Spinning Buddhist Prayer Wheel picture.

Buddha

Spinning Jewish star  picture.

 

Suffering afflicts us all. We fall into conditioned behavior in order to cope. Much of this conditioning is counter-productive. It dulls our awareness of the good things along with the bad. As we lose awareness we lose access to our happiness.

There is a higher purpose in life. If we are not in touch with the higher purpose then we fall back on our ego. In our society there is an assumption that people will be happy if they have choice. However, most people do not know how to exercise choice because they are not in touch with the real purpose of their existence. In consequence they drift around in circles in a self defeating way.

When the Buddha taught an "Eightfold Path" each step is described as "Right...": "Right View", "Right Thought" "Right Speech" and so on. What does this word "Right" mean? The original Sanskrit word has the implication of "all moving in one direction" or "all flowing together". "Right" views, thoughts, speech etc are views, thoughts, speech, action, livelihood and so on that are not self-defeating.

The aim in Buddhist therapy is to help a person free themselves from self-defeating ways. Ultimately this is only possible by getting in touch with the higher purpose of life. Each person has some intuition of this higher purpose. In Buddhist language we say that each person has "Buddha nature". They have it in them to lead a meaningful life which is not self-defeating. The many practices of Buddhism aim to help a person realize this potentiality.

Buddhist approaches to personal cultivation involve:

  • a return to awareness through mindfulness and meditation;
  • a growing consciousness of a higher purpose in life;
  • an effort to unscramble our own conditioning;
  • letting go of compulsive thoughts and behaviors;
  • appreciation of the world of experience around and within us.
Through these means we return to our original spontaneity, aliveness and creativity.

The theory and practice of Buddhist psychotherapy is detailed in David Brazier's 1996 book "Zen Therapy"

 A good primer on basic spirituality with a few religious overtones.

 Lotus sutra -Zen Chant picture.

Lotus flower mandala picture.


Lotus Sutra Scroll - Representing
"Namu Myoho Renge Kyo" 

Medicine Buddha 

Golden Lotus Flower Mandala