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Luminous Doorways: Naomi Brodner

by Cassandra Smith

Luminous DoorwaysThese words are a hybrid of Carl Jung’s wisdom and my own artist statement. Doors and windows are a reoccurring theme throughout my work. The concept of looking through/into and traveling between the space of the external world and the depths of the internal world.

"Artistic practice is often a function of the ‘right brain’ or non-lingual hemisphere of the brain. This makes it incredibly advantageous to use in therapeutic practice,” says Contemplative Psychology student Naomi Brodner. She explains, “Art grants access to sub and unconscious processes and recesses of the mind, making the invisible, literally, visible.”

Brodner first heard about Naropa through a referral from her massage therapist, and says she “resonated deeply” with Naropa’s mission of personal and societal transformation. She feels Naropa’s contemplative approach to education has allowed her to “create new spaces for reflection and deeper insight.” 

Naropa has given me the space to be focused and specific with my passion for both art and therapy. Being self-motivated, I have unlimited resources here for new knowledge and development.


Illuminating Individuation(Left) Titled Illuminating Individuation, this piece represents the archetype of the magician and maps the transformation of seeing, perceiving, and transmuting. (Right) Dream Diver. This painting embodies the celestial conception of the cosmos. Bringing together the depth of the sea and the space of the universe brings about the birth of new awareness.

“Doing my own self and psychological work has been such a powerful and transformational experience for me. Through the co-creative process of therapy, I have been exposed to new perspectives and tools that I would never be able to experience independently.”

In her second year at Naropa, Brodner is exploring the intersections of art and psychology through her concentration in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology that includes Art Therapy courses. After graduating from Naropa, Brodner hopes to “share this experience and be a catalyst for the personal transformation of others.” Naropa mini seal to end article


My artistic process seeks to illuminate primordial symbols of the unconscious through collage and painting.

Creating art has the ability to bypass the conscious mind and access the non-lingual, intuitive hemisphere of the brain. This enables me to tap into deeply unconscious inner and outer psychic material, which reveals itself through my artwork.

Using an intuitive and automatic process, I instinctively gather subjects from the material world: magazines, photo journals, online publications, and physical objects, etc; I fuse these everyday reproductions and experiences of the collective together through a process of paint and print, casting them into revitalized projections of ageless visual archetypes.

Once finished, these creative works aspire to transcend familiar symbols, shedding new light on the mysterious relationships between the personal and collective unconscious. Harnessing the unceasing power of creation art reveals a luminous doorway between outer and inner space. Open it.

Art Therapy Project
The concept of my final project in Art Therapy was to build a three-dimensional “safe space,” my artistic alchemical spiritual process. I created a place where the blossoming chrysalis is held suspended between the conjunction of dark and light. Dark feminine and light masculine begin to merge, bringing new awareness and further exploration through the artistic process. Titled The Guest House, it includes on a small scroll the fitting poem by Rumi.

Brodner runs a student group at Naropa called, Dream Exploration and Artistic Process, D.E.A.P. every Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Sycamore (Cafe) Conference Room. Contact for more information.