I read and enjoyed the recent Elephant Journal article, Ego: the source of most of our problems. ~ Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. There is definitely some profound truth in that Rinpoche’s teachings.
At the same time however, I am a big fan of Dr. John Welwood, a psychotherapist who has been combining Western psychology with Eastern meditation practices for decades now. He was one of the first to explore this terrain.
He recently appeared (can one appear on a podcast?) on Vince Horn’s Buddhist Geeks podcast. One of the things he mentioned was that he viewed Western Psychology as a tool for growing up, while Eastern Buddhist practices are designed for waking up – the two are complementary but different.
He also made the distinction of seeing psychology (growing up) as a horizontal pursuit, while Buddhism (waking up) is a vertical pursuit. I can see what he is saying, but it runs counter to the whole integral model where growing up, at some point, becomes waking up (although one can always wake up as a state [temporary] experience way before it becomes a stage [permanent] attainment), making both models vertical in orientation. I’m willing to go with Welwood on this one – I have never been fully convinced that spiritual awakening and personal development belong on the same line of development.
Here is the episode information (you might need to go to the BG’s site to listen):
28. Jun, 2010 by John Welwood
We’re joined this week by clinical psychologist and Buddhist practitioner John Welwood. John has spent his entire adult life exploring the intersection between Eastern and Western psychological approaches. In our discussion we cover the following topics: the three realms of human experience, spiritual bypassing (a term that John coined), the Buddhist perfections, waking up and growing up as different tracks of human development, and the ways that spiritual awareness can be used in service of psychological growth and well-being.
- Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation
What do you all think about Welwood’s perspective? I am in full agreement, which I am sure will raise the dander of some Buddhists. But this seems like a fertile ground for discussion, since Buddhism is being used quite often now in psychotherapy, although seldom as the Buddha intended.
hot on elephant
A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 1,370 share Learn to Rock your Social Media & Write Mindfully with Waylon Lewis & Elephant’s Editors. 5 shares 2017’s First Full Moon in Cancer: Everything we Want is on the Other Side of Fear. 22,558 shares Why I Snort Raw Cacao. 9,314 shares The Best Marriage Advice from a Divorced Woman. 1,973 share If you Love her, Don’t Destroy Her. 6,754 shares The True Meaning of Friday the 13th (isn’t what we think). 5,231 shares How to Disentangle ourselves from Karmic Relationships that Drive us Crazy. 146 shares You’ve Ruined Me for Anyone Else. 1,730 share 2017 is The Year of Kali, Goddess of Endings & Beginnings. 2,923 shares