If your mind is clear like space, then you see clearly, hear clearly, smell clearly—everything is clear. That is dharma. That is truth.
—Zen Master Seung Sahn
Chade-Meng Tan speaks of everyday compassion at Google. According to Meng compassion works in 3 steps:
The first step is attention training. Attention is the basis of all higher cognitive and emotional abilities. Therefore, any curriculum for training emotion intelligence has to begin with attention training. The idea here is to train attention to create a quality of mind that is calm and clear at the same time. And this creates the foundation for emotion intelligence. The second step follows the first step.
The second step is developing self-knowledge and self-mastery. So using the supercharged attention from step one, we create a high-resolution perception into the cognitive and emotive processes. What does that mean? It means being able to observe our thoughtstream and the process of emotion with high clarity, objectivity and from a third-person perspective. And once you can do that, you create the kind of self-knowledge that enables self-mastery.
The third step, following the second step, is to create new mental habits. What does that mean? Imagine this. Imagine whenever you meet any other person, any time you meet your person, your habitual, instinctive first thought is, “I want you to be happy. I want you to be happy.” Imagine you can do that. Having this habit, this mental habit, changes everything at work. Because this good will is unconsciously picked up by other people, and it creates trust, and trust creates a lot of good working relationships. And this also creates the conditions for compassion in the workplace. Someday, we hope to open-source “Search Inside Yourself” so that everybody in the corporate world will at least be able to use it as a reference.
Here is the video of his recent TED Talk:
“The greatest gift you can give to the world is when you discover who you are and manifest that.” Here’s an interview with Zen Master Bon Soeng, guiding teacher at the Empty Gate Zen Center in Northern California.
According to Bon Soeng,”the biggest wisdom comes from not knowing, because if you admit you don’t know, then you’re willing to look.”
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