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18 July, 2024
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Greek experts debut 'awakening in Delphi' program

A five-day psychological and philosophical journey

A new seminar developed by two Greek psychologists with significant professional experience abroad could be described in three words: “Awakening in Delphi.” This five-day program combines meditation and Greek philosophy with modern psychology and movement.

Tina Grigoriou and Dimitris Spiliotis, two counseling psychologists, friends and collaborators with a private practice in London for the past 15 years, talk to Kathimerini about the conception and implementation of the idea, as well as the upcoming seminar, called “Delphi Awakening Retreat” (

It is rather unexpected for two “classic” psychologists with a long career in London to conceive and create a seminar in Delphi that combines psychology, meditation, and ancient Greek philosophy. How did you decide to take this initiative? Do you believe that psychological techniques and philosophy can complement each other?

Tina Grigoriou: Mindfulness, ancient Greek philosophy, and psychology dance very well together. Mindfulness is primarily based on Eastern philosophy, but in different forms, it also existed in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks didn’t practice in typical ways like focusing the mind on a raisin, but they had a great appreciation for beauty, music, theater, and the emotional experience created and manifested in the moment, that is, in the present. I believe psychology needed ancient Greek philosophy to be born. It is no coincidence that Freud and Jung were inspired by ancient Greek myths and tragedy to develop their theories.

Dimitris Spiliotis: The idea and goal of the retreat was to create a program that accelerates the basic processes that in conventional therapy would take much longer. Practically speaking, imagine a total of 40 hours of work within five days compared to seeing a therapist once a week. It would take 40 weeks (almost a year) for the same process. Also at the retreat there are three leaders who guide the others, but all other participants also contribute to the process. The anthropologist Joseph Campbell wrote about the hero’s journey, about the journey into the world that leads to the exploration and revelation of our true selves. This is a metaphor. I would say that the revelation of our true selves occurs through authentic contact with ourselves and our relationships with others, and this “revelation” is activated and accelerated through participation in this intensive experience.

What is the outline of the seminar experience? What can participants expect?

‘As we walk or meditate in Delphi, we encounter symbols that are manifestations of archetypes and the collective unconscious’

TG: For me, the main pillars of “Awakening in Delphi” focus on connection. It is the connection with ourselves, with others, with nature, and with what existed before us, such as the temples, the olive trees, history and myths, as well as with what will continue to exist after us. This is achieved through the activities and initiatives within the program.

DS: We proceed with a series of interventions focusing on the body (movement) and mind-focused interventions (meditation). That is, there are hours of meditation and hours of movement in space. I would also say that the synergy of the participants combined with the energy of Delphi and the surrounding area brings ideas and experiences to life.

Why Delphi? Do you believe there is an energy field that helps participants get closer to “know thyself”?

TG: I believe there is an energy field in Delphi, which I am certainly not in a position to explain in terms of its origin. I can only comment on the almost incredible synchronicities that occur at Delphi. During our last retreat, we observed how our collaborators, without knowing it, offered images, stories and events that fully brought to life our work and the experience of self-awareness as it unfolded for each and every one of us simultaneously. For Jung, mental illness is connected to the separation of the ego from the whole, the collective unconscious. As we walk or meditate in Delphi, we encounter symbols that are manifestations of archetypes and the collective unconscious. These are reminders of our authentic human nature and the shared history of all humanity. The symbols blend with the place, triggering archetypal patterns and memories that people do not know they have within them.

DS: Standing in a valley with olive trees over 1,000 years old that still exist and produce olives, or looking at an ancient wall in the temple at Delphi, where each stone has its unique shape and has been placed in such a way as to maintain the integrity of the entire wall without any binding materials, brings us closer to wisdom that exists beyond words and transcends our era. The energy at Delphi is not an abstract idea but is literally in the field of that specific place.

What is it that we don’t know about ourselves and will learn through this seminar?

TG: If I had to mention one thing, it is that our retreat can help you discover your own Delphi and your own oracle within yourself. To ask yourself the questions and get closer to the answers. To deeply realize that your life calls you to live purposefully, consciously, and with awareness.

DS: What one can achieve is a joyful and creative sense of living. A conscious and deep connection with ourselves and others. The achievement of steady focus in the present, but also mental activation through the wisdom and essence of our cultural and spiritual roots.

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