Meditation in Psychotherapy

With patients who are interested in doing so, I often recommend meditation as an adjunct to the work we are doing in therapy. Yesterday I tried to explain to a patient, the difference between using meditation to strengthen the ego, and the much deeper form of meditation that actually removes all attachment to the ego. As I watched her start to realize what I was talking about, the atmosphere in the room shifted. Her eyes lit up as she relaxed and started breathing more deeply and naturally. I have frequently seen this type of response in what sometimes becomes a pivotal or breakthrough moment in psychotherapy.

Jeff Foster describes this deeper type of meditation very clearly in his new book, The Joy Of True Meditation. He writes:

“Meditation…..just means looking at our lives with fresh, innocent eyes..… It involves penetrating our deepest shadows, our physical and emotional pains, those regions we have withdrawn from in fear and loathing, with a merciful and compassionate awareness. Re-inhabiting those disavowed, rejected, forgotten and frightened regions, those abandoned realms of the body and mind, with curious attention in the present moment. You can drop into this field of meditation wherever you are and whatever you are doing. On the bus or train….or resting cross-legged and eyes closed in your living room…you can begin again, seeing life through the eyes of not knowing…. to stop thinking about your life, to stop seeking some other, ‘better’ state or experience or feeling, to stop running toward a better ‘present moment’ and just fully experience this one—pain, bliss, boredom, fear, joy, clarity, confusion, exhaustion and all.

Yes, this is true meditation, the kind of meditation I want to teach you now, the kind of meditation that can save your life: Pure fascination with this moment, exactly as it is.”

If something in you resonates with this description of meditation, and you’d like to explore that in more depth, call soon for an appointment. I look forward to hearing from you.

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