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Showing posts from June 2, 2014

One Teacher’s Perspective: the Rewards and Risks of Seclusion and Extended Silent Retreats

Ananda said to the Buddha, “Is it not true that half of the holy life is wise and safe friendship and companionship?” The Buddha replied, “Don't say that Ananda. Wise and safe friendship and companionship is the whole of the holy life.” (Upaddha Sutta, SN 45)
We humans are designed to bond and associate together. Neuropsychologists like Allan Schore (UCLA) show us—in his landmark text “Affect Regulation and the Repair of Self”—that we are hardwired for ongoing mutual interactions that are both reliable and secure. And its not a surprise that the single, dominant theme of late 20th Century psychology, found in the ground breaking work of J. Bowlby, W.R. D. Fairbairn, D. Winnicott, E. Miller, M. Main, M. Ainsworth, J. Masterson, H. Kohut and on, is the resolute insight that our social relations are not secondary psychological processes. Personality is not the result of competing drives, as Freud proposed, but are in fact the result of actual relational needs, leading to formative inte…