Mary Diggin, Ph.D. was awarded Imagery International’s Imagery Person of the Year, 2018 on September 21, 2019.
Jeanne Miller Alberts
I have had the most amazing experience being in the Deep Imagery Training with Mary Diggin. Her knowledge of teaching journeying has been an immense gift that keeps on giving.
The distance learning class has been such an amazing opportunity, where we have dived so deep into our own healing and helping others in the group to also grow and heal.
I have gotten such depth and awareness out of every class and the connection we share has developed into beautiful friendships. We have been through so much together in the two years, and Mary has continuously held all of us in her heart. Her true gift as a teacher is that she whole heartedly guides and journeys us with her intuition and wisdom. I am forever grateful to her and the training of Deep Imagery.
Video Recording by Johanna Elizabeth Braun.
With the 3-Year Deep imagery Training online, I am growing and becoming whole-r as I journey, guide and join our monthly group calls. I have the chance to spend precious, embodied time each week with people all over the United States and Central Europe, and I am living in Vietnam right now. It’s remarkable what we are all able to learn; to make available inside ourselves and for each other in this training.
In guiding others I witness them and am amazed again and again by the power, intelligence and creativity of this process. I am learning more and more about my own true nature and where I am blocked from accessing my wholeness and where I am wide open to embrace it.
The Deep Imagery Training is one of the best modalities to come into my life. I am only one year in and there is not a practice time or a meeting that I do not feel blessed and grateful to attend. I may be anxious, but still grateful. Yes, this process asks much of me – to turn toward my wounds, my embarrassments, my fear, my sorrow and my pain; it also asks that I trust, hold with tenderness, welcome, open wider and rejoice with all the parts of myself that I know well, that I am getting to know and that I don’t yet know.
It’s tremendous. If you are thinking about it – say yes! You really can’t but not. To be human means we are here to grow and to give back, and in order to do that we must trust and engage all of our inner alivenesses.
Thank you Mary. Thank you Barbara. Thank you Steve.
PTPP & IIVR Guide in Training
My pondering on the distance learning training was partly prompted by the questions I have been asked on occasion. Mostly, people wonder about how they can connect with each other, a topic I dealt with in part one of my reflections.
Sometimes the questions are more about the difference between a long residential format and the shorter, monthly sessions. I have always been taken by the idea of the peripatetic monk or nun, who, rather than shut themselves away in a monastery, instead, live their spirituality out in the world. I mention this, as it is part of the sensibility I try and bring to the Distance learning training.
In this training, we do our work, in the midst of living our everyday lives. Not all our meetings are at such a great distance. We have at least one residential planned for the trainings. But, in general, we are apart, living our lives and weaving our experience of imagery between the comings and goings, the doings and happenings of every day.
Participants have dealt with so many crises: deaths of partners and friends, loss of income, relationship issues, children, work and all that. Moreover, they have had to work with it, as it happened, in the moment, as they were also scheduling journeys with fellow trainees, and attending group sessions as well as dealing with whatever else was happening.
The training has been a great gift in these situations. Imagery work helps integrate and heal whatever is happening and participants experience how deeply supportive their inner guides are, right in the middle of these events. It is wonderful learning to have, as they go forward to work with others.
Sometimes people ask me but which training is better?
That question is not the question that needs to be asked.
Returning to your deep self
Returning to your deep self and trusting again your own core wisdom or guidance, is what this work is about. So, perhaps the question about which training format to attend is where you begin to really pay heed to that inner guidance.
It is not a question about which training is better, in an objective sense but it is a deeply subjective question: which training is the one that I need to attend?
If someone tells you that one format for the training is objectively better than another, be a little cautious. They may have thoughts and may be very convinced by their own thoughts, but that doesn’t mean they are correct. Imagery is not confined to what we think, and Imagery doesn’t judge. Instead, it takes every opportunity offered to draw us deeper into the richness of our inner life, whether we connect through phone, internet or sit side by side with each other.
I have experienced both residential trainings and distance learning trainings. The trainings I did over the first 20 years, were all residential. The last 2 have been distance learning. Both have their strengths and their unique characteristics. Both hold you beautifully and can guide you to where you need to go in yourself. Both allow you integrate and grow more and more in your wholeness.
Of course, both depend on you being a full participant in your own growing. There is no magic formula. You need to seek your own growing and healing with all of your focus and in the trust that you will be guided in that along the one, unique path that is yours. Your inner guides know the destination and the pacing of that journey. All deep imagery trainings will allow you to grow in trust of the inner process that is yours, and no one else’s.
People do, of course, have preferences. They have needs that may be met better in one format rather than another and better with one trainer, rather than another. One way of training may indeed suit you better than another one and that is something for you to engage with as you make a decision.
My advice is that you pay attention in this time of choosing. Obviously, the work appeals to you. So take the time to ask your guides, to journey a little and to come home to yourself as you make the decision.
Sometimes the question is about which is the better trainer? To answer that, you need to know what a trainer goes through to become a trainer. It is not a case of attending a few workshops, reading some books and then, getting certified. Anyone who is recognized as a trainer in this work has spent many years working with Deep Imagery. They know the power of it in their own lives and can draw on that trust and knowing as they work with others. They have, most likely, attended numerous trainings as a participant. (People do that, even without wanting to become a trainer, because of the depths it brings them to and the continuous integration that occurs in their lives).
Trainers also will have taken Workshop Leader Training and worked with groups of people. And, finally, they will have apprenticed with a trainer and attended a number of trainings as an apprentice and co-trainer. In other words, our trainers are dedicated to the work and know the power of it for themselves, in their own lives. They have spent many years gaining experience with the work so that their knowing is deeply integrated into who they are in themselves. That is the key element in getting permission to train others: You have done your own extensive deep work. You understand the processes of the deep imagination but that understanding has been gained through continuous, dedicated attention to your own deep healing.
So there is no trainer I would not trust. There is neither better nor worse here, but there are people with deep and vast experience in the work, who have an ability to share it and to lead someone through the process.
There are of course differences in trainers. The nuance they give to their teaching is their own because it is grounded in their own personal experience. All our lives are different, and so we have learned to meet and trust our inner guides in varying situations, for ourselves. It doesn’t mean we are limited to our own life experience but it does mean that we have a particular experience to draw on.
My own experience includes the death of my baby; of illnesses; the experience of being an immigrant and living in varying cultures; my experience in learning Jicarilla medicine; my love of myth; my working through my childhood. … there are many, many things I draw on.
I know grief, trauma, love, joy, illness, loss as all humans do. I know how the many negatives and positives of my life have impacted me and I know how deep imagery has helped me integrate my experiences. The great wonder, of course, is that I still live and experience, and daily have more and more to integrate.
Life with Deep Imagery is an ever-evolving adventure!
As a new group begins to gather to take part in the three year Distance learning program, I have begun to reflect on the depth and beauty of this work and how tremendously powerful the distance learning program is.
We are blessed to live in a world that provides relatively easy technology, through which we can connect with each other, across many miles and even many continents. But the technology is not what makes the program powerful. The program works because of the power of the deep imagination and the dedication of the participants; the willingness they have to go deep, to hold space, to guide each other and to trust the deep imagination.
Many times, over the last few years, my trainees have spoken about the depth of connection they feel with each other; the marvel of trusting in such a theoretically nebulous space; the beautiful synchronicity in the experiences they have, the discovery of their own depths and the depths they find in each other. Their deep imagery guides are there, waiting and willing to guide them to where they most need to go, whenever they open themselves to that space.
To work at such distances is quite a blessing in many ways. To work successfully, one needs to truly ground oneself, to find that connection to earth and self and inner wisdom. It asks one to relentlessly pay attention to one’s own process. And then, with great trust and skill, to reach forth from that place within and hold space for another human being. It requires attention. It requires tenderness. It requires trust in the inner guides, trust in deep imagination, and trust that what needs to happen, will happen.
Above all, for those participating in the program, it requires cultivation of presence and depth; a willingness to encounter the deepest parts of your self and to root yourself there. For without that, you cannot guide. Even when sitting in the same room with another person, if you do not connect to your own depths, you cannot guide well and even more so, when the distances are so great.
If you were to ask me what one of the greatest strengths of the distance learning program is, I would say it is this: It creates a situation where one has to learn very quickly to develop presence, to be able to hold space, to be able to reach out and hold another person with safety, tenderness and compassion; It calls forth one’s fundamental trust in the inner guides of the deep imagination.
As we move through this program, year by year, I myself continue to learn and expand. I learn to trust more and more. My own journeys deepen. I am often in wonder at the beauty of the journeys and the depth of the healing. I shouldn’t be, perhaps, as I have worked for almost 30 years with deep imagery. But the work continuously surprises me and delights me.
At my core of cores, I trust the wisdom of the deep imagination. It is not bound by thinking that suggests this may not work. Deep Imagery, after all, doesn’t confine itself to our thinking patterns! Instead, it consistently takes every opportunity to become our companion and to guide us exactly where we most need to go, at all times and in all ways, for the sake of our wholeness.
And maybe that is the truth of the program: The deep imagination will always work towards our wholeness and healing. All we need to do is give ourselves the opportunity to meet with it, to allow it guide us through our healing in exactly the timing that is best for us, and through this, for each of us to come to experience our inner beauty.
When the avenue for our connection is via the internet and phone, our deep imagination does not judge. Instead, it takes the opportunity to bring us healing, and to tend to our wholeness, in a way that is uniquely and tenderly crafted, so as to gift us with exactly what we need for our growing.
The beauty of the Deep Imagery training is not rooted in the vehicle we use to deliver it but in the power of the deep imagination and the willingness of the participants to engage fully in their process. Those who have experienced the training are witness to that beauty.
Thank you to all who accompany me on this great adventure. Thank you, Steve Gallegos, for your companionship and support on this trail. Thank you, Barbara, for your heartfulness. Thank you, Kristyn and Susi, for risking the great adventure…and to my other fellow travelers on the path, love, gratitude, and more love!
There are a number of places both on this website and on DeepImagery.net where we outline the benefits of our training and tell you about the curriculum and the expected outcomes. All that information is valid. This type of description appeals to our logical, thinking side. It may be needed if you wish to speak to an employer in order to take some time off or if you are invested in learning skills. All we describe, we provide. Indeed, I don’t believe that there is any other imagery training currently available that offers as much as we do in the line of skills and exposure to types of imagery work. But this work goes deeper than skills alone.
Our deep imagery training is not just about learning skills but it is about attending to your own wholeness, about your own inner process, about going deep within and discovering your own inner allies. It gives you the luxury of a dedicated time in which you can go deep within and discover the beauty and profound wisdom of your inner world.
This training allows you develop relationships with the deepest aspects of your self. Sometimes, maybe even mostly, these aspects come to you as animals. Sometimes, they come as other beings. Through this work you get the opportunity to grow your relationships with them so that they become your allies and friends, your companions on the journey of your life.
Yes, there may be scary moments during the training. There will undoubtedly be injuries that need healing. There will be parts of you that perhaps you have never before met, powerful parts, sad parts, joyful parts. There will be injured animals, lost animals, sad animals but there will also be happy animals, powerful animals, loving animals. There will be feelings, emotions that may be new or recurrent. You will encounter your thinking both as it supports you and also in those places where it doesn’t.
But through even the darkest of places, you will never be alone. You inner guides will walk with you and will never bring you anything you are not ready to handle. Your trainer and training group will also walk their paths beside you, in companionship, as they too, (trainers included) do their own work, meet their own guides and journey to those places of deepest healing.
Your deep imagery guides will teach you to be compassionate and tender with yourself. They offer you endless compassion on your journey. They allow you speak the things that are deep in your heart, to say the words that perhaps you have never expressed, or words you did say but were never before heard. Your inner guides become your best friends and your best teachers. They have been waiting for you to come and say hello, to walk with them, to experience their love for you. They will teach you to trust, to know the ways of your soul.
In the training, there will also be times of great joy and celebration, of insight and of owning the parts of you that you pushed away because they were too big, too powerful, too whole. Our training gives you the time to know yourself, to discover and celebrate your wholeness; to know wholeness as an continuous, beautiful path.
Your trainers and the other people in your group will also accompany you. You will not be alone for human companionship. Your training group will hold the space you need. They will listen with respect. They will guide you in to your inner world. And you too will learn to listen to yourself, to make room for the beauty that is within you, to trust that your healing is not only possible but fully available to you, waiting for you to say “I’m here. I’m ready to go with you.” That is all it takes to begin.
My advice to my trainees is “Pay attention your own healing first. Dedicate yourself to seeking your own wholeness. Your own healings, your experience with deep Imagery will teach you best of all how to be with others. This training is a chance to deepen yourself. Seize the opportunity with both hands and all of your heart.”
Deep Imagery changed my life. It continues to do so! It can change yours too.
© Mary C. Diggin, PhD