Personal Development: Part 3

Path to Maturity

In our last post, we offered a hypnotherapist’s view of behavior development. Rather than looking at the subconscious mind as a seething cauldron of primitive instincts, the hypnotherapist sees it as your oldest, dearest friend. Its only concern is your survival and happiness. Problems arise, however, because:

  • everyone else is trying to survive and find happiness, which can create conflict, and
  • normally the only time the subconscious tries to change is during sleep. This means that it gets out of step with our conscious goals.

Obviously we’d like to be able to seize opportunities – to change rapidly – without creating conflicts within ourselves or with others. That’s not easy. In fact, it’s the journey of a lifetime that I’ll call our “path to maturity.”

One of the great things about being human is that we teach each other. When somebody gets it right, they share their wisdom (Lao-Tzu) – or attract followers that write it down for them (Jesus). From my examples, you’d see that many religious are paths to maturity. But they don’t have a monopoly: Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs charts a course of increasing authority and responsibility; Erickson’s Stages of Life charts a course of social engagement.

But none of them considers the hypnotherapist’s concern: harmonizing conscious goals with subconscious motivations.

Furthermore hypnotherapists, in engaging with people’s deepest desires, also confront something else: the dissolving of boundaries between therapist and client that is spoken of in spiritual teachings. This is not found in Mazlow or Erickson. Religions deal with this, but rarely step-by-step as a path to be followed.

So it was entirely surprising to me how easy it is to fit hypnotherapy into the framework defined by the Indian Chakras. For that is what is represented in the graphic: a path of maturity built from the ground up upon the concerns most important to the subconscious. We’ll break down the stages in the posts to follow.

Part 1 || Part 2 | Part 4


Breathing Meditation

From the introduction:

If spirituality is the negotiation of the boundaries between “I” and “we,” the purpose of breathing meditation is to clarify those boundaries. It is necessary because being born into a new life is an intensely shared experience, creating connections that make it difficult to know where we stop and another (initially mother) begins. The first goal of breathing meditation is to be confident in our sense of self.

Even as we separate life remains a collaboration. What is no longer needed by us can be a gift to other living things. What they no longer need can be a gift to us. To meditate on our breath is to be conscious of that exchange: we exhale carbon dioxide, and plants release oxygen.

To master breathing meditation is to make exchange the sole focus of our awareness. As mastery grows, awareness extends to subtle exchanges of thoughts and then pure energy. Obviously breathing meditation is not mastered in a day.