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Jnanamati Williams; Tom Dewettinck; Karin Verhaest; David Brazier (Dharmavidya); Edel Maex; Katrien Sercu; Bert Stienaers; Paul Sercu; Bernard Payrau; Caifang Zhu; Elena Barakhova; Mo & Peter Henderson; Iris Dotan Katz; Ortwin Luers; Natividad Menendez; Myokei Caine-Barrett; Ryusho Jeffus; Irene Kaigetsu Kyojo Bakker; Ksaf Vandeputte; Wendi Winnelinckx; Sven De Weerdt.
from: UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, China, Russia, Israel, USA
The conference went extremely well. In this thread we can add highlights or discussion points arising from it. I shall put in some of mine as soon as I get a minute to do so. Warm wishes to everyone who was there.
Thirteen of the 22 presenters are already members of La Ville au Roi (Eleusis) - you can contact them through the links above.
The presentation of Myokei Caine-Barrett & Ryusho Jeffus was exceedingly moving, wasn't it? Quite a mix too. She made the extreme complexity of Tientai doctrine seem child's play while he opened his heart in the most beautiful manner. I think we all went away deeply touched. I was certainly put in touch with how it is possible to look at my life in different perspectives and make of it a great joy, a tragedy, a comedy, or any other kind of story according to how you look at it and how you make sense of what happened. Thousands of worlds in every thought moment. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
Ksaf Vandeputte did a good job of exposing his personal philosophy/integration in a very human way that led to really good discussing in the group, much of it about the relationship between faith and hope. A lot hinges on definitions, but these can be important dimensions in the underpinning of the work of the therapist. I hope everybody who was there is stimulated to give more thought to how they really put their ideas and practice together. We can all usefully become better at looking at what we are doing through such a magnifying glass. Relating it to a received theory (in this case The Four Truths) can provide a framework, but then we have to fill in the spaces each in our own special way.
Iris Dotan Katz gave a lovely review of the development of her work. She is a wonderfully expressive personality and trying to imagine her learning to be a "blank screen" in psychoanalysis is an impossibility. She talked about how the therapist is all at once a guide (trailfinder), teacher, facilitator, and promoter of mutuality; and then she gave a lovely metaphor about how doing therapy with a client is rather like doing a jam session in jazz. She was also interested in getting across how the inner work becomes an influence in the world.
Mo & Peter Henderson gave a valuable account of their work teaching mindfulness in settings where elderly people are cared for in which they demonstrated interventions that concentrate on the positive, on good practice and encouragement rather than on fault finding and correction, methods that involve "buddy" systems, positive feedback and role playing. This last was particularly interesting as they presented the kind of role playing enactment that they use with staff using dialogue and doubling that reveals the human reality of different approaches when staff try to talk honestly to one one another about their work, the feelings this brings up and how different approaches are needed for different personalities. I think we could all relate to this material and learn from it.
I was very pleased that the first main presentation at ITZI 2017 was by Edel Maex - who has now joined this site - welcome! - he was the first person teaching mindfulness in this part of the world. He made the nice remark that he and I met at a public encounter at Mariemont on Belgium where we were set up to be antagonists in a debate but then found that we had a very similar outlook on most issues. Mindfulness has become a good vehicle for conveying many positive ideas and, particularly, kindness and compassion. This fitted very well with the theme of the conference - "From mindfulness to Heartfulness" - and got us off to a very good start.