Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Buddhism

Psychology, psychoanalysis and Buddhism are three distinct and yet inextricably interwoven traditions, each of them defined by their unique endeavor to grasp the nature of the mind, to alleviate human suffering and to enhance capacity for wellbeing, happiness, generativity, love and compassion. Understanding the nature and functioning of the human mind and the self are essential in any credible attempt to transform personal experience and / or to change overt behavior and we believe that one of the best ways to research the intersection of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and Buddhism is to study human consciousness and subjectivity. We also propose that… Continue reading

Beyond Mindfulness and the Self

Beyond Mindfulness and the Self. Applications of Buddhist “emptiness” training in the treatment of personality disorders. Mindfulness training, as practiced in the context of evidence-based psychotherapy, is focused on developing and rehearsing one’s capacity for sustained attention and concentration on an internal / external object, function or experience. Mindfulness training has been used extensively in the management of acute and chronic psychiatric conditions and has become an important component of most  approaches to the treatment of personality disorders. However, because mindfulness training typically refers to (1) an observing subject, (2) an object , and (3) the process of paying attention… Continue reading

Multidimensional | Multivariable Model

The workshop will introduce an innovative and arguably more efficacious than other approaches treatment model for “difficult to engage and treat patients with severe personality disorders”. The model is “multidimensional” and “multivariable” – multiple dimensions of a personality disorder are treated simultaneously by multiple treatment variables within an Intensive Outpatient Program setting.  Personality disorders are conceptualized as “enduring disturbances of neurocognitive system regulating patterns of internal experience, behavior and interpersonal adaptation”. Main dimensions targeted in treatment are (1) the attachment system; (2) neurobehavioral circuits underlying personality and temperament; (3) neurocognitve regulation of affects, mood and impulses; (4) psychodynamics of self,… Continue reading

When Being Healthy is Not Enough

(a book review) with L. Horvitz originally posted on in 2004 Lynn, an attractive, Yale educated, 26 year old editor of a trendy art magazine in Manhattan, is discovered comatose by her socialite mother. Once she’s resuscitated, she is found to have taken massive doses of Xanax , Prozac and vodka, leading doctors to suspect that she’d attempted suicide. Her parents are stunned, frustrated and shocked. They failed to pick up the warning signs. Her doctors diagnose a major depressive episode and after further testing conclude that she has an underlying personality disorder – narcissism, which is notoriously hard… Continue reading

American Maitreya Buddha

  (…..Waiting for American Dogen ) Buddhas usually appear as “this very moment”, however perceived or defined. Being always “just that…..” Buddhas may or may not be perceived as Buddhas by others, nevertheless, they always continue being Buddhas just as they are. However, since the “as they are” is inherently empty and not any fixed entity, Buddhas appear as simply “this” […….] or “that” [……..], as me and you, as “this very moment” and as the entire Universe. They “appear” only when Mind appears (…) divided into its object / subject modes of Being. Whenever a Buddha realizes that he… Continue reading

Buddhism and Postmodern Psychotherapy

Buddhism liberates, offers a glimpse into the absolute, a sense of transcendence in the realization of fundamental emptiness, realization of the emptiness of the present moment, the emptiness of existence and mind, psychotherapy gives one skills to unlock the mind, to diagnose the symptoms, unearth their causes and to heal them. Buddhism’s “suffering” (duhkha) manifests itself as psychological, or psychiatric “dis-ease”, or symptoms, symptoms which are individual, private, mine, yours, even if the same ones in many, if not all of us. Life is full of suffering because of a fundamental lack, not only a perception of a lack, but… Continue reading

Dasein and Experience

Every person “is” in a certain, uniquely idiosyncratic way.  That unique “being” (Dasein) as a person, develops dialectically between the truth of what “I am” and the experience of who “I know” as my Self. The truth of “what I am” is elusive, ultimately unknowable, the Real, True Nature of each of us. The “who I know” is how I experience, perceive and think myself to be. As in a mirror, there is an object – “I am” (Being) and its reflection – “I experience” (Self) mutually affecting each other. What I am influences the way I experience and perceive… Continue reading

Koan Mu and True text

In meditation, thoughts cease, sensory perceptions fade, the observer disappears, awareness of being dissolves, time ends…. all dies…….and when they all come back you know who you are……. being without….a  true I of God…… the true text  that  writes nothing on paper. Because true text is rarely written on paper, true text is written on your body. It is written as your blood, your bones, your flesh and marrow. True text transforms your mind and heart. It centers. It grounds. It liberates. It becomes you, without. True text of words that are naked, stripped of their narratives, abandoned by meanings,… Continue reading

What is the present moment?

The fundamental and the basic building block of psychotherapy, and of any human experience, is the subjective experience of this moment. What is taking place in one’s awareness / consciousness  at this very moment is the basic element of experience and the main basic building block of psychotherapeutic process and change. It does not mean that there is no more that may be happening – but that is how what is happening is constructed in one’s awareness in this moment. Or we should say it “constructs itself” in one’s mind, awareness- consciousness. So one’s construction, perception and ultimately – one’s… Continue reading

Consciousness is Space and Time

Present and aware as this breathing person, it extends infinitely to become the entire Universe, known and unknown, knowable and not. Not limited to just one person or one brain, it is the entire Universe-being-aware-of-itself. Consciousness is Mind experiencing itself as being-aware of the Universe and Reality. In contrast, our individual consciousness and mind are self-sustaining, complex, infinitely intricate, dynamic, self-evolving and self-referential reflections or re-presentations imprinted on the brain tissue of each of us, which we learn to experience and identify as our subjective experience, as “me”, the “I” or the “Self”. Individual consciousness is constructed from a seamless… Continue reading