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Brings Asian theories of consciousness into dialogue with Western psychotherapeutic practices.
The Empathic Ground explores the experience of nondual consciousness as the basis of human connection, and describes its importance for psychological healing. It looks at the therapeutic relationship from the perspectives of psychoanalytic intersubjectivity theory and Asian nondual philosophy, finding practical meeting points between them that illuminate crucial issues in psychotherapy, such as transference and counter-transference, the nature of subjectivity, and the role of the body. The book also includes a series of exercises developed by the author for realizing nondual consciousness in the clinical setting. Access to this subtle, unified dimension of consciousness develops both our individual human capacities—perception, understanding, love, and physical pleasure—and our relationships with other people. It thus has profound significance for both psychological healing and development, and for the relationship of psychotherapist and client.
“In the larger and ongoing cultural dialogue between East and West, this beautifully written book represents a new and important moment of advance. In it, Blackstone deftly examines subtle nuances in the interface between Western modes of psychotherapy and Asian systems of nondual awareness and practice. By means of a careful and informed examination of major sources, she offers a precise and considered theoretical approach to the specific integration of notions of intersubjectivity and of the nondual awareness into modalities of Western psychotherapy. In ten intelligent and powerful ‘realization processes,’ Blackstone brings forward practical exercises for the specific application of such a theoretical approach to the nondual to the practice of psychotherapy.” — Paul E. Muller-Ortega, author of The Triadic Heart of Shiva: Kaula Tantricism of Abhinavagupta in the Non-Dual Shaivism of Kashmir
“This is a brave and important book. Although there is a large literature on psychoanalysis and Asian religions and an even larger literature on the various philosophical framings of nonduality in Asian thought, this book is one of the very few—if any—that even attempt to bring these two epistemologies into creative, constructive, and critical dialogue.” — Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion
Judith Blackstone is Director of the Center for Transpersonal Embodied Psychotherapy in New York City and Realization Center in Woodstock, New York. She is also on the faculty of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and Empire State College, State University of New York. Her books include Living Intimately: A Guide to Realizing Spiritual Unity in Relationships.
Table of Contents
1. Nondual Realization and Intersubjectivity Theory
2. The Potential of the Relational Field
3. The Embedded Self: A Case for Interiority
4. Disentangling from the Object: Transference, the Body, and the Nondual Field
5. Realization Process: Exercises for Nondual Realization and Psychological Healing