Sunday, September 25, 2016

‘The Secret of the Golden Silence’

I’ll continue advertising events where the hosts impart mindfulness techniques and insights into mindfulness techniques because I believe in the benefits of certain practices to the individual, and to the Masonic lodge working as a group. Rosicrucians and others already employ some form of this work in their gatherings, and it is sad that almost all Freemasons are missing out. When I spoke at the Masonic Restoration Foundation’s 2015 symposium in Philadelphia, my topic was meditation exercises intended for lodge use. Among my audience of about 75, I think something like 12 or 15 raised their hands when I asked whose lodges incorporate some form of mindfulness work in their labors.

I was stunned.

Of course the attendees of any given MRF event are Freemasons who don’t waste time on the generic fraternal club pap that characterizes probably 95 percent or more of the Craft lodges in the United States, but to see 20 percent or so of that group answer in the affirmative – and then dominate the ensuing half hour of Q&A—was an answer to a prayer.

Anyway, as you may infer from what I wrote here, it is necessary to search outside the Masonic lodge to learn about mindfulness practices, and this edition of The Magpie Mason takes us to the C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology on East 39th Street. It’s hard for me to think of December just yet, but on Saturday the 3rd there will be a daylong seminar based on Carl Jung’s writings on contemplative silence through a Taoist prism. From the publicity:

The Secret of the Golden Silence
Led by Royce Froehlich, Ph.D., MDiv, LCSW
Saturday, December 3
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jung’s Commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower (1929) presents his insights on the nature of consciousness in the light of Taoist thought, with a nod to Christian gnostics and mystics. In the Chinese text, Jung hears the archetypal call for contemplative silence. Whether to foster communion between one’s subjective self and a deity, the objective psyche, or to focus one’s attention on a task at hand, we are encouraged to follow Jung’s lead to quiet the mind. Contemplative techniques can offer insight to one’s personality and may contribute to a variety of therapeutic benefits for body, mind, and spirit. In Jung’s case, the application of “certain yoga techniques” contributed to the development of The Red Book.

Much of Analytical Psychology’s rich lexicon and clinical language is in this treatise on individuation and mental illness, where Jung engages the subject of we-wei (actively doing nothing), which is the “secret” of the golden flower. Resonant in the mystical thought of preacher and spiritual guide Meister Eckhart, who describes such a state of mind as Gelassenheit (letting-be-ness), the contemplative attitude of doing nothing also inspired the composer John Cage, whose work will inform this presentation. In addition, the workshop will review basic emotion regulation (mindfulness practice) techniques prescribed for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder in Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

The C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, Inc., SW CPE, is recognized by New York State Education Department’s State Board of Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers 0350.

At completion of this workshop participants will be able to:

• Offer an overview of a key text in the development of Jung’s analytical psychology and its application in clinical practice.
• Show the relationship between analytical psychology and contemporary models of psychotherapy that include mindfulness techniques.
• Identify common elements in Jungian theory, spiritual practice, and the arts.

Royce Froehlich, Ph.D., MDiv, LCSW, is a Jungian analyst with a private practice in New York City. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Social Work, Union Theological Seminary, the New School for Social Research, and the European Graduate School, he is on the faculty of The C.G. Jung Institute of New York, The C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, and teaches in The Open Center’s Holistic Psychology certification program.

General Public: $90
Members/students: $75

Register here.

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