This experience, held at both the New Age Center and at the Point of Infinity Retreat Center, consists of:
AWARENESS CIRCLES facilitated by Ken “Socrates” Pollinger, Ph.D.
-Required reading: Awareness, by Anthony DeMello; Awareness by Osho.
-Learning the Gestalt Perspective (not therapy)
-Applying/EXPERIENCING this perspective (through exercises/experiments)
-Dreamwork, a la Gestalt
SEE the Gestalt Perspective below in A Very Personal Letter
IMPORTANT NOTE: In the near future new Awareness Circles and Awareness Retreats will be forming both in Nyack, NY, and at the Point of Infinity Retreat Center in the Catskills. Please here periodically for updates on all this.
Individual and/or Group Weekends
Info to be determined and published in the near future
In the last few months something quite extraordinary has happened to me which has been so meaningful that I MUST share it with you: I FELL IN LOVE AGAIN!
First, a little background. After engineering college pursuits I entered the Roman Catholic seminary for a 15 year training program.
A two-year spiritual formation period involved a silent 30 day retreat along with cleansing my body, much “meditation,” much spiritual reading, etc. Then three years of Western philosophy and four years of Thomastic theology (in Mexico) enabled me to read and study the Western Traditions, a la the Catholic perspective–everything other than that was “unacceptable,”maybe even “heretical,” certainly not the TRUTH.
During that time a Doctorate in Sociology at Fordham University opened my mind to the “scientific method” and a different kind of search for the “facts, for truth,” even though “theories” seemed to prevail.
Two years of teaching at a school in Arequipa, Peru, exposed me to Latin American poverty and “liberation theology. Much questioning about many things arose–I finally decided to leave the seminary and not get ordained as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church.
Marriage and two children introduced me to the “real world,” creating much emotional conflict after the exceedingly intellectual Jesuit/scientific periods.
Fortunately, I managed to study yoga, dabbled with zen meditation and generally became somewhat acquainted with many Eastern Traditions, including American Indian spirituality. Also, of great significance, I became a Gestalt Therapy client to synthesize the intellectual/emotional aspects of myself–which led me to study/train as a Gestalt Psychotherapist.
In l981, the New Age Center was founded and provided the space for a multitude of different experiences of all the world’s spiritualities and practitioners, as well as the space for teaching many topics, especially meditation of all types. The old reading habits picked up again and I embarked on a very long period of intensive reading–which continues to this day! During this time BODYWORK was eagerly explored and led me deeper and deeper into my being. Meanwhile the last two years saw me especially pursue in-depth many, many books on the topic of “enlightenment.” I guess by now I’ve read hundreds if not thousands of books! (Retirement allows the time needed!)
To balance out these endeavors, building the Point of Infinity Retreat Center allowed other creative aspects of myself to emerge along with overcoming many challenges–and provided the impetus for writing some “spiritual poetry or aphorisms,” culminating in Confessions of an Ex-Jesuit, Vols 1,2 ,3, with 4th in the works.
But back to the beginning: something extraordinary happened to me recently!
I fell in love again. You know how it feels from your own experience(s). “To fall”–to dissolve into the beloved, to become “merged once again.” What joy! What beauty! What mystery! “So, WITH WHOM did you fall in love?” you ask.
Acturally it wasn’t a person but rather the TEACHINGS of a mystic.
For so much of my life I’ve been OVERLY “intellectual,” striving to gain more and more knowledge about EVERYTHING! Although it must be admitted that the Gestalt Perspective started a crucial shift from “intellectuality” to “experiential understanding,” the so-called wholistic “aha” experience. As a zen teacher once revealed to me: “My true teacher/guru is my DIRECT personal EXPERIENCE.”
As you may not know, Gestalt, stresses a certain attitude or consciousness based upon intuitive understanding, coupled with excitement and growth of the human personality and premised on organismic self-regulation. For example, the following concepts partially comprise the GESTALT PERSPECTIVE.
-observation (bare attention)
-explicating, not interpreting, dreams
-trust in spontaneity
-moving from environmental to self-support
–DIRECT experience, rather than talking ABOUT experience
-surrendering, letting go
-seeing the obvious
-avoid avoiding, ceasing to cover up experience
-pure awareness versus comparisons
-peeling the onion (layers) of personality,
to the innermost core
–meeting the impasse, the death layer
-from the sterile to the fertile void
–experience of nothingness, emptiness
-learn to follow the manifested energy
-awareness enhanced through suppression/exaggeration
-create experiments: help something REAL to happen
how, not why, not because
personalize impersonal statements
(substitute “I” for you/one/it;
use “and” in place of “but” etc.)
-sensitivity to the moment: perception of cues
-and so on
However, I digress. As you know, there are innumerable spiritual teachers, spiritual paths, spiritual techniques, spiritual schools (ashrams, institutes, organizations, etc). And many of them cost a small fortune over time (transcendental meditation is now $3,000; The Diamond approach could be $5,000/year, even Omega is for the “moneyed,” etc.) and frequently create a sort of authoritarianism (someone ABOVE you, someone more “enlightened,” etc.)
Well, as I said, “I fell in love.” And my excitement presently knows no bounds! So…tell us already!
I am in love with the TEACHINGS of Osho. What? That spiritually incorrect mystic? Yes, Yes, Yes! Why? What’s so different about his teachings?
Okay, I’ll try to explain.
you’ll see what I mean. Better than what I can say!
So . . . some favorable points.
-no religion established, no group joining necessary
-emphasis on experencies, experiments, awareness
Be Alert! Be Awake! Be Aware!
-self-discovery through WITNESSING, WATCHING
-innumerable suggested PRACTICES, and modifications
based on one’s unique orientation and needs
-incorporates much of the Gestalt Perspective,
summarized above (even though Osho doesn’t
refer to Gestalt, as far as I know)
-simple, clear, yet profound writings/examples
-the meditations in the Meditation book alone could be much
of the content of your retirement years–never bored, but if so,
–emphasizes UNlearning, silence, breathing, surrendering, being
more fully ALIVE
-incorporates zen, taoist, Gurdjieff, advaita and other insights
-intelligence (intuitive wisdon) over intellectual knowledge
-explores in-depth what “enlightenment,” “awakening,” is
(enhances DeMello’s Awareness)
-offers different meditations as the key to the prior point
-Finally, let’s see how long the “romantic period” lasts!!!!!!!!!!!
To give you a taste of the above, please see two of my recent aphorisms
based on Osho’s teaching:
The Witnessing Experience; and, the “This, I Am” Meditation, in Confessions of an Ex-Jesuit, under Page MORE, then Spiritual Poetry
Please download them and experiment with them for one month.
Thank you for allowing me to share all of the above with you.
Ken “Socrates” Pollinger
Osho Connections are in 70, yes 70, countries. Visit: www.Osho.com, and then click onto Osho Times, then Site Map, then scroll down to Osho Global Connections and finally scroll to LISTS VENUES.