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Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning (ECM) Reading Group with Rob Parker

The Introduction, Chapters I & II, plus the start of Chapter III

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Rob Parker

The International Focusing Institute - Rob Parker

Where & When

Online (Class will also be audio recorded)
22 Mondays, April 1 - September 23, 2024 1:00pm-3:00pm
New York time

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Meeting Format
The Focusing Institute (TIFI) Events

Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning (ECM) Reading Group
with Rob Parker

The Introduction, Chapters I & II, plus the start of Chapter III

22 weekly meetings on Mondays
Audio recordings available after each live meeting

April 1 to September 23, 2024
(No class April 22, May 27, July 1, September 2)
1:00pm - 3:00pm New York time

convert to your time zone here


Rob Parker will lead the group in weekly meetings reading the book together and pausing for questions and discussion. This offering covers approximately one third of the book, and the next segment will continue in October 2024. We estimate completing the book in three segments finishing up in Fall 2025.

Rob Parker studied philosophy with Gene Gendlin for several hours a week from 2003 until Gene's passing in 2017. Rob has been leading Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning (ECM) reading groups for many years and we are delighted that Rob has now teamed up with the Institute to offer this

Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning

What is Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning?

Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning is one of the two primary statements of Gendlin’s philosophy (the other is A Process Model). In it, Gendlin shows that there is an orderly relationship between the objective and subjective, between concepts and experiencing. Unlike many philosophies, this one has been empirically tested: it is the basis for Focusing and Thinking at the Edge. But it has much wider implications: it points the way to a Copernican revolution in Western thinking, healing the traditional rift between objective science and subjective experiencing, enabling us to use felt meaning together with clear precise concepts and logic, strengthening both.

Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning takes us on a profound exploration to the edge of awareness where our symboled world (attention, meaning, and language) arises from experiencing, where we discover ourselves and the world as a single creative experiencing, without the mind-body, subject-object dualisms that have characterized Western thinking. This changes how we experience ourselves and the world, and has important practical implications, not only for philosophy and the social sciences but for science and technology generally.

How much time will it take?
We have designed this course to be flexible, so that it can fit your schedule.
You’ll need at least 90 minutes per week to EITHER ATTEND LIVE OR listen to each class, which will give you the reading plus basic discussion. You can, of course, download the audio recordings and listen whenever you want. This minimum time will give you a clear sense of what ECM is about and why it is so important; and with the aid of the recordings you will be able to read it again on your own whenever you want.

Please note: 
- This offering is in English only.
- Class will not meet April 22 (Passover), May 27 (Memorial Day), July 1 (Canada Day), September 2 (Labor Day).

- Registration for the 22 sessions will be split into two payments. 

This offering will include downloadable audio (not video) recordings of Rob’s weekly meetings for all registrants. Recording Note: Audio recordings will be made available as soon as possible after each session for download prior to the next session (except in the case of unexpected technical difficulty).

In meeting format on Zoom, Rob will offer a main meeting which will include reading and time for questions and discussion. In general Rob will try to keep to 90 minutes each week, but plan for 2 hours. (After the reading time, Rob will often continue an informal discussion - "the parking lot", which allows more unstructured time for questions. Information covered in "the parking lot" will be recorded but is not meant to be part of the official content and if you are listening to recordings only, "the parking lot" will be clearly delineated.)

You will need to have a computer/mobile device. Calling in by phone is also possible but not preferred. Breakout rooms (if utilized) are not recorded.


Rob Parker grew up in a scientific family, with a deep appreciation for the power and beauty of modern science. Rob was also interested in spirituality from an early age, and has practiced yoga and zazen for many years. And all along, he has sensed that science and spirituality must be related, because reality doesn’t come in separate packages.

These interests led to a career in psychology and to an interest in the philosophical assumptions that underlie psychology and modern science.  Rob specialized in psychological trauma; he designed and directed several treatment programs for both trauma survivors and perpetrators, published and lectured for professional audiences and appeared on national media.

His experience as a psychologist made Rob acutely aware of the problems inherent in our current approach to science. In 2000, the search for a new scientific paradigm led him to visit Gene Gendlin, who had just retired from the University of Chicago and was living near Rob. Rob recognized in Gendlin’s work a revolutionary new way of exploring and understanding science, spirituality, meaning and the related issues of our time. Recognizing a once in a lifetime opportunity, Rob began weekly meetings with Gendlin from 2003 until his passing in 2017. This class is part of Rob’s ongoing commitment to understand and experience Gendlin’s philosophy ever more deeply (learning by teaching), and to share that understanding and experience with others.

Registration Policies

Sessions 1-11*: Tier 1 (Regular price) $395  Tier 2**  $275  Tier 3** $135
Sessions 12-22*: Tier 1 (Regular price) $395  Tier 2** $275  Tier 3**  $135

*Payment for this group is split into two payments. The second payment will be due by July 8, 2024. 

Note: if the lowest price is not affordable for you please write to [email protected] to inquire about a scholarship.

DEI Scholarship. There are DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Scholarship funds available for anyone in a group under-represented in TIFI's programs, including people aged 30 or younger, those in the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community and others.  For more about our DEI scholarship, please see To apply, email [email protected].

**Three tier pricing. We offer the regular price plus two lower prices. We welcome you to select the level right for you, while reminding you that if you have a reliable means of support and live in a country with a strong economy, we ask that you pay the regular price. By choosing the highest amount you are capable of paying you help make the sliding scale possible and make our scholarship dollars available to more people. Thank you! 

Refunds A full refund minus a $15 administrative fee for cancellations 14 days before the start date. Cancellations less than 14 days before the start date are nonrefundable. The International Focusing Institute reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule for insufficient enrollment or for other unanticipated reasons. In such cases you will be given a choice of applying your tuition to future programs, or having the full enrollment fee returned to you.

TIFI reserves the right to cancel, change and alter the program if necessary. Participants authorize TIFI to use their name, statements and likeness without charge, for promotional purposes in publications, advertising, video, web, new media, or other formats.

By registering for this course with the Institute, and in consideration of the right and opportunity to participate in and contribute to the Institute’s classes, for the purposes of its control of all video and/or audio recordings thereof pertaining to uses serving our purposes and goals, in enrolling in this session you acknowledge and agree to the Institute’s ownership of all rights in such classes, including all rights under copyright therein.  In no circumstance shall any portion or clip posted or displayed exceed 3 minutes in duration.  If you plan to use, post or display any portion or clips of these recordings, including posting these to a website or to a social media platform or portal, you agree that you will seek and obtain the prior approval of the Institute.

For more information:

Contact Elizabeth at [email protected] or (845) 480-5111.

Registration Details

2024-01-18T13:00:00 - 2024-05-05T21:00:00

$ 395.00

Sessions 1-11 Tier 1 (Regular Price)

$ 275.00

Sessions 1-11 Tier 2 **

$ 135.00

Sessions 1-11 Tier 3 **

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