Big Mind Big Heart

Big Mind Big Heart
Big Mind has been developed by Zen master Genpo Roshi. Based on the principals of Voice Dialogue it extends the exploration of the dualistic selves of our personality into the realm of the transcendent. Big Mind endeavours to give the participants a direct experience of the transcendent reality within themselves. Traditionally this experience of pure freedom and spaciousness beyond the restraints of our personality has only been accessible via meditation and other self-reflective practices or spontaneously through peak experiences. In Big Mind Big Heart this experience can become directly accessible by working through a series of sub-personalities and dropping into the transcendent voices. Integrating this experience by developing an awareness centre between our personal and transcendent nature allows us to be fully in life as a human being without losing contact with the spaciousness of our transpersonal being.

Big Mind and Voice Dialogue
Ana Barner is now presenting her Voice Dialogue programs with the addition of Big Mind Big Heart. This creates the possibility to deeply explore the facets of our personality and our Human nature through the skilful process of Voice Dialogue and include the integration of our transcendent nature with Big Mind Big Heart. In order to be able to be fully in life and to function as an integrated human being, we have to accept and integrate the many aspects of our personality with understanding and compassion. And we need to keep re-visiting being beyond personality and practice the integration of both.

Transpersonal Dialogue
Ana Barner offers the Big Mind Big Heart process within her Transpersonal Dialogue programs. The first part of these seminars is always devoted to the introduction and exploration of the Psychology of Selves. A variety of themes are presented in a series of seminars. We look at the parts in us that run our lives and the energies we have lost. Shadow selves are introduced and vulnerability acknowledged. We focus especially on the development of an awareness centre between polarities. We investigate and experience how our identification with our personality keeps us separate from our deeper transcendent nature.

In the second part of the enquiry we touch on different aspects of our personality through the use of the Big Mind process and move towards and into the experience of the deep spaciousness within. This experience of complete oneness with the world then gets widened and practiced by stretching into different archetypal energetics within the transpersonal.

At the end of the seminar we integrate this experience through accessing an ever-increasing Awareness Centre from where we can freely move between these two realities. This gives us the possibility to make full use of the experience in our daily lives.

How does a Big Mind Big Heart inquiry work?
In a typical session the facilitator takes the group as a whole through a series of Selves. These parts are elicited in the participants by directly asking for them and then intensifying their energy.

Initially we talk to the parts that protect and control, like the Protector, Controller, Sceptic, Rational Mind., Pusher, Critic. Voices that we know from our exploration in Voice Dialogue. They all have to do with protecting our Vulnerability and functioning within the world. These voices are usually in charge of our personality and our lives. When we explore these selves together as a group, it becomes obvious that we all carry them even though the way they show up and express themselves is different from one person to the next.

After exploring the power voices we gradually talk to parts that have to do with vulnerability, creativity and the search for more: for peace, stillness and being, like the Seeker, the Believer, Longing. By exploring the parts in us that connect us to our vulnerability and then to our search, our journey, it becomes easier to access what we are longing for. Becoming what we are longing for reintegrates us with our transpersonal nature.

Stepping as a group into what we are seeking, we realise that we are already there… what we are longing for is what we always are. At that moment all seeking seizes and we become one with ourselves, the group and the universe. The process then extends this experience by exploring different archetypes, like Big Mind, Big Heart, Truth, Intimacy. Taking the time to fully inhabit the different aspects and energetics of the transcendent reality allows us to become more familiar and grounded within the spaciousness and makes it more accessible when we come back to our day to day reality.

The last step takes us into the Apex, the Aware Ego process in Voice Dialogue. Here we can stand fully between these two polarities, our Human Personality and our Transcendent Being and know they are both us, the same and also separate. We realise we can stay connected to both of them and live life continuously shifting between them.

What are the differences between Voice Dialogue and Big Mind Big Heart?
There are several major differences between Voice Dialogue and Big Mind Big Heart. Even though Big Mind Big Heart is based on the principles of Voice Dialogue, it is important to understand that they are used in different settings and serve different functions.

Voice Dialogue
A Voice Dialogue facilitator has no other agenda than supporting the client to develop an ever-increasing awareness process. They do not try to steer the client in any particular direction but follow their process intimately. The task of the facilitator is to assist the client to identify a self they want to work with, to enter the physical space of this part and to deepen the physical, mental, psychological and energetic experience of the particular sub-personality. They also need to be able to keep out other intruding voices. They then help the client to come back to the centre, dis-identifying from the part that has been explored and developing an awareness centre within the different polarities. Guidelines here include protecting the client by working mainly with the power voices until there is enough of an awareness process to be able to start exploring some of the shadow voices.

Even though Voice Dialogue is mainly a one to one process it can also be used in relationship counselling. It is more difficult to use this process within a group in an experiential way, but there have been new developments to make this possible, like Voice Constellations.

As the development of an Aware Ego process is the main objective of Voice Dialogue, this “place” in the middle keeps being revisited within a session and especially at the end of the process. In Voice Dialogue it is also possible to experience and explore our spiritual nature and experience the polarity between our humanness and our soul from the awareness center, but this is not it’s main focus

Big Mind Big Heart
Big Mind has a direct agenda: to lead the participants through a series of steps towards a direct experience of the transcendent. The different voices that are being explored are chosen and introduced by the facilitator. The whole of the group follows the instructions of the facilitator.

Big Mind Big Heart is mainly being used as a group process even though it is possible to do individual sessions. The experience of a whole group of people moving through the different aspects at the same time intensifies and deepens the inquiry.

Big Mind Big Heart moves from voice to voice without dropping into a perspective in the middle during the process. It only offers the experience of an awareness centre at the end of an exploration, by entering what Genpo Roshi calls the “Apex”, the Aware Ego process in Voice Dialogue. Here we are centred between on the one hand our dualistic voices, the selves within our personality and our transcendent voices, our transpersonal nature. Finding the link between these two realities enables us to be fully embodied as human beings, living our transcendent nature through our human personality.