Bifocal Vision


Back in the nineties I participated in a three-year training program to become a practitioner of Psychosynthesis.


Psychosynthesis is an approach to psychology that expands the boundaries of the field by identifying a deeper center of identity of the Self. It considers each individual unique in terms of purpose in life and places value on the exploration of human potential.


My life was examined over these three-years as I explored, with supervision, my experiences and my core beliefs. I was the guinea pig. I gained a deeper understanding of my childhood and core beliefs hidden within. All in the name of healing on a deep level.

I believe it is an integral part of a healer’s responsibility to uncover their own triggers before they offer help to others.


An important concept in this exploration was using bifocal vision. Seeing with my physical eyes while also viewing from my heart and intuition. I learned so much about why I react, why I jump to conclusions and a deeper understanding of my core beliefs. This training added more depth to my inner reflection as I peeled away the layers of my core wounds.


We don’t have to go through a three-year training to understand self-exploration. We practice every day as we sit in silence and reflect on our experience. We practice every day when we hold compassion for ourselves and others. We practice every day when we examine our core beliefs. We practice every day when we see the miracles in nature. We practice every day when we view life from a bird’s eye view.


There’s so much more to us than our physical appearance. Our wholeness includes our human body, our intellectual mind, our heart center, and our spirit. We function together as we manage our lives.


We are living through an energy ascension on this Mother Earth as we merge our heart with our intellect. The ego feels threatened by the loss of control as our heart takes center stage.


By practicing self-care, inner reflection and self-compassion we travel through this process. We learn, we grow, we reflect and we gain wisdom.


Sit Quiet With Nature by Carolyn Riker

If you sit quiet inside the curve with nature


you’ll start to notice sweet movement such as


tiny lavender buds bending to the feel of humble silence


a holy holding folding the day into the sap of night


the smallest birds feasting on the tiniest bugs as a lazy lizard stretches


on the warmth of a bare rock while grasses glean streams of crawling creatures


and those trees held by the earth sing the story of sages


along with a knowing sky channeling clouds with unified forces


when you sit quiet enough even for just a while you and I


in our respective spaces we share this bond of life circles and awareness


presented by respecting our interstellar marvel witnessed in nature


Participants’ Reflections:

  • Thank you. I know little about Psychosynthesis and it sounds fascinating. I know how important it is for the healer to take responsibility to uncover their own triggers before they help others. As a writing teacher, I learned, in that domain, it’s easy to give advice to other writers how to write. And then when I tried to do it myself, I had to really learn it, not just theoretically know it. I had to integrate it into my abilities. I think the same is true with healing. One can’t just tell others to be calm and live in acceptance if you don’t really practice it yourself. It’s a great lesson. As I go through this very trying time in my life this week, it has been a challenge to maintain my serenity and my acceptance. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but I know I am stretched and it takes constant observation and work to keep practicing the principles I want to live by no matter what is happening in my life. Thank you.

  • I wanted to add that I am reminded of the biblical verse about the mote in your own eye versus the mote in the other person’s eye. I think it links into going through your own emotional and psychological history to understand it before you can really hear and meet the other person where they are.

  • I’ve always found that if someone really bugs me, it’s usually because I’m recognizing something in them that I don’t like about myself. I have to remember that today. It’s hard. Breathing helps.

  • I saw somewhere the other day that in some part of the world, there is a group that compares their work to a library. But instead of pulling out a book, you would meet with different people and have them as a book so to speak. You would learn about each other. It’s a nice idea. The other thing I was thinking about was this. There are parts of myself that I view as character flaws where I have done harm to someone. But to be gentle with myself, I can look at what is good about that part of myself. It’s hard to not go off the cliff about the bad part. Thank you.

  • Thank you for talking about the reflections. It’s been an important part of my growth. During the meditation, my thoughts led to death and I was thinking about letting go. Death is the ultimate acceptance in letting go. What are my beliefs about passing? Thinking about why I would choose to hold on. As I get older, is there a line between my satisfaction that I’ve done what I wanted to do and fear of death? I’m afraid of death, I’m afraid of what comes next. If I didn’t have that fear, what would my choices be? Would they open up? What does our death-phobic culture, as Steven Jenkinson names it, do with our beliefs regarding what we are supposed to do and how we age.

  • Shirley answers: That’s an important question. I know that as I have done my work in exploring myself and differentiating what’s my ego and what’s my heart, as I let go of ego, my ego goes through the fear of dying. I’ve had an experience I don’t know how many times where I say ‘this is the week, I’m going to die this week.’ To the point of oh here I go again, thinking about my own death. It’s really the fear of the ego losing control. It’s a scary experience because it’s so real. But isn’t that what’s the ego’s job is-- to make us stay safe within the confines we have identified to be safe? And when we move out of that defined safety, there is just fear. Walking through that fear reminds me of the fire ceremonies. When I studied under Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, I learned about fire ceremonies portending our own death. It is very powerful. When we view life beyond that point, it becomes more expansive. It’s not a one-time deal unfortunately.

  • We just recently signed a document regarding what I want to happen to me in case of emergency. It’s like the flip side of being frightened to be alive at all costs. If I’m not breathing, what do I want to happen? And what quality of life do I want if there isn’t success in emergency situations? It shifted the focus from the fear of the unknown and no control over that to fearing what do I have control over. It’s not so much I am terrified of dying but I’m more fearful of living my life in a significantly diminished way.

  • I went through that with my daughter and it was hard to do, but it was a safety net because the decisions were already in place. The process is helpful.

  • I’ve had occasions to be a witness when people have filled out such documents. I felt so honored to be in the presence of the people filling out the documents. They were calm and they weren’t afraid. I’ve done hospice work, and the more I step into the presence of death, the more I learn and it takes away the fear.

  • From Shirley: What you are in is ultimate truth. There’s no room for anything else but dealing with truth at that moment. Hospice work is empowering that way.

  • I’ve had s