#4624 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #4624 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
Ramesam Vemuri writesThank you for the interesting Post (issue #4623)
I would like to comment on your note at the end: "Actually a conference on Nonduality and Psychiatry would be perfect, if there were one."
Yes, there were several!
The 11th Conference of Non-duality and Psychotherapy was held at CIIS from 9 to 11 Sept 2011.
Further, as you yourself know, there are many psychiatrists and psychologists teaching Advaita for patients of addiction, depression and other psychological sufferings.
You have already made a mention of Prof. Gary Nixon (at Lethbridge University in Canada) who teaches Non-duality for de-addiction.
Psychiatrist Richard Young of Pathways Counseling Center, Riverside, Calif., Psychologists John Astin, Santa Cruz, Calif., Peter Fenner, Palo Alto, Calif., Buddhist and Neuroscience Prof. Zoran Josipovic of NYU are some of the others who are deep into Advaita in helping people for de-addiction and tackling depression and related matters.
Susan Kahn is a nondual therapist and licensed clinical therapist.
Trauma Specialist Dr. Jim Kowall in Illinois, Jordan Shafer of Dallas, Texas, Psychologist Joel Friedman are a few more examples of Board certified psychotherapists and consultants applying Non-dual wisdom to alleviate suffering from addiction, trauma, depression etc.
Other notable names are : Dr. Robert Saltzman is a non-dual teacher and psychotherapist in Baja California, Mexico. Prof. Daniel Siegel, Clinical professor of Psychiatry, UCLA codirects the Mindful Awareness Research Center. Frank Echenhofer of California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA. Brian Theriault MEd. CCC of Winnipeg, Canada, John Prendergast, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, Nondual Wisdom and Psychology Institute, Mariana Caplan, Simon Crosby : a life can be had merely through quite simple practices.
Jerry Katz respondsHi Ramesam,Thank you.I would like to state my understanding of some of the differences between psychiatry and psychotherapy and how nonduality could be useful to psychiatry.Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are allowed to prescribe medications and often find themselves in positions of dominance and authority within a health care system. To my knowledge, neither of those attributes apply to the typical psychotherapist in North America.The psychotherapist may have a supporting role in the management of psychoses, such as helping with collateral psychological issues. For serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia and other psychoses, psychotherapists typically send their clients and patients to psychiatrists.Nonduality and psychiatry are starting to come together but the two fields are not as intimately related as they are with psychotherapy.A nondual psychiatry might promote drug-free options for healing from psychosis while also recognizing that for some people diagnosed with mental illness there is a need to use medication for part or all of one's life. Psychiatry informed by nonduality would likely inspire the living of a full life rather than the settling for a life of merely surviving with very limited opportunities for expansion of one's potential.Daniel Fisher is an MD, PhD, psychiatrist who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He speaks of the goal of recovery from serious mental illness and living a full life rather than the goal of experiencing remission and living at a welfare/survival level. He would be an ideal speaker for a conference on nonduality and psychiatry. Here he is on youtube:Fisher says that when he was in the hospital he did not speak for a month. "I went through the very, very depths of my being. I spent one month not talking at all. Not a word did I speak. Because I felt I had to go to the deepest part of myself, to peel away all the layers and find who was I there. And what I found was that deep down I think we are all healthy. Deep down we are all whole. And if we can just recognize that and find people who recognize that in us, we'll find that health and wellness and recovery are possible. It's what every person needs. It's not unique with people who have been diagnosed [with a mental illness]. Everyone needs to be understood."Nonduality is the realization of what one actually is. It could be helpful in uncovering the path of recovery when one has been diagnosed with a mental illness.People such as Laura Burke and Daniel Fisher and many others in full recovery are not special. They are the new normal. In the community of nonduality we are aware of many people, ourselves included, who have seen the clouds of addiction, neurosis, and conditioning give way to the clear sky. The same is true for psychotic experiences, and that's where psychiatry can be useful.I am is a donkey.
Self identity is an ass.
Mind, name, form, feelings
Emotions, cravings, hopes and fears
All included see: apparently
We all are donkeys,
Whether considered most intelligent
And revered as such
Or the dumbest of the dumb
Plain asses, subject to birth, decay and death.
But the remember,
Lucky seeker after truth,
That the master is peerless.
Ghost rider directing and guiding all donkeys,
The herd owner and sustainer
Is the same resplendent one and only.
There is no other. So
Wake up from dreams of selfhood, oh fortunate!
Unless you want to remain an ass