The idea of 7th Direction is based on ancient Indigenous teaching. Wise and enlightened teachers tell us that at the center of the six cardinal directions is the 7th Sacred Direction. Coincidentally, the 7th Direction happens to be at the center of our heart. The purpose of therapy and healing is to bring our awareness to the center of our heart and allow us to act and move through the world with heart felt awareness and not simply rely on brain cognitions. Cognitions can be useful if we integrate them with heart awareness, which will help us navigate our daily life-world in a harmonious manner.
7th Direction’s philosophy is simple: Raise awareness and consciousness so that we can become individually and collectively centered in our emotional, spiritual and physical life-world. Integrated psycho-spiritual strategies are part of the treatment that is offered to all who seek healing on their life’s journey. While committed to healing we also stress that life also brings suffering and it is necessary to find meaning and the lessons embedded in the suffering.
In Western based models the process entails getting rid of the symptoms that cause discomfort. Although we believe that it is important to feel well, at times life brings us pain in our physical and psychological/spiritual realms. As part of the therapeutic process we encourage people to remember their dreams as these will bring the needed insight into the ongoing issues that will bring healing and meaning to their lives. We encourage all of our clients to be present and mindful into the moment and to look deeply for the insight that is part of the life meaning brought to them as a gift by the suffering that they encounter.
Suffering has different meaning for different people. Suffering does not necessarily have to be a harsh painful process although at times is can be. Suffering can also be created by the mind that is attached to certain ways of being or having aversion to certain aspects of life. All facets of suffering are useful and we believe that suffering if understood at a deep level can be transformed into well being for not just the individual but also for the collective of humanity and our earth.
Our philosophy of healing derives much of its metaphor from Indigenous traditions. For example, when someone presents with depression we do not objectify the individual as being the depression. We tell the patient that the spirit of sadness may be visiting them. This allows the patient to feel that they are not the depression and that they have a way of moving the energy of the sadness as they learn to make a relationship with the sadness. This differs from Western models in that Western models advise the patient to get rid of the depression and declare war on the symptoms presented. Natural law tells us that we cannot create of destroy energy or matter and also that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. Therefore, we should abide by what natural law dictates and instead move with the energy and harmonize with it as we gain insight and existential meaning.