Processwork Online Blog
What is the difference between
Innerwork & Meditation?
Innerwork is a type of awareness practice or active imagination exercise used in process-oriented psychology
An Inner Work exercise in Processwork is a guided process of self-exploration that relies on noticing, articulating and following your experience in order to solve problems, find a new point of view, work on relationship conflicts or make decisions. It is more active than most approaches to mediation, calling us to focus on a particular experience or sensation. This uses our ability to focus and explore with curiosity. From these experiences or sensations, new information emerges.
Innerwork builds on Carl Jung’s Active Imagination. As Jung wrote,
“In the latter case you choose a dream, or some other fantasy-image, and concentrate on it by simply catching hold of it and looking at it. You can also use a bad mood as a starting-point, and then try to find out what sort of fantasy-image it will produce, or what image expresses this mood. You then fix this image in the mind by concentrating your attention. Usually it will alter, as the mere fact of contemplating it animates it. The alterations must be carefully noted down all the time, for they reflect the psychic processes in the unconscious background, which appear in the form of images consisting of conscious memory material. In this way conscious and unconscious are united, just as a waterfall connects above and below.”
[Carl Jung: The Conjunction, CW 14, par. 706.]
Watch a FANTASTIC video on Carl Jung on active imagination HERE
Arnold Mindell, a principle founder of Process-Oriented Psychology,expanded the process of active imagination by including somatic and experiential engagement with what is being explored. This is laid out in his book, Working with the Dreaming Body, and developed in more depth by Joseph Goodbread in The Dreambody Tool Kit: A Practical Introduction to the Philosophy, Goals, and Practice of Process-Oriented Psychology
Ultimately, innerwork is an awareness practice. It takes time to develop these skills, and is hard to cultivate alone. With time, Innerwork helps you deepen understanding of yourself, your relationships and connections. It is a way to access important states, attitudes, qualities and points of view and to apply them to everyday situations in your life. This is just one way of thinking about the distinction between meditation and Inner Work. There are many others.
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