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 Infinite Awakening: Infinite Awakening - The Practice of Yoga Nidra and its Application in Psychotherapy 

I have witnessed clients in the depths of despair and suffering suddenly give way to great joy even as they continue to experience their grief. When we recognize our nondual nature in the midst of travail, we find we can handle life as it is. We don't have to change circumstance or self. When we recognize that we are not separate our underlying nature, which is causeless joy, emerges. The perfume that arises from such insight lingers in the body and mind even as the residues of separation remain. Our underlying nondual nature is always present, even when it goes unrecognized. But once glimpsed, it leaves behind the unmistakable perfume that stimulates an even greater longing to come back from our misperception of separation and suffering to our ground of nondual awareness, which is forever perfect just as it is.


Clients present in psychotherapy with some situation, experience, memory, emotion, sensation or life circumstance that they are having difficulty being with. As therapists we enjoin our clients to explore their resistance to being with these events. And this exploration unfolds in the awareness of both the client and the therapist. Awareness may be described as the perfect agent, agency and container in which all psycho-spiritual healing unfolds.

Awareness, which may be liked to space, pervades everywhere, contains all things, sees all things, judges nothing, is nondual in that it encompasses all duality and is free of separation. Nondual awareness may therefore be said to be an agency of welcoming as awareness has no stake in anything being other than as it is. It is this welcoming attribute of awareness that enables psychotherapy to work.

During therapy, clients are entreated to fully describe their experiences into awareness. As clients relinquish trying to change themselves and enter into the process of describing the 'what is' of their experience, resistances dissolve and unsought resolutions spontaneously appear to what at first may have appeared as hopeless or irresolvable conflicts. All this unfolds in awareness.

Awareness forms the space in which all activity unfolds. Thoughts, emotions, sensations, conflicts and traumas all arise, unfold and have their resolution in awareness. Awareness is therefore a perfect holding environment wherein all is contained. Because it is without judgement, awareness is, in fact, a perfect holding environment for awareness is always present, never rejects, and therefore welcomes all that arises. Awareness is without sentiment, and is perfect love and compassion in that it contains no idealization wherein projections can unfold completely and be seen for what they are. Awareness, therefore underlies the therapist's ability to be a therapeutic holding environment for the client. The therapist's awareness enables clients to completely unfold their stories of conflict, pain and trauma, work through their projections and uncover the resolutions appropriate to each life circumstance. Nondual awareness may therefore be viewed as a perfect container in which the client finds their freedom.

Awareness is also a passive-active healing agent because awareness is full of compassion and love in that it holds and allows everything, judges nothing, perfectly mirrors projection and allows clients to unfold their stories without neither client nor therapist needing to be other than they are. When clients, through proper therapeutic guidance, are oriented to and learn to stabilize their attention in the compassionate and non-judging ground of awareness, and as they are able to fully describe their experiences into awareness, right and appropriate action to each life circumstance is always revealed. Awareness is therefore the active healing agent behind all insights in psychotherapy.


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 About The Author
Richard C. Miller PhDRichard Miller's teachings come out of his direct experience of living truth as echoed in the timeless teachings of nondualism found in Advaita, Zen and Chan. He is recognized as a leader in the field of nondualism,......more
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