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Spiritual Counselling

Dedicated yoga practice is profoundly transformative, yet life can present--for so many reasons—what feels like an insurmountable barrier. Spiritual counselling can help you rediscover--or maybe discover for the first time--that joy which is your birthright.

The counselling I offer has much in common with other forms of counselling. It differs, however, in its fundamental orientation. Coming from the traditions of Yoga, Vedanta and Buddhism, my view of the self-concept would differ considerably from that of most Western-trained counsellors. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali presents a depth psychology and an analysis of the mind, which when grasped experientially, can be liberating in the profoundest possible way. The Buddhist texts are remarkably similar to the Yoga Sutras. Informed by this vision, my work involves facilitating--in whatever way is most appropriate to you--that experiential understanding. (If these ideas intrigue you, read more about Patanjali’s Conception of the Mind.)

The process involves tools familiar to Western psychotherapy. I provide a safe, supportive and absolutely confidential space for you to explore troubling issues. Mirroring, role playing, art therapy, body/energy work, mindfulness training are all methods we might use.

Emotional disturbances of a life-crippling intensity may be the reason you come to counselling. Suffering can arise from many sources--grief, relationship break-down, work problems, confusion, anxiety, depression, guilt, stress, addiction, insecurity. No one is immune. Together we look deeply into this reality—with eyes of compassion and insight. The discoveries you make through spiritual counselling can help you reach through to the other shore—finding a way to live a noble and enlightened life in the real world, which contains by its very nature both grievous affliction and joyful blessings. Spiritual counselling offers fresh ways of understanding, as well as the opportunity to explore behavioural shifts you can make for positive change, change leading towards inner peace and greater harmony in the flow of life.

Suffering has a noble place in the tradition of spiritual discipline. Sometimes referred to as the “Dark Night of the Soul”, sometimes deliberately cultivated as an Initiation Rite, darkness, suffering, pain or dryness (or some combination thereof) usually characterises a certain period in the life of great spiritual adepts. Painful as the process may be, the ultimate understanding comes more deeply as radiant vision emerges from the depths of despair. Spiritual counselling reaches towards that vision of radiance, towards the light of awareness unbound by the limitations of ego identity. The ultimate goal of spiritual counselling is thus the same as yoga, transformation well beyond the scope of most other approaches.

So spiritual counselling is not something reserved for those in crisis. Any spiritual seeker who would like to probe more deeply into issues of identity, life purpose, and spiritual practice can benefit from spiritual counselling. “Who Am I?” was the tool employed by Ramana Maharshi, great sage of Advaita Vedanta and spiritual guru of Ramesh Balsekar. If you seek guidance in using that question as a tool for self-discovery, then perhaps you should consider some spiritual counselling sessions?

Though I have training and experience in Buddhist psychotherapy, Shamanic counselling and yoga psychology, my approach is a unique, eclectic blend, always adapted to the specific needs of the client. Sessions are roughly an hour in length, usually once a week. In most cases, a course of sessions is most beneficial. But sometimes one session is all someone requires. Spiritual counselling honours and facilitates your own independent process.

These sessions provide:

  • A safe place for you to probe deeply into difficult situations or feelings and discover new ways of seeing.
  • Tools you can use to understand patterns of attraction, aversion and delusion, which keep your life bound in limitation.
  • Techniques for the integration of body, mind and spirit.
  • An opportunity for you to revision your ethical framework, which in itself is a therapeutic process.
  • A positive but challenging mirror through which you can explore the fiction of a fixed self and the reality of impermanence, moving from ego-attachment to deep, unbounded awareness.
  • The potential for radical transformation, which can be either sudden or gradual.

 



Meditation for the Month:

"Thoughts come and go.
Feelings come and go.
Find out what it is that remains."
Ramana Maharshi

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My Hymn to Surya: 
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