Awakening the Spirit


Pocket Ranch Institute News

Awakening the Spirit
by Vilma Ginzberg

“Awakening the Spirit” stands proudly at the helm of these Newsletters and graces many of the brochures that are sent forth from Pocket Ranch. What does it mean? Awakening the Spirit?

Though at the heart of the Institute’s work, and the underlying goal of all our programs, it is difficult to describe. For awakening of the spirit is an experience; it happens inside the skin, inside the psyche, in the deepest recesses of our private and personal knowing. All the techniques that are employed, all the conditions that are created, all the preparations that are put in place cannot make it happen. It is not even the servant of our willful intent, but it may be the surprise guest of our willingness. It is that moment of change: and even when it seems subtle, delicate, fragile, or tentative, it is absolutely undeniable.

Awakening the spirit. It is that moment of change.

It is that bursting into insight — “Oh!”

It is the opening of awareness, like a wide-angle lens somewhere behind the eyes, that makes possible new ways.

It is that subtle shift of energy felt in the body, in the way our head sits newly erect on our spine, that makes all the difference.

It is the falling away of fear.

It is the sudden simple shedding of anything long-carried but no longer useful, the realization and relief that that can be done without.

It is that experience of the healing of something unnameable.


It is the reunion with something long-lost and precious inside, like coming home to the heart.

It is that moment of clarity, of light.

It is that split-second, that nano-second of time, that moment which makes its imprint so deep on our consciousness that it lives forever.

It is the budding and blossoming into life of something we had believed was lifeless inside.

It is the surprising discovery of strength within.

It is the feeling of cleaness that comes after risking the terrible truth.

It is the freshness of the next breath after miraculously surviving what we knew would surely kill us.

It is the unspeakable spoken, and, incredibly heard.

It is the ineffable moment, shared; it is the contact of presence with presence.

It is allowing a door to open inside, which lets in what heals and nurtures, lets in the love from the universe.

It is the peace that comes from being from the center within.

It is the fragile thread of hope weaving itself into a string of tomorrows.

It is that knowing of ourself as bigger than ever, and simultaneously as only a small part of something vast.

It is that moment of change, of transformation.

It is that moment of awakening.

It is that moment for which there are no words.

At Pocket Ranch, we know that these awakenings are less likely to occur during “talk therapy” than during sessions using experiential methods. The grandness and tranquility of our 2600 acres is also an impor­tant ingredient. And of course, most centrally, regardless of the techniques used, there must be an atmosphere of mutual trust and of emo­tional safety.

We know very well that our techniques are only the roadmap to your experience, and explanations only the travelogue. We are constantly creating, discovering, and refining ways to maximize the possibility that awak­ening can happen in you while you are here, whether you are in one of our programs or are enjoying our land as a retreat guest.

In subsequent issues of this Newsletter, we may describe some of the techniques used in our various programs to maximize the probability that moments of awakening the spirit will be experienced by those who come to Pocket Ranch. Or, we may print your descriptions of your awakenings.

How have you experienced the awaken­ings of your spirit? Remember?

Let us know.