EHI Congratulates Ken Bradford on the Release of his Latest Book!
Opening Yourself: The psychology and yoga of self-liberation
- Calm the mind and tune into your inner sense
- Deepen authentic presence and see through self-illusions
- Open yourself to the natural ease and wonderment of being
The human predicament is such that we continually strive to fill an inner sense of wanting that afflicts us throughout our lives. The recurring sense of inner discontent arises as the desire for something less (bad) or more (enjoyable) than what is happening just now! We repeatedly find ourself at odds with others, the world, and most painfully of all, with ourself. All our efforts to get to a better there and then always fail sooner or later, for the simple reason that we can only ever be here and now. Buddhist and radical Existential psychology see through this dilemma. They each recognize there is an essential wholeness to human being that is lost to everyday consciousness.
The first part of this book presents how, in the course of normal human development, consciousness divides. In early childhood, a separate sense of self congeals as we construe ourself as a being apart from being as such. However, the self we identify as, and constantly strive to fulfill, promote and defend, is nothing but a chimera, a self-construct no more real than an image in a mirror. Ironically, it is the pain of this basic separation that gives rise to the lifelong longing for wholeness. Respecting the existential intelligence of our discontent, it becomes possible to reclaim awareness from being lost in its own projections, and tune in to the undivided presence that allows this to happen. Respecting this dizzying truth, the book’s second part presents a contemplative yoga approach to free ourself from self-illusions. This integrates the skilful means of experience-near therapy, Buddhist meditation and the nondual wisdom of Dzogchen – the highest Tibetan yoga – in the service of opening ourself to the fluid, luminous nature of who we truly are rather than who we merely think we are.
In the service of broadening the range of psychological inquiry and deepening the reach of spiritual realization, this book offers a practical guide for therapists and therapy clients, Dharma teachers and truth seekers. It proceeds by tuning in to innate intelligence, in order to see through self-fabrications to the unfettered freedom, ease and ecstatic lucency of being as such.