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  • 0 NP0010 Is Mindfulness Enough? NP0010, Mindfulness, Bonus Session, Sharon Salzberg 11.09.2011 14:13
    Deep gratitude to Sharon for such ease and down-to-earth practicality, as always, and to Rich's skillful encouraging the emergence. Specifically about David Brooks' sidelining empathy. Mindfulness practice, loving kindness practice, are so experiential; we build the capacities to feel another's pain ( our own!)without being overwhelmed or judgmental. In the experience is the awakening to wise, compassionate response. Empathy may not be sufficient, as Sharon points out, but it is necessary. Brooks sounds like he's making a pronouncement from the left hemisphere of his brain, basing it in social psychology research, perhaps, but if he were experiencing the power of empathy himself, he would know, at the felt sense level of intuitive wisdom, it's not a side show. Glad Sharon could so quickly re-frame the importance of empathy as a gateway to wise, ethical, compassionate response. Whew!
    Linda Graham, MFT San Francisco, CA
  • 0 NP0010 Is Mindfulness Enough? NP0010, Mindfulness, Session 6, Mark Epstein 11.04.2011 08:43
    Deep bows to Mark and Rich for sparking two rich thought streams in my own reflections on integrating mindfulness into psychotherapy.

    1. I’m interested in the dance between “being” and “doing”. Certainly, as clinicians, we offer our clients a valuable opportunity to step off the wheel of “doing” (The Chinese character for busy-ness is two symbols – heart and kill) and drop into the presence of simply being, where they can begin to experience their own wisdom, their own goodness. And for a therapist to allow the client’s own agenda for healing to emerge from that presence or being-ness can be freeing and empowering.

    However, I’m with Richard Schwartz (Internal Family Systems) and the practitioners of many other therapeutic modalities incorporating mindfulness today – AEDP, Sensorimotor, DBT, MBCT, etc. - that distinguish between witnessing and healing modes. If new experiences do re-wire the brain, and they do, and choosing (“suggesting” as Michale Yapko points out) new experiences to re-wire the brain helps re-wire neural pathways in a more adaptive direction, why wouldn’t we pro-actively seek to use our growing knowledge of how the mind works to pro-actively re-wire ancient stubborn automatic neural pathways that keep us stuck in suffering?

    We don’t have to spend years on the couch or years meditating in a cave. We don’t have to be like sea anemones anchored on rocks, watching and waiting for the plankton to float by.

    Both mindfulness and psychotherapy, as experiential processes, offer us the opportunity, maybe even the obligation, to pre-actively cultivate the wholesome and get go of the unwholesome (the step of wise effort in the 8-fold path of Buddhism). Then the practice of presence/being in the therapeutic relationship can help us to create that spacious awareness and acceptance that allows old experiences to be held in new, more compassionate ways, and be more quickly transformed.

    2. There is quite an emphasis in Buddhist thought on the suffering cause by clinging, grasping. In attachment terms, the clinging/grasping could be likened to the anxious-ambivalent style of insecure attachment – over-focus on the object for security, under-focus on one’s own resources. In attachment terms, the avoidant style of insecure attachment – over focus on one’s self or the world, aversion to the “messiness” of emotions and relationships - can be likened to the Buddhist hindrance of hatred or aversion. (As disorganized attachment can map to the hindrance of delusion.)

    As clinicians incorporate mindfulness into psychotherapy, I think it behooves us to attend to the avoidant (aversive) attachment style that causes suffering by creating a sense of separation and dis-connection as much as the anxious-ambivalent (clinging/grasping) attachment style that leads to the suffering of clinging; both styles lead the client away from the secure attachment that is the innate true nature of relating.
    Linda Graham, MFT, San Francisco
  • 0 NP0010 Is Mindfulness Enough? NP0010, Mindfulness, Session 5, Richard Schwartz 10.26.2011 13:06
    Dear Dick,

    Thank you for embodying the 8'Cs in this process with Rich. Question: is the process the same when working with the protectors, like Rich's resentment or the inner critic. Is there a way to approach that part and change the Self's relationship to that part, not just asking it to step aside, but to enter into a conversation with it, listen, help it transform. The same process? or any differences?
    Thank you, Linda Graham, MFT
  • 0 NP0010 Is Mindfulness Enough? NP0010, Mindfulness, Session 2, Ron Siegel 10.05.2011 13:34
    Thank you both for the focus on mindfulness and trauma. Another clinical modality that integrates mindfulness in to trauma treatment is Sensorimotor Psychotherapy developed by Pat Ogden. Awareness and acceptance of bodily-felt trauma memories, very fittng with the model Ron presented of John Briere. Again, thank you for such an excellent presentation.
    Linda Graham, MFT
    San Rafael, CA
  • -0.1 NP0010 Is Mindfulness Enough? NP0010, Mindfulness, Session 1, Jack Kornfield 09.28.2011 13:11
    "We are not human beings on a spiritual path; we are spiritual beings on a human path." I heard Jean Huston say at a Psychotherapy Networker Symposium a few years ago.

    Deep gratitude for the timeless wisdom of today.
    Linda Graham, San Rafael, CA

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