Advanced T-Group 2.0 Intensive
What a liberation to realize that the 'voice in my head' is not who I am. 'Who am I, then?' The one who sees that.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Just as in meditation, T-Group 2.0 is a practice arena where we endeavor to simply witness and observe the flow of our thoughts, sensations, emotions, and impulses, in the present moment; only in T-Group, we do it in relationship.
In ordinary life, most of us spend most of our time completely absorbed into and fully identified with that flow of experience, it seems to be our “self.” We believe the stories our thoughts tell us, we feel “right” in the emotions that those stories stir up, and then when impulses arise from the emotions, we feel justified in reacting from them. All of this happens nearly instantaneously, without much conscious input from us. And this is a sorry state, quite like a puppet being danced around involuntarily on a set of strings.
To grow and develop beyond that state, the first step is to learn to witness those strings in action: in this moment, what is driving you, what is organizing your thoughts and behavior, what filter is arranging how you’re seeing and interpreting everything? In a T-Group, it can sound something like this:
I’m realizing that I’m not letting myself be here fully. I have a belief that none of you would be willing or able to stay in connection with me if I really brought my whole self. I see that it is causing me to display only a mild and mostly-positive version of myself.
Robert Kegan, scholar of advanced human development, calls these moments The Subject-Object Shift. It’s when we go from being the subject of something (like the puppet on the string), to being able to take that string as the object of our awareness. In the example above, without the subject-object shift, this would be simply living inside of a world with the unspoken rule, “it’s not safe to be fully here.” That organizing principle, that perceptual filter, plays a big part in determining how they experience themselves, how they relate to others, and thereby, what kinds of responses they elicit from them.
When we become able to stand outside of these forces and look directly upon them, we realize that we are not them. And as Eckhart points out, this is liberation. Liberation means that we can fully welcome the entire spectrum of our embodied experience without fear and without reactivity. We can receive it as interesting and useful information about the present situation, and we can appreciate it as part of what makes life so vivid and rich and meaningful. But we don’t have to make it our SELF and we don’t have to lose conscious choice about how we feel, how we behave, or how we relate. Victor Frankl says it all perfectly, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
In this Advanced T-Group Intensive, we will be working with a brand new set of T-Group exercises that I have designed to deepen and accelerate our practice of the subject-object shift. These will be individual, one-on-one, and triad experiences, all setting the stage for a culminating round of T-Group in small groups.
Date: Saturday, July 27 from 6:00 - 10:00 PM
Food: dinner will NOT be served, so please arrive well fed.
Location: Berkeley, CA (near Gourmet Ghetto. The specific address will be emailed out to all participants in the days before the event)
Pre-requisites: you must have attended at least ONE Sunday Night T-Group and participated in the facilitated beginner’s group. If you cannot attend a Sunday night between now and this intensive, reach out to me and we will set up a 30-Minute one-on-one