On this day, September 11, when many of us remember the traumatic events in NYC, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, I am pleased to share an interview I did for the Present Moment Podcast. Our discussion revolved mainly around the use of Integrative Psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing Therapy for trauma healing highlighting where mindfulness interventions and somatic interventions align and depart; particularly when it comes to resolving physiological and psychological trauma responses. The Present Moment Podcast is produced by Ted Meissner, Online and Community Development Manager for the Center for Mindfulness at UMASS Medical School.
My recent talk on how to apply the Dharma in difficult or challenging relationships is now available for download. The sangha members at Insight Meditation South Bay generated insightful questions and interesting dialogue. I hope you enjoy these teachings.
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Buddhism teaches the interdependence and transparency of all phenomena, all experience. As trauma therapist, it may seem counterintuitive to hear me say that over-identifying with anything, including grief and trauma, is an invitation to become lost in the delusion of self-cherishing. I choose instead to wield the sword of discerning wisdom and fierce compassion. To face my complicity in the disintegration of American Democracy through my own complacency, blindness and incorrect assumptions. I choose to engage fearlessly in clear-minded, open-hearted uncompromising actions to support the wave of Americans willing to ensure American Democracy survives the coming onslaught of American Demagoguery.
No matter how the electoral college votes, my responsibility is to recognize and seek to end suffering wherever it may reside: to no longer get sidelined by feelings of shock, anger and overwhelm. I am not that. I am nothing more than the luminous awareness in which those feelings and all other phenomena arise, exist and cease. Awakening, standing up for and speaking truth are the ultimate rebellious acts. This is where I choose to put my efforts and energy as we go forward.
Stephen Batchelor discusses a secular dharma based upon his interpretation of the historical Buddha’s teachings found in the Pāli Canon. I think he does a fantastic job of condensing the main topics more deeply expounded upon in his terrific new book, After Buddhism, which I highly recommend. Stephen does have some very thoughtful comments about the conflictual issues of secular mindfulness and corporate mindfulness in the Q&A found toward the end.
On June 7, 2015, a select group of presenters from the Mindfulness and Compassion Conference at SFSU convened at the Mangalam Research Center in Berkeley to discuss Buddhism and Modernity. I chose to speak on Transcendent wisdom and psychotherapy. Below are videos of all three panels.
Panel 2: The role for the transcendent dimensions of Buddhist practice and teachings in a disenchanted world. Lisa Dale Miller (Psychotherapist), David Lewis (Independent Researcher), Jack Petranker (Mangalam Research Center). My talk begins at 8:22 in the video time sequence.
Panels 1 and 3 featured wonderful commentary on the problematic of modern mindfulness from academics and researchers working in the fields of philosophy, neuroscience and the social sciences.
Panel 1: Buddhist Philosophy and the Perennial Concerns of Western Philosophy
Stephen Jenkins (Humboldt State University), Steven Stanley (Cardiff University), and David Brazier (International Zen Therapy Institute).
Panel 3: How Insights from the Fields of Science Studies/History of Science/Continental Thought Might Shed New Light on the Dialogue Between Buddhism and Science. David McMahan (Franklin & Marshall College), Cliff Saron (University of California, Davis), Kin Cheung (Temple University), Geoffrey Samuel (University of Sydney), Linda Heuman (Brown University/John Templeton Fellow)