Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reading Living As River

I've always been very interested in the question that intersect with Buddhism and Psychoanalysis. The question of no-self, is often confusing when you translate it into modern parlance. Everything about our present times says we need to develop a positive sense. Reading Living As A River, I have been thinking more on this.

There is a phrase, "you have to be somebody before you dismantle the self." So that brings up the question--do you need to create a positive sense of self, and then dismantle the self, or can you just go straight to dismantling? Which would be best in the psychotherapy situation?

Perhaps it's not even a question. A therapist will just ask questions and then, the patient will choose their course. On the one hand I do have values as therapist, but I do value self autonomy, and the patient choosing their course. Values: curiosity, hope, kindness, courage, sense of purpose, emotional balance, bearning loss, integrity and emotional use of theory is Buechler's list.

So, when I wrestle with this question, I really want my patient to wrestle with it, though we're always sharing the journey, and I can think about it too.

Is there a difference is letting go of a negative sense of self, and developing a positive one. Also developing a provisional positive sense of self is allowed. Bodhipaksa is good at clearly defining what sense of self he's against. It's a permanent one, not a provisional one.

I've been asking myself why is it so hard and scary to dismantle myself? I find it very threatening. I've freaked out in the past doing this meditation practice, and I think I need a bigger well of positivity to buffer me through the fearful times. I think it is a misunderstanding on my part. This book is great at clarifying. This is the perfect book for me right now in my spiritual development.

I would also note, that reading his section on the 3 fetters, he's streamlined it for his purposes in this book. I've heard a few talks on this from him and others, and they are a special list for me. You can tell that he's battened the hatches, as he's heading for a destination. He's sensitive to his writing purpose. I think Bodhipaksa's a really good writer. And yet each paragraph sends me off into a reverie of thoughts and feelings. This is a book for lingering and rereading.

I saw on one of his tweets that he hasn't read The Power of Mindful Learning. I read this book a while ago, and all I remember is that you look to notice changes. In a way the change blindness suggests that we forget to look for changes. I like to look for changes in people, I don't treat them as static.

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