This is a place for materials relating to the teaching programme in Korea in August 2017

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In this workshop we shall introduce and review important aspects of Buddhist psychology including the conditioned and unconditioned mind, object relatedness, skandha process, the unity of path and goal, bodhichitta, the bodhisattva ideal, and transference of merit. We shall relate these principles to ordinary life situations and problems and see how the Buddha way provides degrees of liberation, both sudden and gradual, for ordinary people with worldly problems and advanced spiritual practitioners alike. No matter where you are on the path, this wisdom shows the way. The workshop will apply the basic principles to counselling and psychotherapy scenarios and we shall practice relevant skills and attitudes, theory and its application. This is a suitable workshop for beginners and a good workshop for those who want to revise their understanding of fundamental principles.

This workshop on psychotherapy will take as its theme the idea of the mirror mind advanced in such texts as Sandokai and, especially, the Jewel Mirror Samadhi. By this means we can see clearly the connections between Buddhist practice and psychotherapeutic change. Psychotherapy as developed in the West has tended to be a procedures administered by a professional aimed to bring about a change in the client, yet in Buddhism it is clear that ultimately the professional and the client are on the same path and that the mirror effect between them is the manner in which the Dharma appears in the world. The manifestation of Dharma is therefore a special form of encounter. This encounter does have a transformative effect upon the participants and so does constitute psychotherapy, but the focus and emphasis in practice is more upon the actual meeting of heart and mind. In this workshop we shall study what this means and look at its application, taking principles of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi Song [ 寶鏡三昧歌 ] as maxims..

In this workshop there will be a number of psychotherapy demonstrations with opportunity for analysis and discussion of the work done, together with group exercises providing opportunity for individuals to develop their skills and approach as well as advance in their own personal growth, change and liberation. The approach demonstrated is the “methodless method” of spiritual encounter in which it is not so much the application of techniques as the finding of a way uniquely in each case to allow the truth [如是之法] to manifest in spontaneous action and tangible form. This has to take into account both the “dark” and “light” aspects of the situation. Change commonly comes through reaction to shifting conditions, internal as well as external and the encounter with a teacher or therapist can be such a shift or switch. This, therefore, is not simply a matter of technique but rather one of co-creation guided and formed in a mysterious (unconscious, spontaneous) way that transcends the individuals.  

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  • I am very happy that you are home at last after a 3 weeks hard work in the Far East. I didn't talk with Professor Kim in person today.  But I am going to talk right away. I am willing to help him when necessary. Today, here Monday, I have just finished an essay, titled "Don't try to fix problems"  A few weeks ago I sent one to a Magazine, that was titled "Temperature of Essay" in which I mentioned TongShan Master's phrase which I showed you last time. 

  • This all sounds very promising. I look forward to future developments.

  • Professor Kim promptly has made a few suggestions  for us  to continue and develop activities of  ITZI Korean Chapter. That sounds great and reasonable. I stronly agree.  So, for the sustainabilty and workability of the Chapter, we may need to construct an organizational structure in which  division of works can be done effectively. I think we need General Meeting first to discuss this matter with the members. This is important because this way accordingly would lead us into an independent identity as a professional group or organization. 

  • Korean Workshop 2017 has been rewarding and inspiring. Those who attended already begin to feel that we need to move toward actions of continuing studies for ourselves before Dr. David Brazier comes next time. Ideas include such as  colloquium, joint and demontrational counselling, private practice, or even a start of Brazier Society. Rationals? Many. One is that we the Buddhist counsellors need to act as we learn, like active and motivated Christian counsellors, to help people change and improve. Anyway, we will gather ideas and will ask Professor Kim to advice. In any occasions, I would like to be a help.

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  • During weekend, I'm reviewing what we have learnt so far. Fortunately, I find myself  in the position of being a client rather than of being a therapist which I used to be. A small change has happended.  I can now stop the role of fixing other person but read what the mirror in front of me reflects on and on.  And now I can feel some process naturally made by the renewed relationship take us to somewhere we both has not been before but not afraid of stepping out  of there littlel by little. And finally we can be relaxed and feel much freer. 

    I will keep checking!

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