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I
nfinite Awakening
 

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

© Richard C. Miller PhD

Duality, which is made up of the complimentarity of opposites, is a fact of life and exists within the unified field of awareness. Duality co-arises with the body, mind and senses for whatever exists in space-time, in duration, forms the very fabric that makes up the world of duality. But duality does not imply dualism. Dualism arises when the unified field of awareness is apparently split by the mind into an observing subject and an observed object. In Dualism this split is believed, by the mind, to be real. Subject is perceived to be separate from the object and both are perceived to be separate from awareness. The split into dualism is the product of a divided mind, which does not experience itself as existing within and as part of unified awareness. In dualism, the mind perceives itself to be a distinct and separate ego-I. Interestingly, suffering, conflict and striving to be other than we are co-arise with the experience of feeling separate. Both are projections of the divided mind. Suffering and the feeling of separation always co-arise-they exist one with the other. Neither can exist without the other being present. This is one underlying explanation why Yoga Nidra can be such an effective tool for both client and therapist.

The therapist educated in Yoga Nidra is oriented to the understanding that clients suffer because they feel separate. It is not the job of the therapist to talk the client out of feeling separate. Clients are convinced that they are separate and that they are suffering and need to find a resolution to their problem. It is the job of the therapist to help the client describe their pain and feeling of separation as if it is all that exists because the therapist understands that when the pain of suffering and its associated experiences are fully described into awareness, unsought resolutions spontaneously arise. Mere describing often evokes resolution. However, at other times, clients appear unable to move beyond their conflict and sense of separation because their descriptions are incomplete.

At these junctures, the therapist enables the client by exploring the opposite movements to the client's experience and descriptions by assisting the client to embody the opposites of their experiences. By moving back and forth between opposite sensations, emotions, images, thoughts, memories or beliefs and then by allowing both experiences to stabilize in awareness, unexpected synthesis occurs spontaneously and the client discovers unrealized truths about their previous experiences that had been overlooked due to their experiencing only one half of the equation.

The Ego-I

The ego-I is the product of a divided mind that has split into a 'me' subject that is separate from an 'other' object. The divided mind does not accept the interdependence of the opposites for this would mean the end of its apparently separative existence. Instead, the ego imagines a dualistic split between the opposites which, in-turn, gives rise to conflict, attachment and aversion. Splitting, conflict, attachment and aversion all co-arise. They are mutually interdependent facets of a single movement. From this perspective any attempt to eliminate one pole of opposition only creates further conflict.

Therapy based on the premise that clients need to change begins and ends in conflict. This way of seeing is based in the divided mind and therapy ultimately fails when it emphasizes the need for the client to somehow be other than he/she is. It is in welcoming all that we are-pain and the joy, conflict and its opposite, projection and its opposite-that are we able to go beyond the pairs of opposites into a true resolution of what is ailing us.

Identification and Disidentification

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About The Author
Richard 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, honored by Yoga Journal and featured in American Yoga and Will Yoga and Meditation Really Change My Life? Richard is the founder and director of the......more
 
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