Burn the Barn

The Zen Poet Masahide writes:

The barn’s burnt down. . .
Now I can see the moon.

Spirituality is the deep human longing to move the transcendent into the immanent through experience and reflection. This lecture/workshop will consider the illusions the ego builds as defenses against life’s inevitable anxiety and pain. These illusions may keep us from seeing the transcendent truth, thus leaving us dis-illusioned. What are the barns we build that keep us from seeing the moon?

The Hero Journey

In honor of Joseph Campbell’s centenary, we will focus on what he called the monomyth. The three-fold process of 1) departure, 2) initiation, and 3) return, are the essentials of the journey. One can see this formula in all myth and sacred story. Can one see this process in one’s own story? This workshop will help make us conscious of how individuation follows this formula, in some form, for each of us.

Bedazzled Charisma and Its Ways

Falling under the charm or power of someone’s charisma has happened to all of us some time in our lives. Whether that someone was a teacher, a guru, a passionate lover or Princess Diana, charismatic individuals have the power to provoke unpredictable and extraordinary emotions in us.They can even change the course of our lives, for better or for worse.

Charisma is not just a characteristic of the famous or the powerful. Many ‘normal’ people have charismatic traits but few know how to own these qualities consciously.There’s always the temptation to either refuse one’s charisma and hide one’s light under a bushel, or to abuse it without regard for the consequences.

In our modern world, charisma is getting more and more attention, often replacing other kinds of authority and leadership. How then to recognize it, understand it and even use it for the benefit of all?

Bedazzled Charisma and Its Ways

With the help of some practical exercises and in depth discussion we will explore how the charisma of certain individuals has changed our own lives, and what this change means, as well as, how we can recognize and use our own charisma in a way that is both responsible and inspiring.

The Wedding of Sophia

Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom, is the moving force behind alchemy and the feminine aspect of the Philosopher’s Stone. Dr. Raff presents Sophia as a living being still present in the world today, but repressed and ignored. Only by learning to engage the world of the imagination can we find a way to bring Sophia back into our world. Through an understanding of alchemical symbolism it is possible to learn more about Sophia, the imaginal realm, and the feminine principle.

Riding the Untamed Dragon: A Workshop on Active Imagination

Active Imagination is the technique, first described by C.G.Jung, through which we enter the imaginal realm. Used properly, active imagination creates a union between the ego and the unconscious, enriches the individuation process and empowers one’s inner voice. It is the means by which the inner world becomes real. Dr. Raff has developed a series of exercises that allows beginners, as well as those more advanced in inner work, to engage in active imagination. This workshop is primarily experiential with some discussion of theory where required. The goal of the workshop is to increase the ability of participants to perform active imagination on their own.

Divining Divinities: Reflections on the gods

Archetypal psychology employs the metaphor of “the gods” to refer to the primal, archaic energies which course through the cosmos, through nature, and through ourselves.Who or what are “the gods,” and where are they observed in the conduct of daily life? Why does this matter to us?

Your Personal Myth

A myth is an energy charged force field with an implicit narrative and a predictive scenario in which we move, and which moves us, whether we are conscious of its presence and effects or not. What are the outlines of your personal myth?

This workshop will use journaling to respond to a series of questions and exercises designed to lift this force field into greater consciousness.Without consciousness, no real choices are possible.

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