In my practice as a psychotherapist, I have drawn on my own experience as a meditator and student of Buddhist psychology. These practices have given me an irreplaceable kind of “refuge” for handling the most difficult places in my life, and an approach for facing the world with greater wisdom, open-heartedness, and courage. In the fall of 2014, I started teaching courses in Buddhist psychology with Perth’s Yoga Connection studio as a way of sharing some of what I have learned. Since then, I have also started leading workshops at various other locations.
As I have discovered, Buddhist psychology is tremendously valuable for a host of reasons. These include:
- It provides the profound teachings behind the current revolution in mindfulness sweeping through our society, including psychotherapy and related healing professions.
- It offers a “bare-bones” approach to spiritual life. In other words, it can be approached with a minimum of religious and cultural dressing-up. The spirit of Buddhist psychology is for each person to try on the teachings for themselves, using their own experience as the ultimate guide.
- The teachings go very quickly to the heart of human existence, speaking directly to the pain and difficulties we all share, while also offering us a general path for developing a greater sense of purpose and happiness.
- In a time of great ecological, cultural, economic, and political turbulence, Buddhist psychology encourages us to cultivate the wisdom and compassion needed to navigate this moment without closing our hearts (the untrained mind, as they say, is a dangerous thing).
- Buddhist psychology sees reality in terms of interrelationships, emphasizing how everything is interconnected. This makes it highly compatible with the ecological ways of thinking and perceiving that these precarious times demand. It also means that Buddhist thought provides a good base for developing ecopsychology.
- Not only does Buddhist psychology help tremendously on an individual level, it allows us to see the psychology of our collective situation very clearly. A Buddhist psychological analysis of our society quickly helps us to understand many of the delusions we share and to see how our institutions often generate suffering while promising happiness and justice. In other words, Buddhist psychology provides a heart-based framework for social engagement.
Here are examples of previous workshops I have delivered. If you are interested in having me lead a workshop or training for you, please contact me.