The San Francisco Center for Meditation and Psychotherapy was founded in 1992 as a place where independent, licensed psychotherapists sharing an interest in meditation and the interface between psychotherapy and spirituality could come together to work. Their shared space includes a meditation room as well as consultation rooms. Individual practitioners come from different educational backgrounds and spiritual traditions. Over the years the Center has sponsored and hosted workshops, conferences, meditation and spiritual reflection groups, Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy consultation groups, and retreats for psychotherapists as well as the general public. (See Events page for current offerings.)
Dorothy Hunt is the founder of the Center, and has practiced psychotherapy since 1967, after completing a graduate degree in social work at the University of Chicago. She has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in California since 1969, and has taught extensively at the San Francisco Center for Meditation and Psychotherapy as well as conducting workshops at Esalen and at the annual conferences of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy.
Dorothy says that when she founded the Center, she imagined that meditation and psychotherapy were two different things. Now, however, she experiences meditation as “simply Being—being intimate with whatever is here in the moment,” so that it is impossible to separate the practice of meditation from the practice of psychotherapy. In speaking about her work, Dorothy says,
Over the years, my work has become increasingly permeated by the realizations that have appeared of our essential oneness, and the truth of that being right here, right now. In meeting clients from the experience of no separation, my work seems to be unfolding into what, for lack of a better name, I sometimes call “Satsang therapy.” Emphasis is placed on meeting fully the experience of the moment, and meeting one another in the truth of being. While stories might arise which need to be told, the invitation is always to see stories, beliefs, ideas, judgments, emotions, and sensations for what they are rather than as who we are. What we truly are has no problems with its own infinite expressions. What can be separate from our undivided Totality?
When we are not separating ourselves from our true nature or from the truth of the moment—whatever that might be—we are at peace, even if the moment is not peaceful. It is not the mind that learns how to accept or be intimate with the moment; it doesn’t know how! Rather it is our true nature, our vast heart that is always open, always in truth, and always touching with compassion the moment exactly as it is, that transforms our experience. This transformation occurs not by changing our experience, but by fully embracing and accepting it, seeing it with the eyes of truth rather than illusion. Whatever is here, whatever is arising is coming up to be met, to be seen, to be loved. We may have spent years or lifetimes refusing what is here, but when we begin to want the truth of our experience more than we want life to look a certain way, the truth begins to reveal itself in ever-deepening ways.