Feel connected to something larger…
Touching the Sacred through the Now
a 4-week live online course with Ann Weiser Cornell, Paula Gamble-Grant, and Peter Gill
If you took Focusing & The More, this course is a continuation and a new take on the topic of Focusing & Spirituality
We long to feel connected to something larger than ourselves.
When you gaze up at the stars at night, do you have a sense of being a loved and cherished part of a larger compassionate system?
Or do you feel small and insignificant, and that the universe is cold, chaotic, and uncaring?
Here’s what I’ve learned: The difference between these two worldviews is not an intellectual decision. It’s something you can feel in the wisdom of your body.
When life gets hard, you need your sense of something larger even more…
There are times when life can feel impossible. Too many challenges, too much struggle. In those moments, trusting you can lean into the larger system becomes even more precious. I’ve survived some of the hardest times in my life by deeply knowing I was supported by a vast web of interconnection. When I’ve needed it the most, the spiritual dimension has been there for me.
Feelings of disconnection seem like proof that you’re alone, and yet…
Your feelings of alienation and separation say more about your past than about the truth of what is around you now. When kids are hurt or ignored, they try to make sense of the world by seeing it as a cold and uncaring place. But the experience of wholeness has been patiently waiting for you to become aware of it, all this time.
There is a way to consistently tune into a vast presence in your life.
It starts with learning to trust the deep inner knowing in your body, the “inner sense of rightness” that’s built into all living beings from before birth. By trusting and following the knowing within, you can open up to experiences of being held and cared about by what is larger than yourself. These experiences have a universal quality and yet they are also unique to you.
What do we mean by the “Sacred” and the “Now”?
“The Sacred” points to a special dimension of life that is contrasted with the ordinary or the mundane. It is potentially a transcendent realm of life, a gateway to mystery and the eternal. “The Now” is the present moment, this moment here, embodied and lived fully. Touching the sacred through the now is a paradox of sorts, yet somehow fitting.
“To see a world in a grain of sand, or heaven in a wildflower. Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.” – William Blake
Last year we gave a course called “Focusing and the More.” We said that people can have their own beliefs and practices and still tap into The More, which is like a fabric of interconnection that we are all part of… and can all feel, if we try. “Touching the Sacred through the Now” is both a continuation of that course and a new take on the topic. We’ve got new exercises, new topics, new experiences. Whether or not you took that course, we believe you will find richness in this one.
Want to get a first-hand experience of what this course can offer you?
Watch a recording of a free one-hour webinar where we’ll:
- help you recall and be nourished by your own experiences of the Sacred
- explore how Gendlin’s philosophy supports finding wholeness in the present moment
- invite you to notice the Sacred in surprising places of daily life
“Your physically felt body is in fact part of a gigantic system of here and other places, now and other times, you and other people–in fact, the whole universe.”
― Eugene Gendlin
Join us in this course where we’ll show you how:
- Focusing on your own membership in the world of nature can open you up to a grounded sense of belonging
- Focusing can support you in finding meaning in difficult times of loss, adversity, and even death
- You can create or deepen your own contemplative practice with writing or meditation combined with Focusing
- Focusing helps you heal the wounds of separation in which some experiences are considered more “sacred” than others
- Gene Gendlin’s philosophy of the implicit shows us a universe in which we belong, centered on living creatures
- Focusing can open new doorways to the “the Sacred”
- And more!
This course could be right for you if:
- You’ve ever struggled with feelings of disconnection and existential loneliness
- You feel you want to deepen your awareness of what is sacred and precious in ordinary life
- You want to develop an embodied process for living your life more fully moment by moment
What You’ll Get:
In this course, you’ll experience a series of comfortable, grounded processes for accessing the spiritual side of embodied awareness… in a way that you can trust more and more
Not only that, but you’ll connect to a community of people who are also exploring the spiritual side of inner sensing, each in their own unique way.
The result: the opportunity to make Touching the Sacred Through the Now a trusted and supportive part of your life from now on.
About Your Teachers
Ann Weiser Cornell, PhD, is the co-developer (with Barbara McGavin) of Inner Relationship Focusing. Ann learned Focusing in 1972 from its developer, Eugene Gendlin, and was his close friend and colleague to the end of his life.
Ann has written several definitive books on Focusing, including The Power of Focusing: A Practical Guide to Emotional Self-Healing, and Focusing in Clinical Practice: The Essence of Change.
She has taught Inner Relationship Focusing around the world since 1980, and is a past president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology.
“As compassionate and loving as you are to your inner parts, there is something larger than you that holds you in that same compassion and love.”
― Ann Weiser Cornell
Are you ready to explore the spiritual side of embodied awareness?
Let’s do it together!
“Let yourself be slowly drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”
What Our Students Have Said About Our Past Focusing & Spirituality Course
- J.P.F."Before the course, I'd often hide to avoid situations where my inner defenders might take over. After the course, I felt more supported and connected to a bigger system. One of the ways that showed up for me was that when I lost all my keys on a ski run and I was able to ask people for help. I got the help I needed and my keys back in a short time."
- Steve Moscovitch"Before the course, I was frightened that my prayer practice would require me to bypass what was painfully real within me. Now, I have a practice that allows me to go down DEEP within myself and also to reach HIGH for guidance and support. It's brought a sense of not being alone. If you want to relate to the Sacred or 'The More' in a way that doesn't bypass personal pain or joy, this course will help!"
- Leslie Strickland"Focusing & The More invites wonder rather than answer-expecting questioning about what all this human and beyond-human existence is. One of the most enriching aspects of The More gatherings for me has been experiencing how very different and very specific each person’s path into The More is; and how within just minutes of listening to their stories complete strangers touch deep into our hearts, and the common humanity of all of us emerges."
- Bernie V.D."Before the course, I had a more limited view of what was sacred. Now I recognize sacredness is in the eyes of the beholder. I attune my eyes and heart more often to look for, and appreciate, the sacredness all around me. Ann's modeling of both vulnerability and, also, welcoming whatever arises, has inspired me to do this more often myself. Also, for several weeks before the course, I was in a very frustrating situation that seemed unsolvable. As a result, I neglected self-care and my well-being deteriorated. The course helped me so expand my sense of what is sacred that I experienced a huge shift. I (re)discovered my own sacredness. Books and articles cannot transmit the radical acceptance of everything. There's no substitute for being in a community of people who use Focusing as a way of life. Ann's Presence is exceptional and not to be missed. The way she responds so positively to whatever is shared is contagious."
- M.H."I was surprised at how much of an impact it made on me to find a community of like-minded people interested in exploring The More free of ideology and dogma. Until I took this course, I didn't realize how much I longed for that kind of community. I was also surprised at how much Focusing on The More expanded my sense of connection to life. As I open to The More through Focusing, I'm finding a real sense of relationship with all that is, a real give and take, and a lessening of the sense of existential aloneness that has always been a feature of my life."
- Gisela U."Before Focusing & The More, I was coping with worries about present situations like COVID, climate, and the decline of democracy. That left me feeling depressed and hopeless. After participating in the course, I found I could be present with all my concerns without pondering about them all the time. Now when I feel depressed, I can get out of that state more easily and quickly than before."
- Susan Choi"Focusing & The More and Focusing training have supported me dropping into that greater wisdom that can hold all the parts in me with deeper compassion and neutrality. After Focusing & The More I also have a deeper connection to nature, plants, animals, the sun and the moon. It's beautiful."
- J.C."Before taking the course, my biggest challenge was resistance to change and a belief that change would never happen or something in me didn't want it to happen. Actually, it might have been that word transformation that felt so daunting. Such a big scary prospect to transform, no guessing what that might entail. This challenge was a source of frustration, disappointment, and at times, despair. Now, on a very deep level, there's something inside me that feels met and it feels so glad after waiting and waiting. It's hard to put into words. Well-being comes to mind, like the feeling I used to experience after a long cross-country ski tour... Glad to be alive and breathing all the way down to my toes. Looking back, the defining moment for me was Ann saying, "We aren't here to teach you anything." That was the point where something in me was able to lower its guard just enough for something delicious to seep through my protective layers. What a breath of fresh air."
- Susan D."Before Touching the Sacred, I felt like no one could understand my feelings, so why bother to be with people? During the class, I was able to be with people and it didn't feel bad. It felt as if I could be myself. I connected to the aspects of myself that enjoy being alive despite the challenges. I also felt accepted and understood. The course gives you the opportunity to discover what you love about living in a gentle, supportive atmosphere. It doesn't matter what you believe about the sacred, you'll enjoy what you find here."
- Birgit V."Through the guided exercise on inviting hidden feelings, I was able to meet the fear in me that is very quick to hide. I found I could listen to that fear and it helped me incorporate more freedom into my life. I Iiked that 'The More' was used in such a varied way. For me, it means something that is beyond borders. I was touched that so many people feel deeply about 'The More'."
How Online Courses Work
We use Zoom, an online video conference platform, to connect you to other students and the teacher. Before the class starts you will receive a Zoom link to use each time the class meets. You can join us via your camera-equipped computer, tablet, or smart phone. Prefer not to be on video? You can turn off your camera. Don’t want to call via computer? You can call in by phone. Zoom is free and easy to use. You will be able to sign on in advance to make sure you can access it, but we’ve had very few problems with it. Students also receive access to a private webpage where course materials can be found.
There is no prerequisite for this course. All are welcome.
Continuing Education Credit & Record of Completion
Course meets the qualifications for 8 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Focusing Resources, CAMFT Approved CE Provider #62524
Focusing Resources is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. Focusing Resources maintains responsibility for this course and its content.
There is a $25 administrative fee for CE Credits. Records of Completion are awarded at the end of the course upon completion of all requirements and the course evaluation. (If you don’t want CE Credits but would like a Record of Completion, the $25 fee does still apply.)
Eligibility for CE Credits requires at least 80% live attendance. If you miss a class, it must be made up.
Cancellations, Changes & Refunds
Up to 14 days before the first day of class: Just let us know and we'll refund your course fee. Or you can choose to apply the entire course fee towards a future class with us.
Cancellations received 13 days or fewer before class begins: No refund, sorry.
When Something Doesn't Go As You'd Hoped...
We are always open to discussing experiences with our courses that didn’t work for you or didn’t go the way you expected. Depending on the circumstances, you may want to email your course instructor, the staff member in charge of your course, or Ann Weiser Cornell. Email addresses for all these people will be supplied on registration. We will work with you to find a way to meet your needs.
Do I need to attend every class meeting?
You can enroll in this course and listen to the recordings that are available 1-2 days after each class meeting. We call this remote attendance. Please Note: If you attend remotely, you are ineligible for CE Credits.
Is this a course with partnership practice?
No, partnerships are not available for this course.
Tell me more about the classroom environment and how course content is provided?
Sure. This course is taught using an online video conference system called Zoom. You’ll receive all the details you need to join us via Zoom prior to the first class meeting. You’ll also receive access to our course platform (Ruzuku) where homework assignments and class recordings can be found. Participants will be able to communicate via an online forum in Ruzuku.
Tell me more about the recordings for this course
To respect the confidentiality and privacy of our participants we do not provide video recordings of our classes. All recordings are provided as audio files.