the intensive journal process

i haven’t written anything about journaling for a while, so i was very pleased when i got an offer to write a paid review for the progoff intensive journal® program. it was a particularly nice surprise because i actually own ira progoff’s at a journal workshop, the basic text and guide for using the intensive journal process.

this process provides active techniques that enable people to draw on their inner resources; it is, indeed, one of the early tools of personal growth.

progoff speaks quite poetically of the “tao of growth”, the intangible inner growth,

evanescent, like smoke going out the chimney. we now it exists, but its shape keeps changing. it has no shape that we can fix in our mind; we cannot contain it in any mold. we know it is real, but soon it as disappeared and is beyond us.

attempting to catch that smoke became like a zen koan to progoff. at this point, he says, he applied a procedure “of taking a problem we are dealing with on the rational level and converting it to the language of imagery. this is twilight imagery,” a technique that was to become part of the intensive journal process.

the benefits of journaling in this way are, according to progoff, not only of an intangible nature. thinking about this led him to recall

the phrase of william james when he describes the inner movement of our minds by saying that it is not a case of “i think it” but rather that “it thinks me.” the inner process works within the mind at the same time that it functions as a separate process and reaches beyond the mind into our actions.

i have never fully engaged with this journaling process; it sounds both intriguing and demanding. however, for a person who is at a stage where it seems necessary and desirable – delightful, even – to apply their time and energy to self-discovery, this is a goldmine.

the intensive journal process is an integrated system of writing exercises and therefore much more than a diary. it helps a person gain insights about personal relationships, career and special interests, body and health, dreams and imagery, and their own personal meaning and purpose of life. it brings fresh approaches to accessing creative capacities and untapped possibilities.

there are also rather inexpensive intensive journal inexpensive workshops available, in canada, the US and internationally. now i’m curious – maybe i should attend one …

6 thoughts on “the intensive journal process

  1. Jessica

    That’s really interesting. Have you read “Eat, Pray, Love”? The author talks a lot about her own quest for G-d and self, and in it she uses her own journaling technique. Is this similar?

  2. Marion

    Journaling has helped me progress immensely with self discovery. Thanks for the link…I’ll look into the workshops as well.

    And thank you for entering the Soup to Nuts Carnival First Course!

  3. Robert Gagnon

    Is your text above the review, or are you crafting a separate document?

    If yes then I will be interested in reading what you have to say.

    I did attend a Progoff Workshop at UBC in 1989. At that time I felt very confused about a love relationship that was going nowhere and wondered what I was about.

    I don’t recall that the exercise left me with a better connection with myself.

    I don’t much like the idea of an ex-RC priest as workshop monitor, but I could be interested in attending a workshop lead by yourself!

    Robert Gagnon’s last blog post..The newest tool for finding the Higgs Boson particle +

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