Buddhism and the Art of Psychotherapy (Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology)

Buddhism and the Art of Psychotherapy (Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology)

Buddhism and the Art of Psychotherapy (Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology)

Also available in an open-access, full-text edition at http://txspace.tamu.edu/bitstream/handle/1969.1/85767/Kawai%20-%20Buddhism%20-%20reduced.pdf?sequence=1
 
In this engaging and intriguing work, renowned Japanese psychologist Hayao Kawai examines his own personal experience of how a Japanese became a Jungian psychoanalyst and how the Buddhism in him gradually reacted to it.

Kawai reviews his method of psychotherapy and takes a fresh look at I in the context of Buddhism. His analysis, divided into four chapters, provides a new understanding of the human psyche from the perspective of someone rooted in the East.

Kawai begins by contemplating his personal koan: “Am I a Buddhist and/or a Jungian?” His honest reflections parallel Jung’s early skepticism about Buddhism and later his positive regard for Buddha’s teachings. He then relates how the individuation process is symbolically and meaningfully revealed in two philosophical and artistic picture series, one Eastern and one Western.

After exploring the Buddhist conception of the ego and the self, which is the opposite of to the Western view, Kawai expands psychotherapy to include sitting in silence and holding contradictions or containing opposites.

Drawing on his own experience as a psychoanalyst, Kawai concludes that true integration of East and West is both possible and impossible. Buddhism and the Art of Psychotherapy is an enlightening presentation that deepens the reader’s understanding of this area of psychology and Eastern philosophy.

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3 Comments so far »

  1. Neal J. Pollock said,

    Wrote on November 10, 2012 @ 7:04 am

    5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Marvelous insight into the intersection of East & West, December 10, 2005
    By 
    Neal J. Pollock (VA USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This is a unique & inspired book by the 1st Jungian analyst in Japan, who provides rare & unusual insight into the differences & similarities between East & West psychology- both theoretical & personal. Kawai provides inputs from his family’s Jodo (Pure Land) sect as well as his “2nd Master” the Buddhist monk Myoe’s (1173-1232) Kegon (Garland) sect & Zen (both Soto & Rinzai). He begins with an eye-opening biography of his personal journey to both Jungian psychology & Buddhism with relationships to Freud’s & Rogers’ psychologies. He expands on his friends’ Spiegelman & Miyuki’s “Buddhism & Jungian Psychology” analysis of the Zen Ox-herding Pictures, including photos both Ku-on’s & a contemporary Japanese woman’s version (but not Pu-ming’s) & a similar comparison with the alchemical Rosarium Philosophorum but with an interesting chart comparing the titles of each plate-pointing out the amazing similarity. Many of his observations are revealed in a personal manner–he shares himself with the reader.

    Comparing East & West: p. 110: “Complementarity of Buddhist `eachness’ & Western individuality” & pp. 30-1: “I found that my psychotherapy was deeply related to what Buddhist sutras deal with,” & p. 102: “Jung’s concept of synchronicity belongs to the thought pattern of interdependent origination.” He references specific sutras to buttress his views/observations. From his comparisons of sutras vs. Jung’s psychology, it seems that the “Collective Mind” in the sutras resembles Jung’s Self (see The Awakening of Faith sutra). On the other hand, p. 105: “Jung, as a psychologist, limited his work to considering those things which can be grasped by ego & then verbalized,” p. 106: “Probably I still have a different kind of ego from Westerners. Compared to the Western ego, the Japanese ego is living far more `in everything,'” pp. 130-1: “When I sit with a client in the therapy session, I am sometimes reminded of the motto, `just sitting,’ appreciated by the Soto monks-not caught by `treatment’ or `solution,’ but simply sitting…”Sometimes I feel that client’s complaints are similar to koans, at least for the therapist,” & p. 147 note 2: “During Thomas Merton’s visit to the East, he discovered that Buddha encompassed both self & no-self; that is, he discovered `the Middle Way’.”

    He also shines a light on some contemporary issues 1) in Western Buddhism from a united perspective: p. 19: “When getting close to someone, even a great man, you start to see his shadow side. Living in Japan, you sometimes see or know about a `great Zen master,’ but when you find out that, even after he reaches `enlightenment,’ his selfish aspect, for example, remains as great as before.” He notes, however, that the same can hold in psychoanalysis! 2) modern Jungian psychology–powerfully defining what it is to be a Jungian. 3) Explaining important Buddhist concepts in modern terms: p. 31: “Monks did not `read,’ they chanted it. It was in chanting the sutra, while repeating many similar & gracious names, that transformation of consciousness was to be expected. You can approach the sutra only though this sort of consciousness.” [~the Ecstatic Kabbalah of Abraham Abulafia] & p. 89: from an old Buddhist story-“The “I” of a human being is a composite of various elements. It’s only temporarily formed into one thing. Foolish people captured by this “I”, suffer a great deal. Once you know what this real I is, your suffering with disappear at once.”

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  2. Michael Staples said,

    Wrote on November 10, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Need to be clear on what you are looking for here., January 4, 2008
    By 
    Michael Staples (Sonoma, CA USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This is a well written high quality book, but I was a little disapointed. I think if you are a Jungian it might be of a more interest because that seems to be its strength. There are many questions left unadressed. I would have like to have had a cogent discussion of the differences, for instance, in the Jungian and Buddhist notions of Self. Kawai points out that Spiegleman (one of his influences) takes issue with the Buddhist notion of no self…or at least feels the idea needs to be reframed. But he doesn’t really elaborate. I was looking for a discussion that would bridge what appear to be theoretical differences between the “All Self” of Jung (and Vedanta), and the “No Self” of Mahayana. Didn’t get it. In Chapter 1, Kawai writes that “…I have no intention of writing about psychotherapy based upon Buddhist ideas or of comparing Jung’s theories with Buddhist cosmology.” So that was that. But without that discussion it is difficult to make the leap from Psychology to Psychotherapy — and after all, the book is entitled “Buddhism and the Art of Psychotherapy.” So I felt the book was a little dissapointing. But again, there are some intersting things in this book for Jungians. There is a unique and interesting correlation explored between the Rosarium Philosophorum and the 10 Ox-herding Pictures of Zen, for instance.

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  3. Andrew Grimes JSCCP, JCP said,

    Wrote on November 10, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The work and life of the psychotherapist Dr Hayao Kawaii, October 12, 2010
    By 
    Andrew Grimes JSCCP, JCP (Tokyo, Japan) –

    A fascinating and clearly written explanation of the introduction of Jungian Psychotherapy into Japan, its transformation into the mainstream of counseling and group therapy practice and the teaching of psychology, and the influence of the life and work of Dr. Hayao Kawai in the planting of Analytical Psychotherapy into Japan and the promotion of integration of a broad range of psychotherapies in the service of the people of Japan. Still as timely and thought provoking as when it was first published in Japan, it is a book that makes one question the wisdom or otherwise of adhering solely to a single school of psychotherapy in the service of our clients and patients.

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