Resting as Consciousness with the mandala wisdom as our guide, everything falls into place at last.
I hope you enjoy my articles. The various inter-related categories are described below, and my individual work with clients is described below that. Hover your mouse pointer over the categories in the top menu above to reveal the drop-down sub-menus, and to see listings of the articles in date order.
The “Meditation Guidance’ series of articles were my main focus in 2017 and 2018. My approach to meditation and mindfulness draws on the spiritual psychology of non-duality; on the mandala-wisdom of Buddhism and other ancient traditions, which was explained so beautifully by Carl Jung; and on the meeting of Quantum Physics / Quantum Biology with Neuroscience in the brilliant Penrose-Hameroff hypothesis in regard to the nature of the brain-Consciousness interface – a hypothesis that is steadily accumulating experimental support.
Although this series aims to bring fresh insights to several common approaches to meditation (the Mindfulness of Breathing, Mettā Bhavana, and the Zen ‘Just Sitting’ practice for example), the framework for the Mandala of Love approach to meditation, and for the blog post series also, is initially provided by the four brahmavihāras – a four-fold meditation-cycle and self-enquiry framework from ancient India, that was taught by the Buddha. Central to my approach is the conceptualisation of meditation practice as ‘resting as Consciousness’.
By re-framing meditation and mindfulness as ‘resting as Consciousness’, there is an opportunity to set them in a non-dual context that is much more true to the Buddha’s teaching. The Buddha bore witness to the impersonal nature of all mental phenomena, and to the non-locatable nature of Consciousness, and urged his students to take this insight as the foundation of their practice. When we step out of the egoic perspective, we re-discover meditation to as a non-activity whose purpose is to reveal our true nature and recover our natural state – and by that I mean the compassion and intelligence of our natural humanity, which is normally obscured by egoic mental activity.
Please scroll down to see the most recent articles in this series. If you have enjoyed the ‘Meditation Guidance’ posts and would like to read an additional short series of in-depth articles that take a broader view, please click here. I have been calling these additional articles the ‘Overview’ series.
Five Wisdoms Mandala – Articles on Buddhism
Since the beginning of 2019, I have been aiming to provide some in-depth analysis on the Five Wisdoms; the Emptiness of the Five Skandhas’; and the Four Foundations of Mindfulness – and have created a new menu category for them called ‘Buddhism’. As an experiment, I have created a Facebook Group, which may be able to to function as a venue for discussion in association with this new series of articles. To access the group click here, or click the image above.
I have been a passionate student of Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC) model for about twenty years, and have taught several courses during that time, based on NVC, and on the work of Eugene Gendlin, the originator of the ‘Focusing’ self-empathy practice. I have also developed an innovative approach to the NVC model, which I call the NVC Mandala, and which sees the ‘four components’ of Rosenberg’s model as a beautiful example of the mandala wisdom that we find in Tibetan Buddhism, and in the psychology of Carl Jung.
The ‘NVC Mandala’ that becomes clear when the ‘four components’ model is arranged with Observations and Feelings at east and west, and Needs and Requests at north and south, is all the more remarkable for the fact that Marshall Rosenberg developed his model without any knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism or the work of Carl Jung. The obvious connections between the non-dual psychology of the Tibetan Buddhist mandala and the practical psychological analysis of thought and language that is provided by Marshall Rosenberg, provide the basis for an extremely rich synthesis of ideas. The posts in the ‘NVC’ series will be of great interest to anyone with an interest in psychology; spirituality; harmony and compassion in relationships and community; and to anyone who is interested in the Nonviolent Communication approach to communication and self-awareness.
You can access the first post in the ‘Communication and Relationships’ series by clicking here.
The Mandala of Love website started as a book project called A Mandala of Love: Consciousness, Ethics and Society, which is ongoing. I have published some of the sections of that book in the form of blog posts in the ‘Book Sections’ series and will continue to do this in the future.
You can access the first post in the ‘Book Sections’ series by clicking here.
This is a longer piece of writing from 2012, that I have recently published as a page on this website. To access it click here. I am hoping that it will provide inspiration and guidance to students of both meditation and non-duality. I find the story of Hui Neng to be one of the most beautiful and illuminating in the whole of the Buddhist tradition. Among the many deep themes in this rich and multi-dimensional story, you will find, I believe, the essence of Zen.
Those who have been reading my articles on the mandala-wisdom in the ‘Meditation Guidance’ category on this website, will find that it also brings us back, in a fresh new way, to our entry point into the mandala: the blue Eastern Quadrant; the Mirror-Like Wisdom; and the brahmavihāra of Equanimity.
I can provide individual meditation guidance and coaching sessions. My Mandala Innerwork approach to coaching is a form of self-enquiry that students of meditation find very supportive. These sessions are also especially valuable to students of the ‘Nonviolent Communication‘ model, since these sessions focus on the development of the attitudes and skills of self-empathy, which is foundational to that model. I am particularly keen to work with those who are interested in the Mandala of Love approach to self-enquiry, meditation, and self-empathetic innerwork, and who would value my support to apply the principles that I have been exploring in my blog posts.
My approach to innerwork draws on various sources of inspiration, but makes extensive use of the work of Eugene Gendlin, and his student Anne Weiser-Cornell. I have also completed the 9-month online training of Jerry Donoghue, an NVC teacher who is based in Ashville, North Carolina, in the USA (www.innerpresencecoaching.com), who is also engaged with integrating NVC with Non-Dual wisdom.
Jerry Donghue and I also share the conviction that the practice of self-empathy, which is a foundational element of the NVC model, requires the acknowledgement of psychological parts – a theme I have addressed frequently in my ‘Meditation Guidance’ articles (including here, here, here, and here). Indeed the self-empathy / self-enquiry approach that I have come to call Mandala Innerwork is founded on my observation, over several decades of my own innerwork practice, that the ability to self-empathetically recognise and work with psychological parts is an absolutely essential self-awareness skill, and a necessary skill if we wish to become more conscious; to recover an authentic self; and to integrate non-dual wisdom.
In the context of my individual coaching sessions, I like to integrate my meditation and self-enquiry work with my facilitation of self-empathetic innerwork. Both skills take the idea of resting a Consciousness as their starting point. Indeed my coaching work might better by characterised as a form of self-enquiry facilitation. The depth of that enquiry depends on the choice of my clients, but my own personal framework is rooted in a non-dual approach to psychology.
For more information on Mandala Innerwork, Inner Presence Coaching, one-to-one Meditation Teaching, and facilitated self-enqury please click here.
I welcome enquiries. Please contact me via the Contact Form here.