Completing the Circle : Taking Gestalt to Asia is the title of Paula Bottome’s book, a diary that describes a series of her workshops as she navigates the excitement and challenges of cross-cultural encounters.
Like Dick Price, Paula was a student of Fritz Perls at Esalen in the 60’s, and like Dick, she was drawn to the similarities in Gestalt and Buddhism and Taoism.
I have been traveling to Asia for the past fifteen years or so, primarily to Japan, teaching workshops at gestalt centers, centers that a handful of Paula’s students began in the 1980’s. Her desire to bring gestalt to Asia and have it take root and be fed by it’s roots in these cultures succeeded .
As I approach each trip I am curious about the issues that we will work with and how the cultural differences will show up, and each time I am struck by our commonality and the simplicity of what is brought forth—”we” statement alert— we want to be happy and avoid suffering, we want our loved ones to be safe and well, we want work that has meaning and supports us, we want to be held in grieving what is past and to have company in our hopes for the future. We want to recover from trauma and lead fulfilling lives. We want to work for the good of the planet and help to create sustainable relationships and systems. http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/07/07/buddhist-economics-schumacher/
Gestalt is a tool that can help us inquire into our personal and cultural conditioning and to explore whether or not what we have adopted is in our best interest—if it is— to honor it and if not, to have the courage to begin again, re-creating and completing our own circles.