A Visit from China

On April 14, a large group of Jungian visitors from China arrived at the Jung C.G. Center in New York City. They belong to the China Society for Sandplay Therapy (CSST).   John Beebe, who is helping the International Jungian Association (IAAP) to train groups in China, had made the connections.

The group arrived in the morning, half of them going to ARAS and the other half to the Kristin Mann Library (and then they shifted).  This was a visit I will never forget. I don’t think I have ever experienced a more attentive audience and never been hugged so much in an atmosphere of gentle warmth.  I sensed a joy and deep hunger for learning as if every word I said was of utmost importance. Whenever Gao Lan, the organizer, spoke there was a great deal of laughter.  Gao Lan is a professor and a Jungian analyst and her husband Heyong Shen was the first Jungian analyst in China.  He trained at the C. G. Jung Institutes in San Francisco and in Zurich where he also studied sandplay therapy.  Both of them and some of their students are National Heroes in China for having camped out in tents and offering sandplay therapy for many months after the Szechuan earthquake in 2008.  In the afternoon, Gao Lan gave a moving presentation about their work during that time.

ARAS had been in touch with Heyong Shen a few years earlier about collaborating on a project where his students write a paper about an image of an ancient Chinese symbol.  One of the visiting translators had been his student and she promised to send us her paper, which she would translate into perfect English, judging from her superb language skills. Hopefully this will be the beginning of further collaboration.

When we showed the Book of Symbols to the group their enthusiasm had no limit.  Before they all left, they had bought every copy of the book that we had.

Photo credit: Laurie Schapira