Monday, March 4, 2024

2024 Spirituality & Healing group - closing to new members on Wednesday, March 6


Dear friend, 

I’ve been receiving some questions about whether it’s still possible to join the new 2024 Spirituality & Healing online inner work group and community that started a few weeks ago.

We have decided to re-open enrollment up until the start of the first live session in March (Thursday, March 7). At that time, the community will remain closed for the remainder of the year, so that the group can make the journey together in a contained, boundaried, and cohesive way (the sealed vessel in alchemy, the vas hermeticum).

If you do choose to join now, you’ll be able to catch up on what you missed in February by reviewing the videos, meditations, and teachings for the month, and join us for our ongoing live sessions. Remember that you need not participate live to fully enjoy the benefits and support of the group; many are not able to do so due to other life commitments.

I created this community in response to an inner call that I’ve felt as well as many requests that I’ve received over the years to spend a year together where we can (re)commit to our healing and spiritual path in a new and deeper way, with the support, holding, and containment of a dynamic relational field.

Over the last 30 years (including many years in meditation and my own therapy, analysis, and supervision), I’ve come to see how important it is to bring together the essence of psychological healing, working with early trauma, the wisdom of the body and nervous system, and spiritual and meditative realization together to catalyze a truly integral approach.

We’ll spend the year making a deep dive into the nature of a contemporary, embodied spirituality, in a safe, nurturing, and provocative holding environment, with friends and fellow travelers around the world. I’d love to have you join us.

You can learn more about the new group and community here:

>>Learn more about Matt Licata’s Spirituality & Healing inner work group and community

If you have any questions, please write to support@mattlicataphd.com.

Thank you again for your interest in your own unique path of transformation and healing. I hope to see you online soon or to stay in touch in other ways over the months to come. Please take care of yourself.

With appreciation,

Matt 



Saturday, March 2, 2024

The path is everywhere


There are times when the ground will fall out from underneath us, when an old dream dies… me and my life and the way I was so sure it would turn out. A person we thought would be with us forever, meaning in our work and creativity, even our deepest realizations… shattered into the vast.

An invitation is presented into the landscape of grief, into the purifying waters of lamentation, deep into a well which has been hidden in soul. But this structure can be seen, felt, and sensed, by way of engagement with the imaginal.

Once located, we can sit by that well and grieve the ending of one world so that another may begin.

The well is located in the very center of the mandala, which is paradoxically where we always, already are, but it can be so easy to lose track of our home base, whether imaged as the palace of the soul, the light of the spirit, or the ventral passageways of the holy human nervous system.

The path is everywhere but it can take slowing down and a cleansing of perception for this revelation to ground in our bodies. Our sensitivities, vulnerabilities, and eccentricities are not obstacles to our path, but are the very path itself.

It is natural to long and ache and burn for answers, but at times we’re taken into the vastness of the question and asked to stay there.

In the language of alchemy, transmutation is a process where the lead of habitual consciousness is converted into the emerald, silver, and gold of aliveness, creativity, and new vision.

This unfolding evokes the image of the elusive philosopher’s stone, the ruby red doorway into the mystery and the majesty of inner and outer nature.

The stone is here now but is outside ordinary view, and longs in its own way to come here and share its qualities and fragrances. Hidden in the moon, in the sand, in the stars, and the heart-cells, it wants you as its vessel.



Saturday, February 24, 2024

The ancestors and the unlived life


Deep in the somatic unconscious, the ancestors continue to live within us, emerging-into-now by way of their sensitivities and gifts, as well as through the shards of their unlived lives.

Their lost joy, broken dreams, and unfulfilled creativity have a way of taking up residency in our cell tissue, subtle bodies, and in our bellies and hearts.

As we enter into the mandala of descent – downward into body, mud, roots, and Earth – these ones begin to appear: as symbol, image, feeling, and synchronicity. They have a way of shifting shapes in order to find us, through color, tree, water, and sound.

What is it that we’re carrying on their behalf? What dreams remain undreamed and unmanifested for them? What are their deepest longings? What secrets have they never been able to share?

What keeps them awake at night? What brings them alive and unleashes their creativity and unique essence? What visions are not permitted to take form, of the divine within and of the divine world?

What were they required to disown in order to fit in to a place that had lost its sensitivity and soul? What became buried in the shadows? What story were they unable to tell, what feelings were they unable to feel?

In what way are we being asked to open a portal into re-emergence, re-enchantment, and revisioning?

As we open to receive this offering, an inner sanctuary forms to illuminate and transmute this transgenerational soul-material. Inside that structure, the seemingly solid lines between past, present, and future begin to fall away.

Being “in the present moment,” we share this moment with the ancestral ones and the spirts of the Earth who are with us.

In this way, past, present, and future co-emerge and interpenetrate, opening a diamond-like passageway into the mysteries of self and other, being and becoming, and a new alchemy of separation and union.

The individual self is an emanation, a manifestation, and an ornament of the Totality, a unified expression of the clear-light nature. Unique and differentiated, while at the same time non-separate and one.



Saturday, February 17, 2024

Overwhelm and the inner friend


In moments of overwhelm - when we’re unable to access the internal resources or relational support to process what we’re experiencing – fragmented shards of emotion and pieces of soul are stored outside conscious awareness in soma and shadow holding areas, where they remain available for metabolization at a future time.

Though out of conscious awareness, this material continues to color our perception and polish our heart with its energies and fragrances. In its unilluminated form, it affects our capacity to feel, play, imagine and dream.

Prior to the ages of 4 or 5, we’re not able to repress that which is potentially shattering and have no choice but to experience it directly, or sequester it deep in the underworld, by way of those more archaic defenses of dissociation and splitting.

The lost ones who carry the material for us long to release this burden and return home. Sometimes we hear or sense them around us; they appear in our dreams, fantasies, and unexpected moods and physical symptoms.

At times they even appear as natural phenomena - the sun, moon, wilted flower, or star - even as our lovers, friends, and (real-life) children.

An alchemical, cellular healing would then require that we send our awareness and devotion into the neural-soul network which is holding the shattered one, containing its unlived life, and infuse that network with qualities that weren’t available at the time of the fragmentation - empathy, warmth, centering, and companionship.

Where, instead of disintegration, there is reintegration. Instead of dissociation, re-association. Instead of a necessary dis-embodiment, re-embodiment. A re-imagining where imagination was once foreclosed. A relinking of psyche-soma.

At the root of this wounding is the absence of a companion to make the journey with us, the Friend that we long for to bear witness as the shards disassemble and then come back together.

The nature of who and what this “Friend” is must be discovered in the fire of our own direct experience.

May you discover and come to know this Friend, living with it as an inner partner, in its infinite forms and expressions in your life. Though it can seem otherwise, the Friend may be nearer than we think.



Saturday, February 10, 2024

Into the healing temple


The tragedy of relational wounding presents itself as a cellular fragmenting, more primordial than a mere cognitive dissonance, neurally-encoded and rooted in the soma-soul temple.

Here, we simultaneously long for and are terrified of “the Other,” not knowing whether to move toward or turn away. This sort of disorientation runs through the entirety of our psychic and bodily circuitry.

For a young child, the attachment figure is God(dess), magician, and idealized best friend - without them, the end is near. But when this figure is also the very source of terror for the little one – or are traumatized themselves – we find ourselves in uncharted waters.

It takes everything to sit in this field with another who has been touched in this way, an “other” outside us as well as the “other” within. If we really allow that in, the vessel may shatter.

In addition to empathic failure and narcissistic injury which goes to the very core of our sense of self, even more devastating is a deep, cellular knowing that “I’m alone in this.” The absence of companionship, the lost friend, is at the heart of trauma and devastating to a human being wired to rest and play within a relational field.

To provide even a sliver of hope, a moment of safety, where the other can feel felt and understood; just one moment when there can be a relinking, re-association, and re-imagining; to bring into the shared neural network a new experience, can soothe, repair, and open a new way forward.

Never underestimate the power of love and what we can do to help, listening and trying to understand how another is making sense of their experience and the meaning it has for them.

Attuning not only to the verbal narrative, but the story of the body and of the soul, of the shattered spirit. It, too, has a story to tell, but by way of image, dream, feeling, and symbol.

And to provide a sanctuary in which it can all be illuminated and held.

In the inner room of that temple, we may notice that the veil that appears to separate self and other begins to fall away, revealing the beauty and the mystery of this place and the endless depths of the human heart.




Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Starting Soon: Matt's 2024 yearlong Spirituality & Healing group


Dear friends, 

My new 2024 (yearlong) Inner Work Group & Community will be getting started later this week on Thursday. We’ll meet live a few times each month, entering into a holding relational field, and explore together the mysteries of spirituality and healing.


The vision for the group is to spend a year slowing down and attuning to the depths of who and what we are, listening to the wisdom of our bodies and emotions, opening to the imaginal, resting our nervous systems, and attuning to our essential nature.

We’ll explore an embodied, soulful, psychologically- and emotionally-grounded spirituality that includes not only meditative and transpersonal experience, but also the realities of our relational wounding.

And how the entirety of our unlived life, all of the unprocessed and unmetabolized somatic, emotional, neural, and imaginal material is a (required) doorway to the sacred.

And how the real power, mercy, and grace of this work is a felt-discovery that this material is not in the way of our healing and awakening, not obstacles to our path for us to enter into some imaginary battle with, but are the very path itself.

We can’t just accept this as yet another spiritual aphorism or wise sounding saying for us to believe in; it has to come alive in the very fiber of our being, in our muscles and cells, in our nervous systems and in our hearts, in our relationships, in our bellies and in our imagination.

Our live sessions will involve a practice of embodied attunement, to ourselves, one another, to our world, and also to the mystery itself, to the Ally, the Friend, and the Inner Guide, who we may discover is closer than we have ever thought.



Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Free live webinar with Matt next Thursday the 25th


I'll be presenting a free live webinar on January 25 at 9am PT/ 5pm in London, on "Turning the Light: The Mystery of Presence and Attuning to the Creative Unknown."

>> Register for the webinar at no cost here 

It’s so easy to lose contact with the experience of mystery and aliveness, where we’re spending time each day in play with reality, and in those nourishing organic embodied states of imagination, awe, wonder, and the joy of Being itself.

Things have gotten so speedy, shaky, and uncertain in the collective. It’s as if there’s a slow drip of cortisol or adrenaline coming out of the matrix and into our sensitive bodies and nervous systems.

It’s vital that we take time each day to slow down, to shift our awareness out of the collective trance and the urgency of the spin, and into the body, the heart, and the imaginal world, where we can truly listen to the Soul and the guidance it has for us.

During our time together, I’ll speak about:

-- Stepping out of the matrix of the collective and attuning to the wisdom of the body and the imagination

-- Creating an inner holding environment for ourselves and the scattered pieces of soul in times of transition, liminality, and stress

-- The mysterious link between relational trauma, a broken heart, and the sacred; the wounded healer and the path of initiation

-- Trusting in the soul and the ways it relentlessly and wildly pulls us toward wholeness, including by way of our sensitivities and “symptoms”

I look forward to spending some time with everyone on Thursday, January 25!



To learn more about Matt's upcoming 2024 Inner Work Group & Community, please visit the information page here

Friday, January 12, 2024

Matt's 2024 Spirituality and Healing group


My 2024 Inner Work Group & Community is now open for a limited time. 

>>Learn more about the group and community here

The vision and the intention for the group and community is to discover a healing relational field in which, together, we can move into the unknown and explore the mysteries of an embodied, emotionally-alive, imaginal, relational spirituality.

One that includes not only attunement to meditative and transpersonal experience, but also the depths of what it means to be an open, sensitive human being who has been touched by relational wounding, attachment and narcissistic injury, loss, and betrayal.

For the truth is that we've all been given experience in this life which has overwhelmed our capacity to process and metabolize it. As a result, it has come to be held in the body, in the imaginal field, and in subcortical circuitry, awaiting ripe (love) conditions when it can return in the holding of a new consciousness.

To paraphrase Jung, not only a path of imagining figures of light, but one of making the darkness conscious – to go into the body-vessel and to illuminate the pieces of soul and the lost orphans of psyche and soma, and to help them back home, as portals into Being.

In this way, we provide a sanctuary for the entirety of our unlived life and all of the unprocessed and unmetabolized somatic, emotional, neural, and imaginal material to come back into consciousness, into the body, where it can disclose its wisdom, creativity, and essence.

This path of illumination, holding, and making sense of our experience in a new way is an experiential process that must come alive in the very fiber of our being, in our muscles and cells, in our nervous systems and in our hearts, in our bellies and in our imagination. As we dream a new dream, and to be dreamed by the Great Dreamer (herself).

And, together, as relational beings, in a way that isn’t always possible on our own, to perceive and listen to the Self, the Guide, and the Ally, which can reveal itself within the interactive field, and to receive its wisdom and guidance.

From the side of the psychotherapeutic traditions, we will tend to the wounds around love; while from the meditative/ spiritual, to explore our essential being; and also open into the imaginal world, the province of soul, that in-between liminal area where a new kind of healing and self-realization may emerge.



Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Free live video meeting with Matt - Thursday, January 25

 


I'll be presenting a free live webinar on January 25 at 9am PT/ 5pm in London, on "Turning the Light: The Mystery of Presence and Attuning to the Creative Unknown."

It’s so easy to lose contact with the experience of mystery and aliveness, where we’re spending time each day in play with reality, and in those nourishing organic embodied states of imagination, awe, wonder, and the joy of Being itself.

Things have gotten so speedy, shaky, and uncertain in the collective. It’s as if there’s a slow drip of cortisol or adrenaline coming out of the matrix and into our sensitive bodies and nervous systems.

It’s vital that we take time each day to slow down, to shift our awareness out of the collective trance and the urgency of the spin, and into the body, the heart, and the imaginal world, where we can truly listen to the Soul and the guidance it has for us.

During our time together, I’ll speak about:
  • Stepping out of the matrix of the collective and attuning to the wisdom of the body and the imagination
  • Creating an inner holding environment for ourselves and the scattered pieces of soul in times of transition, liminality, and stress
  • The mysterious link between relational trauma, a broken heart, and the sacred; the wounded healer and the path of initiation
  • Trusting in the soul and the ways it relentlessly and wildly pulls us toward wholeness, including by way of our sensitivities and “symptoms”
I look forward to spending some time with everyone on Thursday, January 25. 






Vulnerability, intimacy, and aliveness


It can take a lot of practice, mercy, and an unwavering love of the truth to explore the various strategies we employ to take ourselves out of feelings we don’t want to feel.
To encode new circuitry requires a real devotion – to soul, to the materials arising within the body-vessel, and to the alchemical experiment itself.

At times, it will seem as if we are inside the vessel, fused with the orphans of psyche and soma; at other times, as if we’re watching on the outside. At other times, as if self, soul-piece, and vessel are one.

For each of us, there are certain felt experiences that have come to be associated with unworkable anxiety, triggering a survival-level sort of panic. In response, pathways are put in place to get away from the underlying vulnerability and back to safe ground.

This was once a lifesaving response, an early attempt at self-compassion, and can be respected. In the dissociative split away from the tender, however, we cut ourselves off from the aliveness we so long for.

In a moment of emotional activation, when we notice we’re starting to fall down the rabbit hole, sensing the familiar claustrophobia, the voices are getting louder, we can use this as an invitation into the experiment. The doorway to the laboratory is opened.

In one moment of recognition, we can pause, slow down, feel our feet on the ground. Things are not always what they appear.

Slowly, one moment at a time, with the help of the breath and the Ally, we can return into our embodied vulnerability, find the one there who is longing for us, hold them, listen to them, and ask them to show us what it is they need.

In this, we cut into the habitual momentum and trance of self-abandonment. We begin to see that the intimacy and aliveness can only emerge in our willingness to touch the vulnerability and provide sanctuary for its embodied metabolization.

Vulnerability and aliveness are not-two, and co-emerge together, each a pathway into the other, interpenetrating and balancing each other in union.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Falling apart and coming back together


Allowing ourselves to fall apart, to deintegrate, to de-fold, and then come back together in more cohesive ways is the very essence of the alchemical unfolding of the soul.

Me and my life and who I’ve come to imagine myself to be… the death of an old dream, how it was all supposed to turn out: what a relationship is, what will bring me meaning, what the substance of this world is.

To participate in this cycle without pathologizing or prematurely transcending it is the activity of love. And will ache and burn as in the body and the heart, and can turn us to dust. But that dust is of the golden.

Death and rebirth are not two separate processes, but one, death-rebirth. They co-arise and co-interpenetrate.

The Divine, or the Beloved is not only present in states of union and oneness, but unfolds itself by way multiplicity and differentiation, incarnating its body in and as ours. It is the at the same time the alchemical vessel and the materials inside that vessel.

Form is equally as holy as the formless. It is in that union that the mystery reveals.

Inevitably, ruptures will occur within the relational field, in that tender intersection between ourselves and another, and between the shadow and light parts within us. These ruptures are natural, creative, and carriers of quantum-potential wholeness.

The invitation is into the aliveness of paradox and contradiction, into intimacy without fusion, not unconscious merging into some homogenized leaky middle.

Embodiment to the cycle of rupture and repair, and containing it in the heart, is what allows the relationship (to Self, Other, and Divine) to unfold, deepen, and disclose its secret essence.




Thursday, January 4, 2024

Into the mandala of the wounded healer


The wounded healer isn’t only a myth to learn about, but a living reality inside you, with its own images, feelings, fragrance, and modes of vision. It is more like a mandala or inner atmosphere that you can enter into.

Or perhaps more accurately, it will at times find you so that it might draw you nearer to itself, through your dreams, unexpected moods, a color, a friend who irritates you, or through unexplainable symptoms in your body. Just as you may be longing for the Beloved, he or she (or it or they) are also looking for you, and will do whatever it takes to find you.

Within the center of the mandala, to speak mythologically, we find Chiron and his merry band of travelers, as well as each and every person who has been initiated into the mysteries by way of the sacred wound.

Perhaps the fact that you are reading this post may indicate that you are somehow part of that lineage, the stream coming down by way of the Asklepian dream temples of ancient Greece, where wayfarers and travelers would go to receive vision.

But this isn’t only an anthropological or historical matter. Chiron and the dream-vision incubation temples are alive inside you right now, infusing your muscles and cells, hidden in the chambers of your heart, and wired into the strands of your DNA.

We might open our imagination and discover that these mythological figures are not trapped back in ancient Greece, but are alive in the collective fields which play out in our personal lives through our relationships, creative work, spiritual practice, and health challenges.

Because the energetic imprints of the wounded healer are alive in the collective, we can be in relationship with these figures, their qualities, and ways of perception that they represent.

Through our practice and prayer and silence and being in nature and in the chaos of relationship and work, we can enter experientially into the center of the mandala, or interior garden. In this sense, the wounded healer is an actual “place” that exists in the landscape of the soul, that we can find our way to in the imaginal world.

You might start to sense or hear it, feel or see it, or know it is there in some unexplainable way.

You won’t be able to “find” this place within your physical anatomy or with a high-powered microscope, but you may very well find it in the anatomy of the soul.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Matt Licata's new 2024 Inner Work Group & Community


Dear friend,

I wanted to let you know that the new 2024 online Inner Work Group & Community is now open for enrollment for a limited time. We'll be getting started officially on Thursday, February 1.

You can learn more about the group and sign up here:

>>Learn more about Matt's new 2024 online Inner Work Group & Community

We'll meet live three times each month to explore the nature of an embodied, soulful, trauma-sensitive approach to spiritual transformation and healing, integrating the fields of depth and somatic psychotherapies with the wisdom and experiential discoveries of the yogis, mystics, and alchemists.

It is not necessary to attend live in order to participate fully in the teachings, meditations, and holding of the relational field itself. Many are not able to attend live due to other commitments.

To stay up to date on details regarding the group, please be sure to sign up for my mailing list.

I hope to see you inside the course soon.

Warmly,

Matt

P.S. If you're already a member of the group, please stay tuned for details on how to continue (or unsubscribe), or write to the team at support@mattlicataphd.com. You do not need to re-register via this new link.