Reflections on the Research Program
By Dr Claire Jankelson
Students used an approach called Intuitive Inquiry as the overarching methodology within which to construct their own research projects. Such a methodology offers a unique blend of structure and flexibility, conventional left and right brained activities, reason and holism. Each student selects or rather, finds, the area of research that arises out of their unique circumstances which could be related to their work life or personal life or a blend of these. Interestingly the analyses and the interpretations that arise out of an intuitive approach tend towards wholeness and wellness, regardless of the topic chosen. Frequently the topics chosen indicate areas that require attention and change by the society at large.
Intuition refers to a direct perception of knowing that is experienced more like a sensing than knowing. Bringing intuition to knowing goes beyond a filter of comprehension towards a ‘living’ of that knowledge. When research contains an imaginative or imaginal dimension, science becomes imbued with renewed ethical and compassionate dimensions.
Three assignments are spread over the year culminating with a presentation and altogether constitute a full research project and report. By the time students present their topic areas to the class, they have much to say and have developed an extraordinary wisdom and understanding of their research questions.
Research topics include
- Weaving Wholeness – The Mindful Therapist. Integration of an Inquiry into how mindfulness techniques can cultivate successful therapeutic abilities
- Connecting with Self: An inquiry in to how creative activities can be a guide to self-knowledge and transformation
- Developing equanimity as a therapist
- Integrating the Dragon: a Journey towards Wholeness
- What is the cycle of death?
- Transformation: fear and love in the continuing journey
- Mandalas, healing and impermanence
- How ideas can mislead: community and circle work
- Unclutter my house; unclothe my soul
- How grief can open the sacred
Students were asked: What do I feel I’ve learnt from doing this research module? What do I believe I will take forward into my work life?
An entire new dimension of oneness; it helped me to cope with my grief; offered curiosity when there could have been overwhelm; I learnt about change and transformation between fear and love; I take forward that each experience is an opportunity; an understanding of community as process rather than an destination; that what matters is the attitude rather than the state; the awareness of left and right brain difference; saw how intellect and intuition work together; saw the balance of the intellectual and the creative parts of my nature; the anchoring of intent; I have a newfound wisdom; Tools for life; it deepened my meditation; staying present to experience; a heightened motivation for practice; a deepened respect for practice; increasing curiosity; using gestures to anchor intent; a greater empathy for men’s needs; value of honing intention; self validation; self love; confidence; assertiveness
Towards the end of the class, we considered some questions that people believe need to be researched. The following reflect the mindset within the group in relation to research having a significant social as well as personal dimension; personal as well as a transpersonal possibilities; a critical dimension in in relation to change and challenging the status quo.
- How can we use body symptoms to align us with our soul purpose and work in the world?
- How does social status in a small town get decided?
- Is it in the interest of the collective for one individual to carry a dual role as therapist within that collective?
- What is the impact of bringing techniques from Wisdom traditions into the mainstream without including the moral dimensions?
- Is there a continuous patterning to the bully/victim cycle?
- What exists beyond this world?
- What current procedures or policies exist that do not support the child in child protection?
- What elements are needed for forgiveness?
- What is the role of white men in the redistribution of power/rank and equality in the world?