Can therapists learn anything useful from mindfulness teachings? And can their clients—many of whom are often grappling with issues that demand a more pinpointed, thorough response than simple directives to breathe deeply or focus on the body—use them to find lasting relief?
What does it take to really heal?
In this video clip from his Networker Symposium keynote, “What Really Heals and Awakens,” psychologist and Buddhist practitioner Jack Kornfield explains the values that mindfulness practice and psychotherapy have in common, and shares a touching story about how mindfulness can help our clients.
As Kornfield notes, therapists and their clients are engaged in a beautiful, mysterious dance in which the client’s desire to be witnessed and known is of the utmost importance, putting aside from any reputable therapeutic “tools” the clinician may possess.
“The outer development of humanity,” he says, “has to be met with the inner growth of the heart of humanity. Our work at this point is a transformation of consciousness that’s called upon in all parts of the world.”
Jack Kornfield, Ph.D., trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India and has taught worldwide since 1974. He is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practices to the West. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society and of Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. He has written more than a dozen books including The Wise Heart; A Path With Heart; After the Ecstasy, the Laundry; and more.