Often times when I think my head is going to explode with all the “busy-ness” I have to remind myself “this is it, perfect and complete just as it is.” Take a deep breath and then the next step.
-Robert Chodo Campbell, New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care
Buddhist psychotherapy — shrinking with a dose of mindfulness meditation– has been well embraced in California for years. Jeff Kitzes, Zen Master of the Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkeley California, is well known in the Bay area for his practice of integrating Zen Buddhism and Western Psychotherapy. You can read some of his teachings here: Psychotherapy and Zen
Now, people across the country are taking note of Zen therapy’s growing popularity.Benedict Carey reports in today’s New York Times that "mindfulness meditation has become perhaps the most popular new psychotherapy technique of the past decade."
Here are excerpts from the May 27, 2008 article:
"…Mindfulness meditation, as it is called,
is rooted in the teachings of a fifth-century B.C. Indian prince,
Siddhartha Gautama, later known as the Buddha. It is catching the
attention of talk therapists of all stripes, including academic
researchers, Freudian analysts in private practice and skeptics who see
all the hallmarks of another fad.
For years, psychotherapists have worked to relieve suffering by
reframing the content of patients’ thoughts, directly altering behavior
or helping people gain insight into the subconscious sources of their
despair and anxiety.
The promise of mindfulness meditation is that it can help patients
endure flash floods of emotion during the therapeutic process — and
ultimately alter reactions to daily experience at a level that words
cannot reach. “The interest in this has just taken off,” said Zindel
Segal, a psychologist at the Center of Addiction and Mental Health in
Toronto, where the above group therapy session was taped. “And I think
a big part of it is that more and more therapists are practicing some
form of contemplation themselves and want to bring that into therapy.”
At workshops and conferences across the country, students, counselors and psychologists in private practice throng lectures on mindfulness. The National Institutes of Health
is financing more than 50 studies testing mindfulness techniques, up
from 3 in 2000, to help relieve stress, soothe addictive cravings,
improve attention, lift despair and reduce hot flashes.
Some proponents say Buddha’s arrival in psychotherapy signals a
broader opening in the culture at large — a way to access deeper
healing, a hidden path revealed…"
Read the full article here: Lotus Therapy