreams, archetypes, complexes, and imagination that exists below the surface of our lives, and which informs and influences our surface experiences.
Through my work over the last two years as a teacher and facilitator of poetry discussion groups, however, I’ve come to understand that depth psychology isn’t only about depth--the mostly unseen and mysterious realms of psyche. Rather, depth psychological... (click title to continue reading)