January 6-8, 2009



The Self-Evolving Cosmos, Dreaming, and Proprioception 


Tuesday, January 6


9:30am: Introductions all around; informal dream sharing session


10:30:   Dedication to Montague Ullman  and Orientation to Social Self-Inquiry by Lloyd Gilden, Ph.D.


 Montague Ullman, Pioneer in Dream Research

 (1917 - 2008)

Collage by Susan Ullman

Dr. Ullman devoted his life to extending dreamwork beyond

the consulting room, out into the community where ordinary

people can help each other understand their dreams.

Dr. Montague Ullman, Emeritus clinical professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, graduated from New York University College of Medicine in 1938.  Subsequent to his internship and residencies in neurology and psychiatry, he served as a captain in the Army Medical Corps in World War II. He was on the psychoanalysis faculty of the New York Medical College and had a private psychoanalytic practice until 1961. In 1967, Dr. Ullman became the full-time director of the department of psychiatry at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn , N.Y.   There he helped to develop one of the first fully operational community mental health centers in the United States . He also pioneered a sleep and dream laboratory where he led a team that investigated the occurrence of dream telepathy.

In 1974, Dr. Ullman awakened to the work of the late David Bohm and developed the concept of a connection between the mystery of dreaming consciousness and Bohm’s approach to still unsettled issues in quantum theory. Dr. Ullman passionately pursued this concept until his death.

That same year, he resigned as director of the department of psychiatry and director of the community mental health center to pursue his interest in dreams at various teaching centers in
Scandinavia and in the United States . His work in Sweden resulted in the formation of a national society, The Dream Group Forum, in 1990, and was followed in 2003 with the respective Dream Group Forum in Finland . Both groups were committed to the task of extending dream work into the community, an undertaking based on the experiential group method Dr. Ullman initiated. He taught in Sweden from 1974 to 1976. On his return to the United States , he became a member of the faculty of the  Einstein College . He became known for his selfless devotion to teaching his dream group approach to both therapists and laity internationally.

He was on the board of directors of the Lifwynn Foundation, of which he was a long-time member. He shared the view with Lifwynn’s founder, Dr. Trigant Burrow, that fragmentation of our unity as a species has evolved because of our failure to recognize our interconnectedness. Ullman expanded upon that by writing, “Our dreams are concerned with the nature of our connections with others. The history of the human race, while awake, is a history of fragmentation, of separating people and communities of people ... nationally, religiously, politically; our dreams are connected with the basic truth that we are all members of a single species.

He authored over 80 professional papers and several books, including “Behavioral Changes in Patients Following Strokes.” He co-authored “Working With Dreams” and "Dream Telepathy;” and co-edited “The Variety of Dream Experience” and “Handbook of States of Consciousness.” Montague Ullman's experiential dream group method has become popular in Taiwan , where it is finding use in social work circles and university and graduate school curricula, in both Chinese and in English. Dr. Ullman's final book, “Dream Appreciation: A Group Approach to Dream Work,” translated into Chinese by Dr. Shuyuan Wang, is being used as a textbook in several Taiwanese universities.



Orientation to Social Self-Inquiry


Lloyd Gilden


Social Self-Inquiry (SSI) is the group process developed by Trigant Burrow, who established The Lifwynn Foundation with the objective of doing research to overcome the human tendency to develop social conflict. 


Social Self-Inquiry  is a social process in which people engage in dialogue regarding topics of mutual interest, e.g., business matters, social issues, etc., while inquiring into (attending to and questioning) the common human tendency of their self to be inauthentic, self-absorbed, self-conscious, self-judging, self-justifying, self-serving, etc.





11:20 : Adair Linn Nagata, Ph.D., leading bodymindfulness practice with Johari window; involvement of Deborah Hillman and/or her art.


Bodymindfulness. Holistic Awareness of the State of our Bodymind
Adair Linn Nagata 

            Body, emotion, mind, and spirit can enable skillful communication choices in interacting with other people.  
Bodymindfulness can improve communication by focusing our attention on how our somatic-emotional experience 
(bodily sensations of emotion) affects our verbal and nonverbal behavior. The group experienced the Bodymindfulness Practice, a 
seemingly simple exercise that clears a space for turning attention inward and making contact with our own energy. In the spirit of 
Social Self Inquiry (SSI), it promotes development of awareness of our bodymindset and offers a means of shifting it so that our 
presence is more poised and effective in conveying a desired message congruently. The participants applied bodymindfulness to 
dialoguing about the inspiring image of a painting contributed by Deborah Hillman, Lifwynn Board Member, which was featured in 
an art show in Montpelier, VT,  February-March 2009. 
“Invisible Connections” by Deborah Hillman

12:30pm: Lunch


1:30pm: Marlene Schiwy, Ph.D., and Heather Miller, Ph.D.,  body-soul practice and the “dance of three.”


The Dance of Three


Marlene Schiwy and Heather Miller


The Dance of Three offers an intimate exploration of three dimensions of inner and outer experience: Dancer/Mover, Mirror, and Container. The Dancer allows the impulses arising in the body to move him or her. The Mirror attends to the Dancer's process and mirrors the "dance" both concretely and energetically. The Container holds presence for both of them, sends unconditional love to the Dancer, and makes sure the Dancer is physically safe. After each round there is time for writing or artwork and for discussion among the three.


2:50: ten minute break

3:00: Bohmian dialogue/Social Self-Inquiry session

5pm: Closing poem by John Dotson


Wednesday, January 7


9:30am: Informal dream sharing session

10:30: Lisa Maroski facilitating participation on language and paradox


Language and Paradox


Lisa Maroski


      By looking at the different types of paradoxes (eg, linguistic, visual, pragmatic, etc) and where they arise in our lives, we can see how pervasive  they are. However, the presence of paradox is rarely acknowledged, I assert,  because our language tends to ignore or even discourage paradox. Certain  features of language, such as the subject-verb-object structure, the  cultural category structure, and the either/or logic of most Western  languages preclude useful paradox from being part of our language. I propose a new type of concept that draws on the visual, right brain functions as a way to embody the paradox within a single concept. The importance and usefulness of doing so become apparent when conveying the wholeness of the world, which necessarily contains co-existing, mutually creating oppositions, as well as the expanding consciousness into the nondual realm of the sacred.

11:20: Lloyd Gilden, Ph.D., on psychodrama and dreams



Psychodramatic Enactment of a Dream


Lloyd Gilden


Psychodrama is a group process created by Jacob Moreno to concretize ideas and feelings in the form of role playing and enactments.  This approach can also be applied to dreams, which entails someone’s volunteering to be the protagonist who will describe his or her dream.  The setting for the dream is established, people from the group are chosen to play the roles of other people in the dream.  Then the protagonist/dreamer proceeds, with the guidance of the director of the enactment, to represent the sequence of events that took place in the dream.  The participants are encouraged to enact the scene with creativity and spontaneity, thereby, fully developing the cognitive and emotional implications of the dream for the protagonist.  When the enactment has run its course, everyone shares the feelings and meaning the dream had for him or her.  Very often the protagonist gains deep insights regarding the conscious and unconscious implications of the dream. 


12:30pm: Lunch


1:30pm: Steve Rosen, Ph.D., on The Self-Evolving Cosmos


The Self-Evolving Cosmos: An Introduction

Steven Rosen

     In preparing for my session, I faced the daunting challenge of summarizing an abstract book on theoretical physics, cosmology, and philosophy in a way that (1) is comprehensible to people without a background in these fields and (2) ties in with the concretely embodied, experiential aims of our conference. What made the task possible is that, in fact, the approach I have taken to theoretical physics does tie in with our bodily practices, proprioceptive exercises, Bohmian dialogue, dream work, and the like. In the book I establish a link between physics’ long-sought unification of nature and the bodymind unity-in-diversity exemplified by The Lifwynn Foundation


2:30: Lloyd Gilden, Ph.D., on the Kleinian dynamics of everyday life


Development of our Ability to Experience Greater Integration

with Our Environment


Lloyd Gilden


The basic structure of reality involves objects and events that are functionally related to one another and integrated in a dynamic relationship.  During the course of human evolution the faculty of language developed.  Languages with elementalistic structure allow verbal division and separation, such as “mind” and “body.”  Languages of non-elementalistic structure suggest dynamic integration, such as “mind-body.”  The Klein bottle is a symbol that represents our seamless interconnectedness with our environment.  Representations of our interconnectedness can be seen in human figures embedded in drawings of the Klein bottle.



                                                                         Klein bottle                        Philippe Petite walking across the Trade Towers



3pm: Dialogue/Social Self-Inquiry

5pm: Closing poem by John Dotson


Thursday, January 8


9:30am: informal dream sharing

10:30: Joel Funk, Ph.D., : an alternative to Ken Wilber’s model of transpersonal development


Two Alternatives to Ken Wilber's Transpersonal Model

of Development  


Joel Funk



       Wilber's model of development emphasizes transcendence, which tends to move up and away from embodied perception.  Two models of development were offered that seem more balanced, more in keeping with work of Trigant Burrow and others.  The first, the "stereoscopic" model gives equal prominence to spirituality AND embodiment; transcendence and imminence are paradoxically integrated (yet remain somewhat independent).  A detailed comparison of these two modes was presented.  The second model, the six-pointed, star-like "kaleidoscopic" model offers six avenues of "teleological growth," three being primarily transcendent (creativity, efficacy/efficiency, and spiritual transcendence), three being primarily imminent (inner harmony, relatedness to nature, and relatedness to others).  A seventh "meta-telos," i.e., balance, attempts to integrate the other six modes. Examples of pathology (i.e., under- or over-emphasis on each mode) were illustrated as well.



11:20: ten-minute break

11:30: Marlene Schiwy, Ph.D., and Heather Miller, Ph.D., leading proprioceptive writing



Proprioceptive Writing


Marlene Schiwy and Heather Miller


The Proprioceptive Writing ritual consists of a candle, Baroque music, paper and pen, and a quiet space. We are invited to become curious about our own thoughts, feelings, and sensations, and to place our pen in service to them by spontaneously writing what we "hear" and listening to what we write, and asking the question, "What do I mean by ________?" After answering four final questions we turn off the music, blow out the candle, and each person reads aloud what he or she has written without comment or cross conversation, and with appreciation for both our own and each others' words.



12:30pm: Lunch


1:30pm: Jack Wikse, Ph.D.  Work with a selected dream as example of Ullman dreamwork in the social sphere

3:00pm: Closing dialogue