Thursday, 23 June 2011

Judgement: Memoirs of an Encounter Group: A Zen Challenge

My challenge as a Zen practitioner and group therapist was not to judge. And I found it to be a great challenge as  judgements came up, In fact judgement still arises - for its roots seem ancient - imbedded in my mind as in the society I belong to.

In my encounter groups, I used profanity a lot to "shock" people into awareness.  Bashing people with a Zen stick, wouldn't have made me very popular and would probably have got me arrested! 

Yes, the judging mind  raised its objection and considered such ways of communicating as bad, so I had to get past my judgemental considerations  because I wanted to cause a stir in my groups.  

Once past that first hurdle of my judgemental mind, the space in the group room became what I can best describe as light and free as the language amongst the participants got to be more expressive and although encounter groups are based more on spiritual development than therapy, such expression provided the space for some very rapid and therapeutic effects to take place.