The Leela School For Advanced Clinical Hypnosis – Waking Up From the Trance of Suffering
Located in Ashland, Oregon, The Leela School for Advanced Clinical Hypnosis is an educational non-profit (501c3) dedicated to world peace and freedom through universal self-realization. The school is the training arm of the Leela Foundation started by Ashland resident Eli Jaxon-Bear in 1996. The foundation offers retreats and trainings locally as well as in Europe, Maui and Australia. In today’s interview we spoke with Eli to discuss an upcoming series of clinical hypnosis certification courses that will be offered here in Ashland this coming August.
Eli, thank you so much for doing this interview today and for being a part of the LocalsGuide.
Having first lived in this area in 1973, I have always looked to the LocalsGuide as a resource of our community, so I am happy to participate. Thank you for asking me. I am grateful to be interviewed by you, and to have a chance to connect with the community in this way.
To begin, please introduce us to the Leela Foundation and the services you provide both locally and around the world.
The Leela Foundation is a non-denominational, non-hierarchical organization devoted to world peace and freedom. We provide a meeting place for truth seekers to discover and realize for themselves the deepest insights of self-inquiry.
The Leela School for Advanced Clinical Hypnosis is the training arm of the Leela Foundation, which is set up to train and certify helping professionals in advanced clinical hypnosis, with an emphasis on supporting self-knowledge. We offer a unique model of the ego and the means for realizing your true nature and are a deep support for waking up from the trance of suffering.
Eli, would you please share a little bit of your own story and the inspiration behind creating the Leela Foundation?
When I had my first awakening I was fighting against the Vietnam War. Facing death, I woke up to my true nature as immortal formless consciousness. I knew without a doubt that if the whole world could experience what I had realized, then there would be peace in the world.
That moment ended my war and set me on the spiritual path for 18 years, including helping to start a commune in the Applegate in 1973 that was founded in support of world peace and freedom.
During my search I had many beautiful teachers in many of the spiritual lineages. Kalu Rinpoche appointed me the head of his Tibetan Buddhist Dharma center in Bolinas, California in 1978. I was presented with a Zen Teaching Fan in a Zen Temple in Japan by the oldest living Zen master at the time. I was initiated into a Sufi clan in Morocco before I found my final teacher in India. I called him Papaji as his grandchildren did.
After some time with him at his home in Lucknow, he tested me and he told me to return to the States and share this message of peace and freedom with all who are interested. Since I was training therapists at the time he said, “Let both client and therapist wake up!” and that has been my mission ever since. The Leela Foundation and The Leela School for Advanced Clinical Hypnosis arose in service to that mission.
“Let both the client and therapist wake up.” Please tell us more about this quote.
There is no end to the depth of realization one can awaken to. In our role as therapist, we can continue to see our own latent tendencies show up and have the capacity to stay true. We can always drop deeper within ourselves. This depth and clarity is what we offer to those who come to see us; it is transmitted from heart to heart.
Whether your client comes to solve a problem, stop a negative habit, develop self-esteem and confidence, cure an emotional wound or something deeper, your open-hearted contact with them will transmit the possibility of living life in openness and love that is centered in intelligence and clarity.
The Leela School is offering a series of Advanced Hypnotherapy classes that up until now have only been available either in Australia or Europe. Please tell us more about this special opportunity.
Yes, our Level 1 class begins this August in Ashland. This class is for people interested in a career in hypnotherapy, or who are already working as helping professionals, therapists, teachers and guides.
It is also for people who are not interested in working with others but simply want to go deeper into discovering their own true nature and wake up from their personal trance of suffering. For those who are not interested in certification but still would like to participate, we are offering a True Friends Retreat that runs simultaneously but for a shorter period of time.
The foundation of the teaching is the discovery of how to be a true friend. What we mean by being a true friend is to have an open heart, a quiet mind, and skillful means for addressing yourself and others. Whether you are working with other people in a professional context or dealing with your kids or partner, being a true friend offers the possibility of true love expressing itself in a way that serves everyone.
Eli, what is your background in hypnotherapy and counseling?
Throughout the 1980’s I led the Clinical Hypnosis Certification Program at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, and at the Institut Dr. Schmida in Vienna, Austria.
I have been certified as a Master Trainer in Neurolinguistics and I was on the Board of Examiners of the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners. I was trained in Ericksonian and classical hypnosis and had a successful clinic in San Francisco, but felt there was still a piece missing. I then found the Enneagram teaching that was just starting in the Bay Area in those days. I trained with Claudio Naranjo, Kathy Speeth and Jerry Perkins.
After learning it, I changed the focus of that system from personality to ego structure and wrote my first book, Using the Enneagram for Spiritual Growth in 1988. By integrating the insights into character and ego from the Enneagram, my teaching and clinical practice took on a whole new dimension of insight and depth. I could now work much more deeply with my clients and much more efficiently by knowing the deep structure of their character. I was a keynote speaker at the First International Enneagram Conference at Stanford where I introduced my new model of the Enneagram and started teaching it in 1985. My current Enneagram book is called From Fixation to Freedom and incorporates the deepening I experienced when I met my teacher in India in 1990.
My book Sudden Awakening Into Direct Realization (Hampton Roads) integrates the insights from my work with the steps needed to end the spiritual search in full self-realization. It is a step-by-step guide to direct experience of self-knowledge.
Please walk us through the structure of your Level 1 Course.
This is a one-year part-time clinical hypnosis course, offered in 3 modules leading to Certification in Clinical Hypnosis. There are two in-person retreats sandwiched around an online module that shows different cases and breaks down the therapeutic interventions so that you can master them for yourself. There are also ten one-hour one-on-one mentoring sessions as part of the online module to insure the student’s personal integration and skill building.
This course will teach you how to be a successful therapist if that is your goal, but is also ideal for anyone seeking a deeper insight into their own psychological movements and patterns. It is an assistance to those who are already practicing as a health professional, offering fundamental insights as well as skillful means to add to your existing practice. This course is for those who have a calling to work in the helping profession, and be a support for others. By the end of the first year you will be able to set up a successful private practice.
Who are some of the teachers that will be participating in the upcoming training series?
Students will work with me personally as well as other teachers in The Leela School who have studied with me over the years and who have displayed the depth and clarity required to be available in this capacity. I feel so fortunate that deeply qualified students have become teachers and are ready to pass on what they have learned. Check out their photos and bios on The Leela School website.
Eli, what are some of your hopes and opportunities that you foresee for individuals who might be interested in participating in the upcoming trainings?
If you are called to be with us in this training I assume you want to help alleviate the suffering within yourself and with the world around you. We are here in full support of you. Over the years I have watched many of my former students become successful therapists, teachers, spiritual leaders and true friends in service of the end of suffering. I look forward to the blossoming of the full potential for everyone.
The essence of this teaching is to be available to the world with a quiet mind and an open heart. When this is seen as your true nature, it is effortless and blissful to live a truly fulfilled life of love and peace.
When you also have the skillful means to intervene in support of another you will be used in ways beyond belief.
You have received some great feedback and success from many of your previous students. Would you please share some of their comments?
Dick Price, one of the co-founders of Esalen said,
“Eli teaches with humor, heart and mastery.”
“Eli’s work is a jewel. It is useful for everyone, not only therapists. When I saw him working with people, I was deeply impressed by what I saw happening. People were healed from traumas such as sexual abuse or any other trauma. Indescribable! Sitting in trainings with Eli is the chance of a lifetime to learn how to be a True Friend and to naturally support others.”
Clivia von Dewitz, is a sitting judge in Germany. She was part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and helped to represent her state in Brussels at the European Union.
“After seeing Eli working with someone with severe trauma on stage at a training in Australia, I realized not only the power of the work and its efficacy in healing past traumas, I also realized it was possible for me, and possible for anyone, to learn the skills and be a support to others. In learning the skills myself, I also deepened in my own self-realization and clarity. This combination is unique to Eli’s teaching and I am deeply grateful to Eli for this profound work.” Jared Franks, Sydney.
Eli, how do you see people’s lives start to change once they have gone through your training?
I have worked with people who wanted to quit drinking and others who wanted to stop smoking for example, and have had follow up reports from clients years later informing me that since their session they have been clean. And of course I work with people with very deep traumas and emotional issues, and through the power of being able to change or reshape a memory, or simply to bring in an instrument of healing, I have consistently seen people come out of their heads and live freely from their hearts. As this flame is passed from heart to heart, I love seeing new therapists or already trained therapists give brilliant sessions in a very short period of time and then expand and deepen their work as they set up a private practice and eventually start to teach.
Can you give us specific times and next steps for individuals wanting to learn more about participating in your event?
Of course. Our Level 1 Certification begins on August 26th here in Ashland. I really recommend going onto our website, and chat or Skype with one of our teachers to see if this class is a good fit for you.
For those who wish to enroll, or watch a video of me working to see the kind of work we are offering, you may do so on our website, www.leelaschool.org, or you can contact our office manager Leigh at email@example.com, or call her at 541-201-0900, ext 100.
You can also like us on Facebook, where we share pertinent information about classes as well as interesting articles/videos pertaining to the power of this work.
Finally, do you have any last thoughts or comments you would like to share with our readers?
I am so grateful to be a part of our community here in Ashland. We are a deeply progressive, compassionate community. We have come from so many different traditions and paths to live together in support of building a better world. I invite you to join us in deepening your skill level, insight and skillful means to apply in your relationships and work, whether you are a teacher, guide, mentor, coach or healer, you are welcome and may find something to better help you serve.
The Leela School for Advanced Clinical Hypnosis
574 E. Main St. Ashland OR, 97520