Living the Paradox: the Art of the Here and Now

Living the Paradox: the Art of the Here and Now

“Here and now” is a term widely used in society and organisations in different contexts for different purposes. The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations work in and with groups has taken the “here and now” to be a central learning modality for leaders. Rooted in an understanding of unconscious processes, offer a direct experience of the obstacles to our being in the here and now.

The mind’s natural tendency is to seek meaning and purpose, so if one is really Present, what is the reference point from which to make sense of the experience that is being experienced. And who is the experiencer that is making sense of the experience?

The Mystery inherent in the “here and now” experience and the ability to use this in daily life , is the foundation of Tavistock practice. It also mirrors practices being popularised in mindfulness training, spiritual teachers such as Ekhart Tolle, Adyashanti, Byron Katie, and recent psycho- neurobiological research.

This session explored the relationship and relatedness of “here and now” through the lens of Tavistock Group Relations thinking and other modalities. It provided food for thought for those interested in spiritual discourses and those seeking to unpack the unconscious.


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Leslie Brissett is a leadership consultant and the Company Secretary at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. He is adviser to, and held senior leadership in, central, regional and local government as well as the NHS and Further Education. He has a long standing curiosity about the spiritual realm and studied with a Zen Master for 14 years. He found his way into Group Relations through working with the Grubb Institute as part of their Being Meaning Engaging series. He took the role as Director of the 70th Leicester Conference in 2016 and the 71st Leicester Conference in 2017.Dione Hills is a social scientist and researcher, who had been part of the Tavistock Institute cutting edge evaluation work for over 30 years. She is a member of the UK Evaluation Society Council, and holds a fellowship with the Centre for Evaluation of Complexity across the Nexus (CECAN). She has also consulted to, and undertaken evaluation of, the Institute’s Group Relations programmes. Alongside this, Dione has explored a wide range of spiritual and positive growth traditions, currently providing one to one and group teaching activities within the Trillium Awakening threefold path of consciousness, embodiment and relationship.
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