understand what this program is about and its use, it is essential to
distinguish recovery from stress and
to see the need for both in an active lifestyle. These CD programs are intended
as modes of recovery; they are slow, quiet, guided for imagery, soothing, and
intended to be healing. They are not motivational but the opposite: They ask
you to stop, breathe, get a grip on infinity and hang out a while.
eleven tracks that comprise four Experiences in the program--loving what you
have, focus on deeper needs, clearing negativity, and a daily "dream
booster" to help focus on steps to what you want. Every one of these
tracks could be called guided meditation and each Experience is accompanied by
soft, unstructured music at a pace designed to slow your pace, even your
begins with an introduction and brief sessions by John Gray, the famous author
of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From
Venus (Harper Collins 1992); Gray is also a family therapist. He then hands
off the balance of the programs, about forty-five minutes, to John Selby who is
a psychologist, writer, and musician.
of these programs draws liberally from the storehouse of imagery that people
find in their ordinary lives--loves, friends, home, dreams. The intent is
uniform: to provide voices that guide listeners to relax enough to discover
their own path. This is what Gray and Selby call "The Innerlife
Experiential Audio Process." The key premise of the entire program is the
primacy of presence, that is, being "in the here and now," over the
alternative which is to be goal-directed and oriented to the future. And, of
course, this primacy goes well with recovery.
CD has four tracks comprising about an hour. There are piano, violin, guitars,
percussion (loops) and various reed instruments. The compositions are each
named for gemstones, which seems apt, because listening brings to mind things
about the pace of light shimmering off the still waters of a pond. The music is
quite relaxing, meditative, and the guitar, in particular, adds a hint of jazz.
say that this entire program with music is "New Age," but that view,
which has become an epithet, appears to have lost its meaning by 2005. There
are so many currents in contemporary music, rap, not to mention new directions
in counseling and therapy. What exactly conforms to a New Age now? But
traditional this is not although it can sit on the same shelf with familiar
might say these programs are largely devoid of meaningful content, that is,
offering ideas well-defined and conveyed coherently to make profound
impressions on listeners and, thereby, achieve desired ends. Such criticism
would come quickly from any of today's very busy professionals--computer nerds,
doctors and lawyers and such, wall street whiz-kids, entrepreneurs, just to
name a few types--except, notably, from those among their ranks who have
"hit the wall," find their health or vitality crumbling unexpectedly,
and are beginning to reach out for help. So, what one finds in Gray and Selby
may not be so much what they put there but what listeners need and are, as a
consequence, open to experience.
© 2005 David Wolf
David M. Wolf is the author of Philosophy That Works,
a book about the practice of philosophy. His book page for orders (hardback
& paperback) is www.xlibris.com/philosophythatworks
; readers can also see the first chapter there.