This interview was conducted via Skype on September 27, 2015.
Dr. John Prendergast is a retired professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and a psychotherapist in private practice in San Rafael, California. He has led self-inquiry groups for over a decade and offers workshops and retreats. His website is www.listeningfromsilence.com
John is a longtime student of nondual teachings, having deeply studied with Jean Klein and Adyashanti. He is the author of the recently released In Touch: How to Tune in to the Inner Guidance of Your Body and Trust Yourself (Sounds True, 2015) and senior editor of The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy (2003) and Listening from the Heart of Silence (2007). He is also the editor-in-chief of Undivided: The Online Journal of Nonduality and Psychology.
John writes, “My approach to psychotherapy is presence-centered and body-based. As we learn to relax into the timeless now and be with our body/mind just as it is, an inner wisdom and direction unfolds. We all have an innate sense of the truth, an inner knowing that arises out of a willingness to relinquish the illusion of control and to rest in not-knowing.”
In this conversation we cover the main themes of his book, In Touch. They include…
– Felt sensing and the energy body. One of the most common forms of experiencing the energy body is also one of the most painful: heartbreak.
– Questioning Core Beliefs, Dialoguing with the Inner Critic, and Witnessing Thoughts.
– Relaxed Groundedness: As we attune with inner knowing, we experience a deep relaxation in the core of our body and a growing sense of groundedness.
– Inner Alignment: There is a sense of things lining up and falling into place inside. An inner verticality opens up that we can sense as a line running through the core of the body, extending high above and far beneath. … inner alignment also brings a sense of aliveness, which differs from excitement.
– Openheartedness: The human heart opens into a nonlocalized Great Heart that is capable of embracing the suffering of humanity. Discovering and consciously living from both the Great Heart and the soulful depths of the human heart brings the deepest happiness as human beings.
– Spaciousness : When we get in touch with our inner knowing, there is often a sense of vast space within and around our bodies, and this subjective sense of space is almost always accompanied by a deep silence. Genuine openness is very still.
– Fruits of inner knowing: Self-Recognition, The Great Intimacy
– Sacred Ordinary: As the body awakens, so does the world. When we discover that the core of the body is made up of empty, vibrant, and wakeful openness, we experience the world differently. The world as other dissolves and becomes intimate. As a result, our ordinary experience is suffused with a sense of the sacred. We discover what I like to call the sacred ordinary. We feel grateful for no reason.
Dr. John Prendergast, www.listeningfromsilence.com