NEWS: Announcing the first nondual psychology &
psychotherapy conference in Canada. The Paradoxica
Institute is hosting the Nondual Psychology (and
beyond) conference June 17-18, 2010 at the
University of Lethbridge in beautiful Lethbridge Alberta
nestled in the coulees, and close to the Waterton
Mountains. We want this to be a dynamic and
transformational conference including powerful and
insightful clinical workshops in addition to ground
breaking presentations and energizing workshops.
Below is the Conference Program outline. To
register, please click on the PayPal link above.
Join in June's festivities as we celebrate and embrace
the flowering of Nothingness together!
Paradoxica Nondual Psychology Conference
June 17 & 18
Anderson Hall 100, University of Lethbridge
Thursday -- June 17
9:00 a.m. Opening
9:10 a.m. Gary Nixon, Ph.D.
University of Lethbridge, Alberta. Surrendering
At The End of Your Rope In The Nondual
Journey: Embracing Absolute Hopelessness and Total
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Will Joel
Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist, Pleasanton,
California. What's In Your Backpack? How
Emptiness/Surrender is Seen in the Illusory, Empirical
World and the Absolute.
11:45 a.m. Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. Brian Theriault, MEd.,
C.C.C. Winnipeg, Manitoba. Resting in the Eye
of the Hurricane: Transforming Trauma through
2:00 p.m. Shirley Klippel,
Ph.D., San Mateo, California. The Celtic Portal
to the Nondual Experience.
3:15 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m Marcia Rich, R.
Psych., Ph.D. University of Lethbridge, Alberta. Interweaving
Pathways : The Significance of Shamanic Experience for
the Nondual Journey.
5:00 p.m. Wrap up for day
Friday -- June 18
9:00 a.m. Trent Leighton,
Ph.D. Maniilaq-Indian Health Services, Kotzebue,
Alaska. Substance Abuse Counselling from a
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. Jason Solowoniuk,
MEd. University of Lethbridge, Alberta. Nondual
Psychotherapy and the Depressed Client.
11:45 a.m. Break
1:00 p.m. Kyler Evans,
MEd. Rising Phoenix Counselling, Lethbridge, Alberta. Accessing
Your Birthright: Creativity, Nonduality, and the Pathless
2:15 - 2:45 pm Break
2:45 - 3:45 p.m. Coming
to the End of A Nondual Conference: Closing
Exercises and Sharing.
3:45 - 5:00 p.m. Wine and
Cheese Celebration (Sponsored by the Faculty of Health
Sciences, University of Lethbridge).
In Order of Appearance:
Gary Nixon, Ph.D.
is a transpersonal psychologist, and has been on faculty
with the Addictions Counselling Program at the
University of Lethbridge since 1998. Gary has been
influenced by a long line of Eastern and Western nondual
teachers such as Osho, Krishnamurti, Trungpa, Adi
Da, Papaji, Nisargadatta, Adyashanti and the works
of western transpersonal writers such as Wilber, and
Almaas. Gary is passionate about the process of abiding
in nondual being in everyday life, and has been
facilitating nondual groups over the last ten years as
well as maintaining a transpersonal psychology private
practice. He is the Editor of Paradoxica: Journal of
Title: Surrendering at the
End of Your Rope in the Nondual Journey: Embracing
Absolute Hopelessness and Total Failurehood.
This presentation will focus on the
transformational opportunity that is available at the end
of the journey for the nondual seeker of awakening.
The embracement of "rot", the acceptance of
absolute hopelessness, and the relaxation into total
failurehood are all pivotal opportunities for the former
seeker to see through seeking in the realization that
there is no where to go, nothing to do and no
answer. It is here a spontaneous surrender and
illumination can take place and paradoxically the journey
of abiding in nondual being which has been with all us
all along can be embraced.
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
practices as a journeyman psychologist, licensed since
1987 and in the field of Psychology since 1977, doing
what works in honoring intuitive wisdom and the flow of
Spirit in Pleasanton, California, in the East San
Francisco Bay. This one still knows nothing, welcomes,
surrenders and celebrates everything, purely engaging in
being and doing what is loved. I am not here; only This,
Being and now are here. No one in particular home, only
Home. He is on the Editorial Board of Paradoxica: Journal
of Nondual Psychology. Will welcomes feedback directlyemail:
[email protected] This e-mail address is
enabled to view it and the website:
Title: What's in Your
Backpack? How Emptiness/Surrender is Seen in the
Illusory, Empirical World and the Absolute.
In the movie Up In the Air,
George Clooneys character Ryan Bingham, a corporate
road warrior/downsizer who conducts employee firings for
cowardly employers, gives motivational talks to corporate
audiences asking, Whats in your backpack?
Clooneys character presents a backpack and asks his
listeners to notice how it is filled with necessities
as a metaphor for the meaning of life. He advocates
carrying an empty backpack and ditching extra
baggage in their lives, like possessions,
family and relationships.
Near the films end, Clooneys
dispirited character cannot continue the charade and
walks out leaving his backpack prop behind. The nirvana
of a relationship-free life is revealed to be
bogus, leaving him with no sense of who he is. Having
experienced the joys and disappointments of
relationships, he feels a gnawing emptiness that cannot
be filled by an airline pillow or bag of peanuts.
In this context, we explore how
emptiness/surrender is seen, both false and true, from
within three levels/realms of realitythe
illusory/dream, empirical/transactional world, and the
Absolute. It is typically seen through the ego-minds
lenses as a deadening, fearful existence culminating in
annihilation. This illusory realm is projected onto the
empirical world, given that in both realms nothing
happens in the past or future, but rather in the present.
Emptiness in the relative world can also be experienced
as a springboard to awakening by honestly surrendering
all that you are not, leaving purely all that you truly
Inside the Absolute, of which no
one knows anything, everything is ultimate Truth,
fascinating, whole and real. Emptiness is now revealed to
be a vast empty fullness with nothing to surrender. What
is left in the backpack?nothing and everything,
neither and both. Theres no backpack to carry,
nothing to do, other than to look, listen, and enjoy the
flow of life-energy.
Brian Theriault MEd.,
C.C.C. Over a decade ago, while doing personal
trauma work with Gary Nixon, Brian experienced a profound
shift in consciousness that radically changed the course
of his life. Since then, he has been on a
moment-to-moment paradoxical journey of awakening. Brian
embraces a transpersonal approach in his personal life
and in his clinical work with individuals in Stage II -
III addiction recovery and trauma resolution work. He
resonates with the profound mystical teachings of Osho,
Lao Tzu, Zen and Nisargadatta Maharaj coupled with the
work of western transpersonal psychologists, Ken Wilber,
Gary Nixon, A. H. Almaas and Stephen Wolinsky.
Title: Resting in the Eye of
the Hurricane: Transforming Trauma through Unconditional
Trauma occurs when, in response to
a perceived life-threatening event, high states of
arousal energy become bound-up in the body-mind due to
the contraction/judgment of fear and terror creating
frozen moments in time (Peter Levine). The coupling of
fear and terror interrupts the natural discharge of
pent-up energy and collapses all the other levels of
human consciousness. A powerful thawing agent is the
experience of relaxing as unconditional Awareness.
Nondual psychology and the perennial wisdom traditions
describe unconditional Awareness as a vast silence and
absolutely still Presence unconditioned by form but seen
as none other than form, unscathed by the impact of
trauma and eternally available in the midst of moment to
moment experiencing. By stepping into the eye of trauma
with no judgment, the miraculous healing energy of
unconditional Awareness can reveal itself and impart the
wisdom of no escape, nothing to fear and no trauma; a
Divine mergence and total release into what is. This
presentation will draw upon Nondual psychology and
elements of Somatic Experiencing through information,
experiential exercises and discussion.
Shirley Klippel, Ph.D. began her journey
in 1983 following a spontaneous nondual awakening that
reconnected her to her Celtic heritage. She
co-founded Brookridge Institute, offering
conferences in Consciousness and Addictions, obtained a
Ph.D. in psychological and mythological studies, and is
now involved in dual careers producing documentary
films and facilitating the Game of
research indicates that the ancient Celts were
experiencers of nondual consciousness and her goal is to
communicate this discovery. British born, she has lived
in San Francisco Bay Area for many years where she
maintains her day job as Director of Human
Resources for a TV station.
Title: The Celtic Portal to
the Nondual Experience.
Surprisingly, I discovered through
research into my Irish heritage evidence that Celtic
consciousness equals nondual consciousness. Exploration
into this Celtic portal was inspired by my own numinous
experience in 1983.
The focus of this presentation is
the introduction of a lost Western tradition of
nonduality. Although the evidence may be fragmentary,
what those ancient artists expressed through the sacred
stones of Ireland and Brittany, on the backs of mirrors
found throughout Britain and on tribal coins everywhere
in the Celtic-speaking world tells us that they embraced
both realities. Commentary by art critics Andre
Malraux and Ruth and Vincent Megaw are used to support my
position as well as clips from an interview with Jody Joy
at the British Museum. In addition to the art,
I am poems comparable to those voiced by Lord
Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita by Irish and Welsh
bards support my interpretation of the Celtic Worldview
and its nondualism.
While both the West and the East
had access to this nondual experience, different paths
were chosen. The history of the West is one of the
dominant culture, one of Cartesian dualism.
However, underneath, suppressed but not entirely
eradicated, is the Celtic one of nonduality. Celtic
consciousness - both ancient and modern - is best
expressed by 19th century Breton writer Ernest Renan:
The essential element of the Celts poetic
life is. . .the pursuit of the unknown . . .the race
desires the infinite.
This presentation is an adaption of
a dissertation entitled: Celtic Siren: A Case Study
of William Sharps Seduction Experience in which in
Numinous Other is Understood and Interpreted. I
discuss Sharps experience as well as my own as
examples of the Celtic nondual experience and through
this presentation attempt to win a place for this lost
Western path to nonduality.
Marcia Rich, Ph.D.
has worked as a private practice psychologist for 16
years. Working from an existential-feminist-transpersonal
framework, she provides psychotherapy engaging the
consciousness of mind, body, emotion and spirit. In the
past 3 years, Marcia has been participating in Shamanic
training through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and
has been integrating Shamanic practice with transpersonal
psychotherapy. More recently, she has joined the faculty
of the Addictions Counselling Program at the University
of Lethbridge, as an Assistant Professor, and is on the
Editorial Board of Reviewers of Pardoxica: Journal of
Pathways: The Significance of Shamanic Experience
for the Nondual Journey.
This 90 minute presentation is both
theoretically and experientially based. Both the
Nondual and Shamanic pathways are explored to reveal the
similarities between the theoretical explanations and
experiences of practitioners on either path. Common
struggles and barriers experienced by individuals on the
nondual path are outlined, which may be worked through
using Shamanic practices, revealing the significance of
shamanic experience for abiding in nondual being.
An experiential based Shamanic practice will be
introduced for participants to experience firsthand and
share its relevance for their own nondual journey.
Trent Leighton, Ph.D.
has spent his professional career dedicated to the
development of a mental health model based upon the
nondual realizations of the Worlds enlightened and
awakened masters. The evolution of this process has taken
him through a wide breadth of spiritual and psychological
teachings that have been lived in the lab of
daily life and translated into effective counseling
practices. After years of creating a successful private
practice in New York City, Trents current focus
finds him working with indigenous villages in rural
Alaska applying the realizations of nonduality to those
struggling with active addiction.
Title: Substance Abuse
Counselling From a Nondual Perspective.
Intersections between the myriad of
psychological interventions and the Non-Dual teachings
and practices of many spiritual traditions in the
perennial philosophy are becoming increasingly common.
One specific area in which this collaboration holds
untapped possibilities is the proliferation of substance
abuse and addiction that transcends cultural and
socio-economic boundaries. To view the metaphysical
premise of duality and separate selfhood as conditioned,
non-obligatory activities and not literal, causal
objects: provides a brand new horizon from which to
approach the addicts impulsive need to drink and
drug. The unique vantage of non-duality, or Metanoesis,
exposes an underlying addiction that is
typically not addressed in most conventional
psychological models. From Buddhism to Vedanta, there is
a indefatigable message that not only are we not the
separate pockets of subjectivity we are working so hard
to sell, but that such an existential option is not
possible in the first place. Coupled with sound
counseling practices, this workshop will explore the
relationship between the addicts need to get high
and the defense of the false premise of duality and
separation between subject-object that leaves no room for
an ego to be anything, including addicted.