Heart Medicine: An Interview with Radhule Weininger

Posted by Angela Borda on Sep 9, 2021 3:06:22 PM

Radhule is an author, mindfulness meditation teacher, and psychologist with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, with a new book out, Heart Medicine: How to Stop Painful Patterns and Find Peace and Freedom. Since 1997 she has taught at Pacifica Graduate School as adjunct professor. I’m delighted to learn more about her work and life’s mission.

Angela: To begin, can you acquaint us with your connection to and work at Pacifica? At what point in your career did you decide to teach at Pacifica?

Radhule: My American story began, when I moved in 1985 from Germany to the U.S., shortly after I graduated from medical school. However, my true love belonged to psychology and the healing of the soul. In 1990, I received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and, after licensing, had psychotherapy offices in San Francisco and Berkley. I focused my training in San Francisco on psychodynamic and Jungian psychology. After I moved in 1994 from Berkley to Santa Barbara, it was a natural fit for me to start teaching at Pacifica.

For the last several years I have taught a class in the Depth Program on a topic I most love: the integration between Jungian and Buddhist psychology and practice. I began to study Buddhist practice when I stayed in a Buddhist monastery in Sri Lanka in 1980. Over the past 41 years, I have deepened my studies, meditation practice, and Dharma teaching. Those two strands of wisdom, Buddhist and Western psychology, flow together naturally and organically in my clinical practice.

Angela: Your first book, Heartwork: The Path of Self-Compassion, presents ten practices for opening the heart. Does your new book, Heart Medicine, flow from the first and are they to be worked with together?

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Posted in: Trauma, depth psychology, meditation, interview

LSD and the Mind of the Universe: An Interview with Christopher M. Bache

Posted by Angela Borda on Apr 19, 2021 5:06:43 PM

Christopher M. Bache, Ph.D. is an accomplished teacher as well as researcher in “the philosophical implications of non-ordinary states of consciousness, particularly psychedelic states.” He will be the keynote speaker of the upcoming Pacifica Conference, “Accessing the ineffable: Depth Psychology, Religious Experience, and the Further Reaches of Consciousness,” on June 19, 2021. Click here for more information. I’m delighted to find out more about his research and the conference.

Angela: The title of the workshop is “Accessing the Ineffable.” And your talk will be on “LSD and the Mind of the Universe: The Challenges and Blessings of an Extreme Psychedelic Journey.” How has LSD helped you to access the ineffable, or as you say in the book, allowed you to journey “into a unified field of consciousness that underlies all physical existence”? How did you first get involved, and are you glad you took the trip?

Chris: Yes, I’m very glad I took this journey, though I also want to say that it was the most demanding undertaking of my life.

I began my psychedelic work in 1979 when I was 30 years old. I was just out of graduate school from Brown University where I had trained as a philosopher of religion, finishing my studies as an atheistically-inclined agnostic. I was looking for where to take my research next when I read Stan Grof’s Realms of the Human Unconscious. I immediately saw the relevance of his work to the core questions I had been trained to pursue as a philosopher–whether life has meaning or purpose, whether human beings survive death, and whether there is a conscious intelligence operating in the universe. I saw that with the advent of psychedelics, the deepest contributions to my discipline would be made by persons writing out of an experiential basis, not just an intellectual basis, and I felt a deep calling to do this work. (My Saturn Return marked a number of seminal transitions in my life: from student to professor, from book learning to experiential learning, from agnosticism to psychedelic initiation.)

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Pacifica Events, soul, depth psychology, meditation, The Retreat at Pacifica

Accessing the Ineffable with Santo Daime: An Interview of William Barnard, Ph.D.

Posted by Angela Borda on Mar 29, 2021 2:51:16 PM

Professor William Barnard, Ph.D. will be giving a talk on “The Religious Use of Psychedelics: The Santo Daime” in the upcoming Pacifica conference “Accessing the Ineffable: Depth Psychology, Religious Experience, and the Further Reaches of Consciousness” on June 19, 2021. This conference will bring together an eclectic group of scholars to investigate to mysterious elements at the foundation of Jungian depth psychology – “consciousness” and the expansive potentialities of a non-local “unconscious.” For more information on this event, please click here. [https://retreat.pacifica.edu/accessing-the-ineffable/] I was delighted to spend time talking with Bill and learning more about his research and experiences.

Angela: You are a professor of religious studies, and will be presenting a talk on the use of psychedelics in religion, in particular, the Santo Daime, which you describe as “a relatively new religion that emerged out of the Amazon rainforest region of Brazil in the middle of the twentieth century and which now has churches throughout the world; a religion in which a psychedelic brew – ayahuasca – is taken as a sacrament.” For those who are not familiar with ayahuasca, can you tell us the basics of where it comes from, what it is, and how the experience of ingesting would lead people to consider it a sacrament?

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Pacifica Events, soul, depth psychology, meditation, The Retreat at Pacifica

The Problem with Yoga

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 4, 2017 10:39:51 AM

A guest post by Alanna Kaivalya, Ph.D.
Dr. Kaivalya will be presenting at the July Retreat Center Program Yoga Meets Psyche

Yoga is often praised for its far-reaching effects on nearly every aspect of the human being. The physical practices create health in the body. Breathing practices can alleviate stress and anxiety. Devotional practices inspire community and meditative practices can help to calm the mind. It sure seems like a one-stop-shop for all things awesome. But, years ago, I discovered a glitch in the system.

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Posted in: Joseph Campbell, Pacifica Events, Mythology, soul, depth psychology, psyche, meditation

Elemental Movement

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 7, 2017 3:00:27 PM

In a quiet studio in a downtown yoga center, a group of women and men are lying on the floor in a circle, arranged like the spokes of a wheel. In the center of the wheel are four objects – an earthenware bowl full of stones, a basin of water, a candle, and a feather. The faint scent of greenery hangs in the air. Over the distant mechanized drone of city traffic, the living human sounds of breath and sigh can be heard.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, somatic bodywork, meditation

A Deeper Relationship with the Mind: Counseling, Creativity, and Transcendence

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 7, 2017 10:10:09 AM

A Deeper Relationship with the Mind: Counseling, Creativity, and Transcendence An Interview with Adrianna Attento
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Even before getting her Master’s degree in Counseling psychology at Pacifica, Adriana Attento was working in the field of psychology. During that same period, she was also doing a lot of writing—meeting with a friend to free write next to the ocean every morning for an hour—and she was also meditating as a regular spiritual practice. Somehow, she now believes, the combination of these two practices opened something up for her, creating a “flow, and abundance of images that images that felt very potent.”

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Posted in: Counseling Psychology, Therapist, Alumni, depth psychology, meditation