Buddhism & Psychotherapy - Bruce Tift, MA, LMFT
We all experience suffering and confusion that we intuitively know to be unnecessary. We also experience moments of openness and inherent well being. Western psychotherapy focuses on the relief which comes as we bring our young out-of-date strategies of self-care into our more current adult capacities and realities. We discover that feelings such as fear, grief, rage, and powerlessness that were in fact overwhelming to us as children can now be acknowledged and experienced as adults. Buddhism asserts that our most basic and intimate experience is that of openness – always present but usually out of our conscious experience. Rather than “what” we are experiencing, we investigate “how we are relating” to what we experience.
Engaging from open awareness, we find no evidence of problems or division. We discover that we are always living in a never resolvable stream of thoughts, feelings, and sensations because we are always and only living in our immediate experience. We will probably engage most skillfully in our lives if we train ourselves to be conscious, embodied and kind to this endless display. Therapy invites us to come out of our identification with our conditioned history. Buddhism invites us to come out of any drama about a personal identity. Both approaches have benefits and limitations. Together, as an on-going dialogue, they offer a powerful potential for less unnecessary suffering and for greater freedom.
- Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation
- Books, videos: Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
- Books, videos: Pema Chodren
- Youtube videos: James Low
- Many book, etc. on Psychotherapy and Buddhism
About the Speaker:
Bruce Tift, MA, LMFT
Bruce Tift, MA, LMFT, has been in private practice since 1979, taught at Naropa University for twenty-five years, worked in a psychiatric ward and as a family therapist with social services, and has given presentations in the United States, Mexico, and Japan. In his twenties he traveled for two years by motorcycle in Europe, North Africa, and overland to India and Nepal. He has worked as a laborer, clerk, postal worker, longshoreman, painter, school bus driver, paper mill worker, miner, and truck driver. He and his wife, Reva, are now empty-nesters living in Boulder, Colorado. A practitioner of Vajrayana Buddhism for more than forty years, he had the good fortune to be a student of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, and to meet a number of realized teachers.