A Shared Life of Wrestling, Growth, and Discovery

How to Use the Lectures

How To Use the Pathwork Lectures

There are many ways to work with the Pathwork Lectures. Here are some suggestions (click on the title to open)…

Listening to the Pathwork Lectures

I seem to be an audio learner AND I spend lots of time driving, working out at the gym, and in other intellectually “dead” activities. This motivated me to record the lectures and allowed me to bathe myself in the words of the Guide often. In addition to the time it took to study and record the 258 Pathwork lectures over a six year period, I’ve listened to all of them many, many times, especially in the time leading up to Pathwork classes and during the frequent 1000-mile roundtrip car rides to and from Sevenoaks.

Unconsciously and quite unintentionally, the spoken words seemed to “go in” to my heart, becoming a part of my “subconscious intuitive Knowing” rather than becoming only part of my my “conscious intellectual knowing,” which had been my initial intention and expectation in creating the audio version in the first place. This listening activity became a very rewarding central devotional practice throughout my years in the Pathwork Transformation Program and Pathwork Helper Training Program.

Using the Devotional Format of the Pathwork Lectures

After completing the audio recordings of the lectures in 2012, something new arose in me that, as the audio recordings had done before, gave the Pathwork Lectures new life for me. This new inspiration evolved into the creation of what I named the Devotional Format of the Pathwork Lectures. Working in cooperation with the International Pathwork Foundation, I began sharing this new creation on my website in 2014 and a fairly standard form of it solidified by 2016. By March 2018 I had created 138 of the total 258 Pathwork lectures, and I offer links to them on this website. God willing, I intend to complete this project within the next six years of so.

To my surprise, both this project of creating the Devotional Format of the lectures and then subsequently reading the lectures in this new format when needed has replaced my practice of listening to the audio version of the lectures. With the formatting and annotating that make up the Devotional Format, the Pathwork material seems to go in, as the Guide would say, “more profoundly.”  AND when I go back to work with a lecture that I had completed earlier in the Devotional Format, the “more profound meaning” quickly comes back to me. In fact I can read the Devotional Format of a lecture faster and retain more than when I read the standard format of the lecture — another surprising benefit to this Devotional Format.

Pat and I now use this Devotional Format in all our work with the lectures. It has become central in our work together every morning in our roughly hour-long shared “Daily Review” and in our couples work with Sage Walker and Anthony Wilson. Several Pathworkers new and old alike — have commented that they have experienced this “profoundness” and that this Devotional Format seems to give the lectures a new life for deeper personal development and growth.

Growing through the Pathwork Lectures

This presentation describes several ways of working with the Pathwork Lectures. This includes the importance of being clear about the life-issue you are confronting just now (perhaps from the Pathwork practice of Daily Review), ways of using the audio, joining or forming lecture study groups, finding a Pathwork Buddy, etc. The key in all cases is to apply the material to everyday life rather than to make the material into dogmatic concepts to learn, understand intellectually, and teach. There is nothing wrong with the latter, but this is not the power of the lecture material applied to one’s life.

A Rhetorical Approach to Studying the Pathwork Lectures

In this 28-minute YouTube presentation Liam Quirk, Pathwork teacher in Mid-Atlantic Pathwork, shares a methodology he teaches at the college level for more effective learning and retention. It is called the Rhetorical Approach.

Not only Liam’s enthusiasm for the method he teaches but also his enthusiasm for Pathwork per se as a path for personal and spiritual growth and development shine through this presentation. Note how Liam uses both the method as well as highlighting and making notes in his digital version of the Unedited Version of the lectures. I find Liam’s enthusiasm and dedication to effectively absorbing, applying, and teaching Pathwork inspiring.

Praying with the Pathwork Lectures (Lectio Divina)

This is a practice that systematically integrates a devotional reading of the Pathwork lectures into a daily practice that is often used with Bible verses. It is subtitled “Praying with the Pathwork Lectures.” Perhaps this is a way to put into practice with the Pathwork Lectures how Bonhoeffer read and applied the Bible.

Note: for an mp3 file of 4 bell sounds separated by 5 minutes of silence for this practice click here

Comparison to Devotionally Reading the Bible

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran theologian who stood for the truth in Nazi Germany and because of his strong opposition to Hitler was executed just days before the end of World War 2, used the Bible as his guide to his everyday life. I was inspired by his practical approach that meant the Bible truths leading to actions, not just beliefs or understanding without actions following in one’s life. Up until 25 years ago that is the way I used the Bible. Today I find that this is the way I use the Pathwork.

This does not make study and formulations of Pathwork concepts and teaching said concepts wrong, but rather establishes that the real power of the Pathwork teachings is in their application to daily problems, perhaps sentence by sentence. So it is a BOTH/AND, not just learning and teaching concepts OR reading deeply and applying a few sentences at a time, but rather doing both of these practices.

More of Bonhoeffer on Reading and Teaching the Bible

This quote spells out more of how Bonhoeffer read and applied the Bible for personal growth, and how he taught seminarians how to read the Bible. I find more comparisons to how I read and apply the Pathwork Lectures.

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Gary Vollbracht