I'm a simple man with a wife and a little son. I work as a clinical psychologist doing individual psychotherapies with anybody knocking my door at a community health care centre. Buddhism started to make an impression on me about ten years ago. At that time I had to take leave of almost everyting but my job. Together with my beloveds, health, and belongings, my general confidence about where I was heading for in my life also went down. I felt completely lost. Because I don’t have a religiously-tuned mental constitution, looking for solace in the Church was not an option, Christian Heaven was closed before me. I was not engaged in some short, crucial dramatic struggle, in such a landmark event as Jacob’s with his Angel, the form of the suffering I have had to make friends with, was more a protracted, unrelentless agony. Excessive desperation was menacing to engulf me. As I saw it there was nobody and nothing to turn to for help and didn’t know in those days that benign hint can be found sometimes even in a single word (nothing can be read as no-thing ).
Buddhism has than offered me a way to restore my faith without I would have had to recline blindly on the power of some sort of a thin-skinned, whimsical and vengeful God. The Buddha is entirely human, just like you and me. And something else below or above being human. As „he himself” declared with captivating simplicity to a man standing before him, stricken with awe for the enormeus strength of his presence: „Who are you?” „I am awakened.”
Besides its having a huge store of age-old, well-proven, down-to-earth methods and techniques on which anybody can draw, independently of which schools of therapy s/he happens to be advocating, also beyond its many comprehensive theories of the ways of how our mind gets conditioned and structured, what I found to be the most instructive and fruitful in my therapy work is its general poise towards suffering.
Buddhism takes suffering as an unavoidable part of the existence, the reality of which we are here to tackle with. Borrowing the title of an excellent book by Charlotte Joko Beck: nothing special. It goes with living. But for we could face up to the sober and daunting facts of our life, we all need personal accompaniment, someone who stands beside us not only with their tried-and-true behavioral and mental tricks but as a kind of embodied reminder. It is not easy (and surely goes right against all of our inborn tendencies) that we should light-heartedly just „let the ego bleed and keep our seat” (Welwood) or withstand the challenge of bang against „the antagonism of the Not-Self, the spectacle of my personal non-divinity” (Hubert Benoit).
In my consulting room there is no any trappings of Buddhism and I almost never mention anything relating directly to the teachings. But I would like to keep on fostering the hope that with the strenghtening of my small realizations and making them alive in the way of my „being-in-the-world” (Heidegger), I will be able to generate a nourishing and inspiring ambience where my patients could find their own meaning in life and hit upon remedies for our common estrangement and deep-seated fragmentation.
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Merci infiniment, malheureusement le mois de septembre on aura la visite de Trijang Rinpoche en Italie. Www.ahmc.it les dares exactes a confirmer.
je passe souvent plus au moins par Mannheim en bagnole en rentrant en Italue ou je me suis tranferee il y a 24 ans...
c’est un projet de dialogue pour la Paix et j’espere bien que Kama Gangchen sera instrumental dans l’effort collectif de rentrer au Tibet de Sa Saintete le Dalai Lama. On vient de faire un programme fou de deux mois avec un Lama DIRECTEMent du Kham/ Tibet. Ca bouge!
dharma greetings Marjolaine
au Nepal par contre je partage chez moi avec LotsawacSherpa ( Sherab) du Monastere de Kopan FPMT middle way. Je suis toujours tres reconnaissante a Dharmavidya pour son immense travail de portee le dharma en occident. On s’est connys en internet j’ai fair des retraites en France en Angleterre. Et le bouddhist therapists network a ete un support thank you and Best Wishes for the dutch ITZI Conference which I am schefuled elsewhere.
It struck me, while watching the steam rise off my pan of hot water earlier, that the universe, in physical terms, behaves in the same way today as it did 4 billion years ago. Before life even existed in any conscious form. When the earth was busy shaping itself from its own internal pressures. Spewing out toxins and branding itself with molten rock. Change comes from within, and is nurtured from external sources...