Campbell, P & McMahon, E (1985). Bio-spirituality: Focusing as a way to grow. Chicago: Loyola Press.
Bio-Spiritual Focusing is a way to approach the wisdom of your body in ways that helps one be present, in the Christian tradition, to the full Body of Christ. The process helps one connect with the physically felt places within and offers a dimension of the inner spiritual journey as God is present and brings healing and hope.
This book explores bodily knowing, learning to focus and then to apply focusing in the spiritual dimension. The authors offer a fascinating exploration of ancient perspective regarding the body and Spirit while laying forth a new paradigm for Western spirituality.
I was struck in particular with both the ancient perspectives and the new paradigm. In explaining the new paradigm the authors quote Carl Jung in which he wonders why Christians are unable to apply Matthew 25 to themselves. He explores the fact that within each of us is a sister or brother who we view as the “least of these” and yet we are unable to bring the love of Christ. We are able to serve the “least” outside of ourselves, but not the “least” within, which leads to self-hatred. When Jesus calls us to love our neighbor as we love ourself, this inability to tend to the needs of self takes on new meaning. One can be idolatrous with forms of self-love (narcissism) but the other dimension is to become present to bringing the love of God to ourselves as we do to others. When we talk about seeking the lost, these authors challenge us to seek the lost within. This awareness was profound for me and is something that I must sit with for awhile.
The book concludes by describing the focusing process, which I personally am able to apply to contemplative prayer. Bio-spiritual focusing is in many respects a prayer of discernment, as the Holy Spirit is invited to unpack what is within so that full conversion might take place. This is not a technique, the authors are quite clear about that. Rather, it is an approach to being present, in prayer, to the therapeutic presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the true Counselor.
I completed a nine-hour training session in bio-spiritual focusing and now meet with a spiritual director once each month who is helping me be present to this in my own life. This continues to be profound for me and is bringing the healing of the Holy Spirit in many ways.