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131Re: [Buddhism_101] Meditation and Therapy

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  • Denroche
    Jun 2, 2003
      Dear Frayleen,

      Thank you for voicing your question and your difficulties which I find so
      very relevant. We live in a society that has largely adopted psychology as
      a replacement religion and I think a lot of us, including psychotherapists,
      do not know exactly where we stand. Practising Buddhism and also being
      involved in therapy, necessarily brings us in contact with a conflict -
      strengthening the 'self' and/or letting go of the 'self'.

      I have been a Buddhist for many years and am now in a Jungian therapy -
      meditation and practice brought up a lot of issues and feelings and, as I do
      not have a personal relationship with a lama, I decided to seek help from
      the only source available - a therapist.

      I believe that every conflict in therapy is useful, as it is a chance to
      look at what really motivates us, moves us. I would wholeheartedly agree
      with Bryan and Drudche, that it may be necessary for you to break with your
      therapist. However, I think it would be very useful to look honestly at this
      issue in depth - not only from your own perspective but also from that of
      your therapist. Therapists have a lot of experience but they are also human
      and, even the very best, have blind-spots and project onto their clients.

      I came to a point in my therapy where I started 'hiding' the Buddhist part
      of my life, because my therapist appeared to get annoyed every time I
      mentioned it. I then asked him why. He told me that he thinks Buddhism is
      inhuman. After a long discussion, it turned out that his view (through lack
      of personal experience) is that Buddhists meditate for hours at a time and
      are very hard on themselves. Basically, he wanted to protect me, but he was
      working on false premises. He did not know how I try to practise Buddhism.

      It is easy to look at therapists as authority figures but, as my therapist
      said, a therapist should be there to work with you as an equal, to help you
      find out who you are. His/her job is not to form you!!

      Look at the issues in depth, but don't let anyone tell you what you should
      or should not read!!!

      Much love and support on your path.
      deni.
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