Many of us seek spirituality to alleviate pain and suffering. The internal discomfort of anger, sadness, fear, shame, or self-loathing is soothed by pleasant or blissful experiences encountered through meditation, yoga, chanting, prayer and connecting in community. Spiritual bypass occurs when we use our spiritual beliefs, practices, community and way of life to avoid experiencing, revealing and processing emotional pain.
Spiritual practitioners can get caught in the trap of assuming a spiritual identity as a defense against emotional pain, and as compensation for underlying unconscious beliefs such as “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not loveable”, or “I did something wrong”. When we identify ourselves as being spiritual, or are praised, valued and recognized as a practitioner or teacher, the split between what we experience on the inside and what we present to the world becomes greater. The original wound can remain unhealed, despite years of dedicated spiritual practice. We may even intensify our practice in a disciplined effort to suppress difficult emotions.
Spiritual bypassing can be addressed through body-oriented psychotherapy that invites pain, discomfort and repressed emotions to come to the surface to be witnessed in a safe, supportive setting, and through inquiry into the origin of that pain and the beliefs that surround it. Acceptance, allowing, non-judgement, expression and self-compassion are the ingredients needed for resolution.
This program will feature Dr. Gabor Maté’s unique therapeutic work and teaching, Compassionate Inquiry, enhanced by yoga practices led by his colleague, friend and expert Kundalini yoga teacher, Sat Dharam Kaur. We will explore emotional realities and traumatic imprints that spiritual modalities often ignore. Such spiritual bypass can leave people confused and unresolved, despite many years of devoted practice and seeking. It will be an in-depth program, suitable for therapists, spiritual seekers and anyone looking for a profound, experiential understanding of their personal issues.
In this workshop you will learn:
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