Doctor Of Humanistic Depth Psychology
Master Zen Teacher And Counselor



Health . Healing . Growth . Peace . Wisdom

Copyright 1978-2004
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By Dr. Andrew Shugyo Bonnici

Breath is the Bridge between Meditation in Stillness and Action

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I am a practitioner in Applied Zen Meditation & Core Mindfulness Based Therapy and a research scientist in the general areas of transpersonal psychology and humanistic psychology. My research laboratory is not the common clinical setting of statistical psychology. Rather, I am immersed in the wondrous investigation of the phenomenon of humanness as it is directly reflected within and through my immediately felt bodymind experience, moment-by-moment. I accept as my research territory all the phenomena given in my immediate felt experience and behavior, ranging from the definite and the obvious to the obscure and the intangible. This includes the vast human potentialities of thought, consciousness, perception, feeling, communication, intuition, sensation, creativity, imagery, volition, motivation, behavior, and expression. I do not concern myself with a normative science of human experience and behavior per se but rather with an evolutionary science that focuses on what experience and behavior can and may qualitatively become for us as human beings living together. I am primarily interested in eliciting our deepest human potentialities for a progressively richer and more meaningful experience of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and transpersonal or spiritual relatedness. What all this means is that I am primarily involved in the scientific exploration of new realms of perceiving, imaging, knowing, feeling, thinking, behaving, loving, being, and understanding .

I am resolved that any conceptualization, belief, or knowledge that I hold above questioning is knowledge, conceptualization, and belief in the grip of error. There is, and will probably always be, a degree of uncertainty in all human experience, knowledge, and constructed beliefs. I embrace doubt as the handmaiden of truth and rejoice in her ever-present companionship on the never-ending journey of scientific inquiry and investigation. I do not fear for any truth that doubt may consume it, for the sincere inquisitive process of doubt is the devoted examination of truth that the truth may continue to endure. I cherish both the doubt of disciplined inquiry and the openness of childlike curiosity, for they are complementary keys to the doors of human knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.

I firmly believe that when we accept any group belief or life perspective solely on blind faith, without arousing a basic curiosity, questioning, and doubt, we serve only to undermine our highest human potential for liberated consciousness, diligent wakefulness, perceptual integrity, and cognitive clarity. Likewise, when we rigidly hold onto a set of beliefs to establish a secure mental closure and an absolute ground of knowing, we only nourish the unhealthy tendency toward ideational stagnation and conceptual dogmatism. Such unhealthy tendencies only reveal our deeply seated fear of the infinite unknown within ourselves while undermining the nobility and dignity of a truly courageous human consciousness that can confidently stand on no-ideational ground, rest deeply in the precious vulnerability and impermanence of our body , and passionately live from the wonder, openness, and freshness of a beginner's mind.


The style of disciplined inquiry I employ in my research activity is directly related to the Western scientific tradition of Phenomenology. Phenomenology is primarily an investigative research methodology that seeks knowledge through the clear witnessing of the most pristine or rawest data given in the field of our immediately lived human experience. By raw or pristine data, I mean data that has been detached as much as possible from all the ideas, values, attitudes, opinions, feelings, and ways of thinking that make up a scientist's unique personality. What this means is that the scientific research method of Phenomenology invites the scientist, in any field of investigation, to approach phenomena (or occurrences of reality that are perceptible to human consciousness) with a receptive trans-personal awareness or transcendental witnessing. This mental capacity of trans-personal awareness or transcendental witnessing is capable of realizing insightful or meaningful information about phenomena by temporarily suspending the artificial perceptual tools and interpretive psychological filters of language, logic, and analysis. A researcher who employs the research method of Phenomenology approaches any given phenomenon with a pristine sensory field of awareness and mental quietude in order to allow the phenomenon to reveal itself through the "pure data' of immediately felt body experience and consciousness uncontaminated by any of the artificial and selective psychosocial matrixes like personality, culture, language, beliefs, and the analytical or logical perspective of science itself.

A scientific method which seeks to conscientiously be free of its own presuppositions and prejudgments about the nature of any phenomenon under investigation is one that has the inherent capacity to reach data about that phenomenon that is most fundamental or pristine to the field of immediate experience. The most solid foundation for any scientific inquiry has to be built upon research data that are perceived in their original or raw immediacy. In this respect, any given scientific knowledge can be viewed as an intellectually refined and precisely conceptualized description of the research data given in the immediate experience of the research scientist. We should never lose sight of the fact that the pristine or uncontaminated nature of the experienced phenomenon is crucial to the foundational adequacy, validity, and integrity of any clear scientific understanding.


My phenomenological research practice through the living embodiment of meditation is fundamentally an investigative methodology that is passionately concerned with establishing clear perception, objectivity, and truthfulness within one's self and one's felt bodily experience and consciousness of reality. The embodiment of meditation as a research methodology focuses on receiving and accepting raw experiential data before the perceptual and cognitive filters of personality, history, group beliefs, cultural views, religious forms, and racial identity.

The phenomenological research methodology of embodied meditation can also be understood as the lived practice of this Only Moment Body with wholeheartedness, integrity, authenticity, uprightness, mindfulness, and compassion. Only Moment Body represents the wisdom of clarifying my embodied witnessing of all phenomena by practicing each in-breath as if it was my first while simultaneously practicing each out-breath as if it were my last. When I practice being this Only Moment Body, my intimacy with death gently encourages my thinking mind to let go of my personal, historical, cultural, scientific, and spiritual views regarding the nature of reality as it is immediately experienced within my bodymind consciousness and its five senses. When Only Moment Body establishes intimacy with the process of death, it may be said to realize a felt immediacy with the precious truth of being alive in relationship to the vast process of impermanence that penetrates all beings and things within the infinite universe. This felt experience of being Only Moment Body helps me to clarify and understand the truth of any emergent data in my field of pristine awareness before the cognitive filters and perceptual matrixes associated with my individual personality, thinking mind, cultural conditioning, or historical and temporal immersion.


Seated in the receptive emptiness of meditation, gently letting go of the perceptual matrixes of self, personality, culture, linear time, and historical context, this Only Moment Body investigates the clarity and validity of the construct of God. Shining my five pristine senses outwards while simultaneously entering deeply into the stillness and silence of this Only Moment Body, a clearly discernable felt wisdoming emerges that the idea of God, as historically, religiously, and culturally defined through the ages, is a psycholinguistic construct that is overlaid with perceptual biases, prejudicial views, and projected human feelings and desires. Such a humanly tainted psycholinguistic construct tends to confuse rather than to clarify a potentially valid experiential referent. The word God, with all its semantically biased meanings from differing world religions and cultures, is also humanly tainted because it includes mentally projected human values, needs, emotions, and desires such as love, fairness, willfulness, goodness, justice, anger, mercy, etc. Based on these psychologically projected human characteristics and the variety of cultural and religious biases, it is not surprising that the common mental images or word maps of God do not accurately reflect the raw felt experiential territory of Imageless Oneness and Nameless Wisdoming that emerges within the pristine awareness of my Only Moment Body.

The fundamental incongruity between the multitude of mental maps and the immediately felt pristine Oneness territory of Only Moment Body suggests that human beings have historically constructed, projected, and continue to reinforce mental concepts of God in their own cultural, ideological, racial, religious, and humanistic image and likeness. This biased and humanly tainted personalization of the concept of God has historically helped human beings around the world to relate to the One Nameless Wisdoming Mystery as if they were in an intimate personal relationship with IT. In other words, by projecting our needs, emotions, and perceptual biases to create a psycholinguistic personalization of the One Nameless Wisdoming Mystery, we were able to mentally establish a Supreme Deity (God) in an exclusive relationship of importance with ourselves, our unique racial backgrounds, religious symbols, spiritual beliefs, and cultural histories. A variety of personalizations of God evolved over time that were based on a "spiritual relationship" that emphasized some kind of group exclusivity and importance. At the heart of these exclusive personalizations of God is the assumption that the Supreme Being has favored the human species above all creatures, beings, and things in the infinite universe. What this means is that any historical and cultural personalization of God is fundamentally a species-centric worldview. By species-centric here, I mean that the conceptual personalization of God tends to focus exclusively on ourselves and our infinite importance as a human species much like an individual who is egocentric focuses predominately on his or her own needs to the exclusion of others.

Although this limited species-centric personalization of God has provided humanity with the potential for experiencing an exclusive, symbolic, and meaningful relationship with an Infinite Wisdoming that is Originally Formless, Nameless and Impersonal, it has also generated a divisive, antagonistic, and sometimes hostile relational climate amongst the variety of theistic worldviews. This is precisely so because each unique species-centric personalization of God is further tainted by racial-centric, cultural-centric, religious-centric, and egocentric group ideologies that seek to perpetuate a historical preeminence in their unique personalization of God. Groups with a biased God construct may evidence a tendency toward historical preeminence by 1) claiming allegiance to and identifying with an exclusive temporal intervention between the Supreme Deity and one human being, 2) by claiming to have been divinely and exclusively chosen amongst all human beings, or 3) by claiming to have a more intimate and moral relationship with the Supreme Deity that surpasses all the others.

What all this means is that the personalization of the word God with all its historically laden semantic meanings, is fundamentally a complex psycholinguistic construct that has been culturally reinforced through perceptually biased symbols, rituals, literature, and institutional systems created by the evolutionary cerebral potential of our abstracting and thinking minds. Thus, the concept of God within any given culture or religion, is not an accurate, objective, or completely valid referent for the Originally Nameless, Formless, and Unconditional Reality to which it refers. However, this does not mean that the felt bodily experiences of Wonder, Awe, Mystery, and Oneness that originally gave rise to the biased projections and personalizations of God are also invalid and illusory. Rather, it is to say that each biased view of God should not be confused with the actual, pristine, and raw experiential immediacy of the felt Nameless Universal Mystery common to the Only Moment Body of all human beings. Another way to say this is that any cultural, religious, and historical fingers pointing to the Moon should not mistake themselves for the Illuminating Moon itself.

In summing up, we can say that the evolution of our concept of God as a meaningful reality must include a rational humility and a cognitive clarity that honestly acknowledges our human species-centricity and all the dogmatic, exclusive, absolute, and historically prejudicial views and divisive mental projections perpetuated by a variety of theistic world religions. On a more personal level, our human mental maps of reality will come closer to reflecting the true territory of this Only Moment Body when each of us is willing to honestly face the limitations and biases of our own spiritual, rational, logical, and scientific ways of knowing while learning to accept and live with our fundamental not-knowing when faced with an Infinite and Eternal Wisdoming Mystery that is inclusive of all things, beings, creatures, races, religions, cultures, and histories. What all this means is that the evolution of God and the farther reaches of our planetary future lies beyond racial, social, cultural, political, and religious tolerance. Each of us needs to incarnate deeply into this Only Moment Body before our thinking minds and nurture an intimate and honest relationship with that Formless Wisdoming Mystery that integrates and penetrates the Infinite Realities and Journeys of Life and Death. In this Way we will finally come to know that we all share an Original Nature and a True Home. Then we will come to know through our very body that everyone and everything we meet is no other than the Oneness Integrity of a Nameless Infinite Wisdoming and the intimately felt presence of our very Self.

Copyright 1978-2004
Andrew Shugyo Bonnici, Ph.D.
All Rights Reserved

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