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Exploring Gendlin's Philosophy

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Online Joining Information

The video link will be to an easy to use website called Zoom. More information will be provided after you register.

Meeting Format

Four 1.5-hour sessions on Thursdays, October 31, November 7, November 14, December 5, 2019 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm EDT  

convert to your time zone **Note: Between weeks 1 and 2 many regions have a time change. Please check carefully.

An online, interactive course facilitated by Rob Parker

Recordings of the individual sessions will be distributed to all registrants prior to the next session (except in the case of technical difficulties).

Have you thought about exploring Gendlin’s philosophy, but weren’t sure where to begin? Perhaps you thought it was only for academics, or perhaps you weren’t sure if it was worth the investment of effort and time? If so, this four-session course is for you. It will provide an overview of Gendlin’s philosophy: what it’s about, why it matters, and why you might want to explore it further.  

Gendlin’s Philosophy of the Implicit can be a transformative experience, the adventure of a lifetime; but like any adventure, it can be challenging. This is not the usual experience of reading a book; it’s more like personal practice, a kind of yoga or meditation that gradually changes our experience and understanding of ourselves and the world.  This is why the path is challenging, and why the advice of an experienced sherpa can be invaluable if you’re deciding whether or not to explore it. 

By offering this course, Rob hopes that your curiosity and sense of wonder about the possibilities of transformation will further awaken for the benefit of yourself and the world. The series is for beginners who want an introduction to Gendlin’s philosophy, and it also serves as a complement to those already familiar with it, as well as a wonderful introduction to Rob’s more in-depth online courses exploring A Process Model and Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning.

The class size will not be limited, and you do not need to attend live. Recordings of the individual sessions will be distributed to all registrants prior to the next session (except in the case of technical difficulties).


Course Outline

This online course includes presentations from Rob as well as time for questions and group discussion. The four sessions build upon each other and the themes are briefly described below.

Session 1: Philosophy of the Implicit: Historical and Cultural Context

Someone said that philosophy is like plumbing: No one pays attention to it until it doesn’t work. In this class, we will explore some of the symptoms and consequences of bad philosophy in our jobs, in the news, and in our culture. In the process, we will discover that we are all philosophers, whether or not we know it.

Session 2: Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning

Gendlin’s first major work, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning, lays a foundation for a new way of thinking that resolves the apparent conflict between so-called “objective science” and “subjective value and meaning”.  We will discover how this apparent conflict stems inevitably from the “bad plumbing” we discussed in the first class, and how it can be resolved with clearer thinking.

Session 3: A Process Model

Our current science knows a fair amount about the “mechanisms” of life and consciousness, but almost nothing about what life and consciousness actually are. According to science and much of popular culture, our brains are basically computers, and computers are inevitably going to become like us.  We will see how this conclusion is inevitable given the current assumptions of science, and also why it is wrong. If we take life and consciousness seriously, as real phenomena that tell us something about the order of nature, then the very fact that we exist must change how we think about ourselves and the world. In A Process Model, Gendlin shows how we might think in clear, precise terms about a natural world that includes us.

Session 4: Real-World Implications and Applications

Gendlin’s philosophy challenges us to think in a new way. In this class, we will explore some practical implications of this new way of thinking. We will look at some recent scientific discoveries that were anticipated in A Process Model, and how a Process Model makes sense of some discoveries that previously seemed paradoxical. Finally, we will discuss how Gendlin’s philosophy works synergistically with spiritual practices such as zazen.


About Your Facilitator

Rob Parker believes in philosophy as a path, not as a final truth. He learned the philosophy of the implicit by meeting with its author Gene Gendlin once a week for about 15 years. Rob started with the Process Model, thinking it would take a couple of months, but is still learning, and constantly amazed and transformed, day by day, as this new way of thinking/feeling/living gradually sinks in. Rob is a psychologist, a Certified Focusing Professional and Focusing Coordinator. His professional practice was strongly influenced by the philosopher Merleau-Ponty (a precursor of Gendlin) until he discovered Gene Gendlin in 2000.



The video link is an easy to use format called Zoom. You will need to have a computer/mobile device. Calling in by phone is also possible but not preferred. The class will be held in MEETING FORMAT so that all participants can see the presenter and each other. (There is an option to turn off your video if you prefer and technical instructions will be given at the class start). All registered participants will be sent a link to the video recording of each class prior to the next class (barring technical problems). So, you will have it for review or if you must miss a class, you will still be able to view it.


Refund policy: 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.

For more information:

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

Registration Details

Three tier pricing. 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. Thank you!

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