Despair = Suffering – Meaning

A wonderful video interview of Viktor Frankl describing how surviving difficult situations depends on our ability to recognize our freedom to find meaning even in the midst of despair. He says that Despair = Suffering – Meaning. Emotion-Focused Therapy agrees with this: we are at heart meaning-making creatures and adds that it is by learning […]

Pandemic

What if you thought of itas the Jews consider the Sabbath—the most sacred of times?Cease from travel.Cease from buying and selling.Give up, just for now,on trying to make the worlddifferent than it is.Sing. Pray. Touch only thoseto whom you commit your life.Center down.

Touching the earth: exploring a new, secular self-help mindfulness group approach

The SecularBuddhistNetwork.org just published an article I wrote on Touching the Earth: A group of friends, colleagues and I are exploring a new, less hierarchical way for supporting each other in cultivating more genuine relationships with experience, other people and the world through mindfulness meditation and interpersonal sharing and exploration of meditation experience. Touching the […]

Learning from Nightmares

A new study suggests nightmares have more of a purpose than just scaring you. I have a theory about nightmares. There is a little old lady in charge of nightmares. She has seen everything; she is trying to get good news to you; she has a wicked sense of humour; and she doesn’t mind scaring […]

Therapists Need Therapy Too

Marian Platta writes in her (2018) article “Therapists Need Therapy Too” in Vice: “Acknowledging and accepting what haunts me has helped me become more empathetic towards my patients’ emotional suffering.” Many of us including myself were not aware the extent to which we were drawn to be a psychotherapist because of our own inner pain […]

Touching the Earth

I love this description from Susan Murphy, an Australian Zen teacher, of how she integrates Australian Aboriginal ways into her Buddhist practice, in “Indigenous Dharma: Native American and Buddhist Voices,” an article she co-authored in Inquiring Mind: “When you know the place where you are, practice begins,” says Dogen. One could say that every stage […]

There are Many Different Forms of Buddhism and Psychotherapy

This (Spring 2018) article, which Tricycle magazine is resharing through its multimedia platforms, by C.W. Huntington, Jr., a translator of Sanskrit and Tibetan Buddhism, raises interesting questions, but is hampered by the way the author treats Buddhism and psychotherapy as singular entities, making sweeping over-generalizations about both. The categories of Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism […]

Empathy, Compassion and Genuine Relationships

In exploring integrating self-compassion more deeply into mindfulness-based interventions, I have learned that compassion is one of a number of overlapping and deeply inter-related factors, including empathy, congruence (transparency), positive regard and warmth, and responsiveness, key in developing genuine relationships with oneself, others and the world. In this blog, I reflect on the relationship between […]