Shakespeare is dead. He can't change his oeuvre . Process work (pw) is alive and thriving. It can change. In fact, it does. So what triggered my thoughts in this comparison of Hamlet and pw?
All Shakespeare's plays are in 5 acts. No exceptions. Similar to our 5 days' pw labs. The journey is pretty similar - Introduction; Rising Action; the Zenith of Action; Falling Action and the Closure. Each act is akin to the progression of a day in pw. But, in pw we have abbreviated this cycle to 4 or even 4½ days. Shakespeare is stuck with the 5-Act format.
I compare pw to Hamlet as it is one of Willy's better known tragedies and the entire drama (as in a lot of his tragedies) is around pure emotions. In the case of Hamlet, it is indecision, doubt, authority issues, lack of confrontation, high IQ but action paralysis, poor self worth where he believes even Ophelia cannot truly love him, ghosts which haunt him literally and psychologically, high expectations of another's behaviour from his perspective and several others. Too many subtleties to be enumerated here...Mehroo KotvalMember, Governing Council
Stir my soul
Pain, sorrow, grief
Pierce the fabric
Of my being
I wear a mask
That you cannot
Detect the acne
on my soul’s canvas
Layers of inauthenticity
Shroud my true self
What I am
Lies captive within
Struggling to breathe.Akila VaidyanathanProfessional Member
The other day there was a discussion on how to explain Process Work to people who may not have known about it. One way I thought was to simply say that it is work that aims at individual and social development. It is not therapy, because first, we are not dealing with any disorder or illness and secondly, the facilitator -not being a therapist- does not provide a line of treatment to the participant, who again is not a client. It is not counselling, because process work is not addressing an issue, though that may happen in the course of process work. Also, the facilitator is not a counsellor who stands outside the participant’s situation and provides insights. Rather the facilitator is a co-traveller with the participant, walking with her in the journey of life that has its own joys, trials and everything else that comes with it. Here we need to bring centrestage the point that Process work happens in groups. It does not happen in one-to-one settings, as in most forms of therapy and counselling. That has its great significance...Ashutosh BhupatkarMember Board of Trustees
Do you remember the feel of paper that has imprints on it, of words pressed and written on earlier pages with a ballpoint pen? When you touch it you know the ridges of curved letters will stay, you have to either write over them or not at all. The paper stiff with all that overwriting will resist with a heavy crinkle every time you try to turn it.
It is a lot like trying to move on. The imprints are all there and so is the resistance. You notice some words instantly. There is fear and hurt, guilt, loss and pain. Others too, the ones you can't identify only feel. Fragments of scratched out endings. Bits of love songs. You trace your fingers on the outlines for hours, for days. Only the lingering seems to numb the pain. Then...Vasundhara WadiyarAssociate Member
Aastha was beautiful and she was fearless. I was self-righteous, scared, confused and attracted to her. But, Jaya thought it was still a good idea. I think she sensed that I would connect with Aastha. So I met Aastha.
Now Aastha instantly understood me. She heard what I had to say and I felt held. She wanted me to be honest with myself. She said, “the more you share of yourself, the more you will receive”. She wanted me to feel, not just think. And Aastha reminded me to act, more than a few times. But really, she just wanted me to invest in myself.
I had met some others before I met her, but none was like her. She contained a sense of community in her. A kind of love that I hadn’t felt before. So I stayed...Varun RupelaProfessional Member
The space for the seen and the unseen,
spoken and unspoken,
acknowledged and unacknowledged,
expressed and hitherto unexpressedPadmavati RaoMember, Governing Council
Process Work! Process & Work. Or Work in Progress, to use a familiar manufacturing term. These are the thoughts that come to my mind. “Process” as in ongoing, unfinished, still to be worked on. “Work” as in time consuming, difficult but also satisfying, rewarding. Most importantly, for me, a way of learning.
And a way of looking at my ways of thinking, my ways of feeling, my ways of speaking, my ways of listening. An honest and gentle look at where I’ve been, where I am, where I’m going.
Why? To bring a much needed awareness to my own processes of thinking, feeling, hearing, listening and just being in a space that is safe, comfortable and private. Held by co-travellers with long years of experience in holding the safety, comfort and privacy of that space. Companions who are adept at talking about where they’ve been, where they are, where they are going.
And the most charming part that I have experienced and continue to, is the long lasting bonds with random strangers. The realization that I am part of a community. A resource, a place from where I can draw on when in need and reciprocate when I get the opportunity.
I began to write hoping to understand the fusion, the confluence, the passion with which I embrace process work and storytelling. To find the place of each in my life. I find from my writing that it would be the same. That I could be talking of either.Peter Viegas
Part shaman, part drummer, part storyteller - all fun
"Process work has enabled me to meaningfully enhance the experience of theatre for myself and others. It gets us beyond technique to delve deeper within, get under our own skin and masks to bring characters truly alive with authenticity."Padmavati Rao
Theatre artist, film actor and farmer
"A journey everyone must make sometime. It is a beautiful community of people who are all on a journey to discover themselves, each at a different stage in his/her quest."Neharika Vohra
Vice-Chancellor, Delhi Skill and Entrepreneurship University
"Aastha’s Summer Event gave me a space to understand and be understood and helped me to relook at my choices and patterns—personal and professional. I think it is a space for everyone who approaches it with trust and integrity. It has been life-changing and I would definitely recommend it."Kabeer Mathur
"The eleven day internship programme was a memorable and insightful experience for me. It helped me recognize my preconceived notions which were not productive to my relationships."Siva Sankar Kantheti
Co founder and resource person
Viridus Social Impact Solutions
"In my personal as well as professional roles, process work has been instrumental in expanding my world view and in relating with diverse groups, from children to teachers to parents and curriculum too. Owning up more dimensions of myself has enabled me to do so with others too. I strongly believe that holistic education is possible when the adults, who have a great influence in the life of a child, have engaged with knowing themselves deeper--their patterns, thoughts, opinions, biases and more."Sudha Ravi
Prakriya Green Wisdom School
“Aastha to me is a space where I pause and from there find myself in a heightened and deeper state of understanding of the person that I am. It adds to my wisdom, my perspectives, and my journey. I love that the experience is alive even when I am away from the space. Initially I thought the programme will be one of those self - help programs with trainers, Yoga and meditation, but it was a different experience all together.Chirag Singal
Early Childhood Researcher
At the Summer Programmes, I find un-judged receiving, a space to express myself and relief in knowing that I feel what I feel and I can be understood. I have learnt that when I engage more, I receive more. Long clenched definitions and pain have found catharsis. There has also been an acquaintance with the cultural and parental messages that had found their way into my being.
Each time in the process space, I have simultaneously felt held and challenged with regard to my actions and inaction. For me, process work seems to have a way of sifting through, laying out and magnifying what is essential and foremost.Varun Rupela
Gardener, Water and Waste Consultant, Learning to be a Therapist
My first experience at Aastha was at the Youth Programme when I was 15. For the first time, I was awakened to the multiple dimensions of my being and my propensities. It also gave me a framework to choose the propensities I wanted to strengthen in my journey of growth and self-discovery.
Almost 15 years later at a critical crossroad of my life, I came back to this safe space where I could examine and accept my confusion, validate my choices and tap into my inner strength to move forward in confidence.
Overall, a highly recommend experience whether or not you realize you need it!!Kavya Kumar
Having attended both Aastha Programmes for children and the youth group, made the turmoil of adolescence and growing up a lot less hazy and confusing. Here I can exist, and express my voice with no judgment, which is always comforting. It's always fascinating and enriching to learn about different perspectives of the human experience and the different journeys people have ventured into, whenever I attend.
I have uncovered so many parts of myself I never knew existed. Acknowledging these parts and learning how to face them head on, has truly been cathartic.Nivriti Sriram
Undergrad Student, Christ University