John Welwood is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist in San Francisco and an associate editor of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. In this brilliant and thought-provoking collection of essays, he explores the dramatic interface between Eastern and Western psychologies. He believes that this dialogue "may bring about important new understandings of the connection between consciousness, emotion, body, soul, and spirit." Many of the insights from his six books are evident here in pieces on meditation, coemergence, unconditional presence, and the complementarity of psychological and spiritual work.
In the first section titled "Integrating Psychology and Spirituality," Welwood examines inner transformational work, discusses the process of spiritual bypass, the play of the mind, and the art of befriending our experiences. In the second batch of essays, the author considers "Psychotherapy in a Spiritual Context." Here some of the topics covered include the power of unconditional presence, depression as a loss of heart, and the practice of love. In the book's last section, "The Awakening Power of Relationship," Welwood looks at intimacy as a transformative path, the nature of passion, the use of psychological obstacles as catalysts for growth, and the relationship between spiritual teachers and their students. This ambitious work succeeds so well because it sheds light on the interplay between meditation, inner work, and conscious relationship as a spiritual practice.