Awakening the Heart

Balancing studio work with reading keeps my mind and my muse well-fed!  I want to share a few lines from a book I’m reading:

“What Western psychology has done well is to describe and analyze neurotic behavior — primarily in terms of childhood conditioning and family dynamics — and to develop therapeutic methods to help free people from bondage to their past.  What Western therapists know much less about, however, is how the mind actually works, and how people can either perpetuate or heal their neurosis from within.  Our general ignorance about the sources of health inside us has contributed to the crisis of modern health care (so that hospitals are usually too sterile to provide a truly healing environment, the major form of therapy for psychiatric patients is drug maintenance, many health providers suffer from burn-out…)”

This excerpt is from the Introduction to “Awakening the Heart: East/West Approaches to Psychotherapy and the Healing Relationship,” edited by John Welwood.  And… it was published in 1983, almost 30 years ago!

I did some online sleuthing to see if I could follow John Welwood’s professional development from 1983, and found that he is thriving as a therapist, teacher, editor and writer — and is scheduled to teach at the Omega Institute in April.

Contributors to the book — Ram Dass, Chogyam Trungpa and Jack Kornfield, among others — address “How far can psychotherapy go in awakening the heart and liberating oneself from the distortions of the confused mind?… working with oneself as the ground for working with others… and how the openness of the heart that arises out of meditation practice can influence working with others.”

It’s a very good read.

Published in: on April 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm  Leave a Comment