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The China Intensive at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco:  July 2017

After two years of participating on a planning committee for this event the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco welcomed 38 Chinese-speaking participants for twelve days of Analytical Psychology training.

Those who came were tremendously dedicated: attending classes day after day with only two days off.  They attended long presentations in the morning and afternoon, joined case consultations twice a day, and returned for clinically related movies and discussions in the evenings.  During breaks they had analysis and/or consultations.  The weather happened to be warm and they persisted despite lack of air condition. 

I taught a seminar on "Trauma, Childhood Adversity, and Active Imagination" and I was the analyst over seeing and responding to two case presentations.  With encouragement group members became lively and engaged in asking questions and adding their insights. 

Every lecture was translated into Mandarin and all questions and their answers needed translating.  Did I ever learn to appreciate the complexities and demands placed on translators!   

I provided analysis, sandtray work, and consultation for six of the twelve days.  Translators were frequently needed for these sessions as well.  Despite the differences in language and culture the depth of connection and work done by the participants was amazing.  I was deeply touched by the courage, honesty, and commitment of each individual with whom I had the honor to work.  I was sad to have the experience come to a close knowing that we live half way around the world from each other. 

2016 International Association of Analytical Psychology Conference Kyoto, Japan

What an exciting time!  I gave my first presentation at a world psychology conference entitled, "Don't Beat the Donkey: Embodied Memories and Tortured Souls."  I am relieved to say it was well received.

I had the privilege's of talking with individuals from India, the Soviet Union, China, Japan, and more.  It was great to meet up with colleagues I had not seen in a long time and to be part of a tradition that spans the globe.  During breaks I learned to make some simple origami items from an incredibly skilled and traditionally dressed Japanese woman.  She made it look so simple!  The conference site was huge and strikingly beautiful with its many gardens, walkways, and small lake.  

Kyoto was magical with its temples, canals, and gardens.  It was also hotter than I had ever anticipated with temperatures staying around 104-105.  Add rain showers on and off during the day and it was quite steamy.  The people were welcoming, city rail service easy to use, and the food exquisite.  

What to expect upon arrival:

 September 6th, 2015

Each evening that we meet we will have a time to write and to share.  On the first night the writing suggestions I will be making will help us get to know each other and also to have some fun.  Sometimes we will write for as little as a few minutes.  In these quick writes you say whatever comes into your awareness even if it does not make a lot of sense.  You are invited to be spontaneous and hopefully the fast pace will allow little room for any inner critic to cutoff your voice.   As I get to know those in the group and the character of the group I will fit the topics and the length of time we write to match.  If it fits us we might write for as much as ten to twenty minutes. These writes give a chance to take a breath and come home to yourself in a different way. Even if you have never thought yourself a good writer or skilled with words you can tell the truth of your experience.  No two of us are the same  and using your courage you can say what is uniquely and brilliantly your own.   After each time of writing those who wish to read or speak about what they have written will have the chance to do so.  All that the writer has spoken will be treated as fiction, as a story, unless we are told otherwise. Group members may respond with comments about what touched them and what stays with them.  Everything that is said will be positive and affirming.  September 23rd, 2015
At 6:30 pm please be in a seat as we will begin a time of quiet.  This very simple beginning ritual, I hope, will help each of us re-orient from our busy extraverted activities and galloping thoughts.  It can be a time to become acquainted with outer as well as interior space.   You might find it soothing to look around the room, with a gentle and respectful gaze, befriending where you are and those around you.  In addition, or instead of, you might close your eyes to calm and return to your soul’s hearth.  The silence can remove any pressure to make small talk and make it easier to hear what might be inaccessible otherwise.  Sometimes I have been spontaneously moved to draw in these moments.  Doing so helped me focus; I felt present, very alive, and years later I can still recall what I drew.  There is no right or wrong way to use this transition only what works for you at the time. 

If you can, I urge you to arrive five to fifteen minutes early.  This will allow you to get some tea and meet the friends you have yet to make.  


At 6:30 pm please be in a seat, as we will begin a time of quiet.  This very simple beginning ritual, I hope, will help each of us re-orient from our busy extraverted activities and galloping thoughts.  It can be a time to become acquainted with outer as well as interior space.   You might find it soothing to look around the room, with a gentle and respectful gaze, befriending where you are and those around you.  In addition, or instead of, you might close your eyes to calm and return to your soul’s hearth.  The silence can remove any pressure to make small talk and make it easier to hear what might be inaccessible otherwise.  Sometimes I have been spontaneously moved to draw in these moments.  Doing so helped me focus; I felt present, very alive, and years later I can still recall what I drew.  There is no right or wrong way to use this transition only what works for you at the time.  June 27th, 2015 

As I prepare to start a writing group you might begin to prepare to participate. 

Your pen:         
Select one that is fast writing because your thoughts are likely to be quicker than your hand.  The pen does not need to be fancy and you will not want it to smear or leak.  Try out different options, maybe at a stationary store, friends' pens, whatever you have laying around the house, and consider using different colored inks.  I used to write so much I went through about one pen a month.  To add to my enjoyment I used any colored ink I could find.
The notebook that is right for you:  

There are expensive hard covered ones and some folks really like the sturdiness of them.  Perhaps they might call you to do your best writing.  If a pricey notebook makes you think you need to write something really good then it probably is not the right one for you.   Choose something that gives you permission to write the worst junk ever and still feel okay about yourself.  Make sure the size of the notebook is big enough to feel spacious, giving you room to explore.  Some people like cheap spiral notebooks with funny pictures on the outside.  If that helps you to not take yourself too seriously and lighten up, go for it.  

These days a lot of people write with their laptops.  There is some research out there that suggests you access different areas of your brain depending on whether you use pen and paper or a computer.  Experiment and do what feels most comfortable and gives you the broadest access to your creativity. For emotional writing I like my notebook.  With the sensory experience of my hand forming words on the textured paper I feel my heart and gut come through better.  I use my computer for writing stories or professional papers.  It makes editing so much easier.                             

Writing in the group:

For the writing we will be doing in the group I will encourage you to keep your hand moving and not worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar. You surely do not have to stay inside the margins. When you talk to yourself (and we all do it) we seldom if ever edit our stream of thought. The sentences or partial sentences we use are improvisations.  They are instantaneous creations that come as naturally to us as breathing.  That is the stuff I will invite you to put on paper.  It will allow you to tap into your evolving awareness, your personal inspiration, and intuition of beauty and truth. It will allow you to dip into a deeper wisdom than you might know yourself to have.  Yes, you will likely flit about, dribble on, and jabber for periods, until you hit the pay dirt of your own authentic voice.  It is then that you will write what may never have been said before or may never be said again.  You can discover that the great action is not always something happening outside and over there, it is happening where you are.    

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