First Psychotherapy, Then Meditation… Then What?

In the November issue of Shambala Sun, a reader wonders whether to give up therapy after having started a meditation practice. The answer to the reader’s question is very open, saying that the choice really depends on the preferences of the particular individual. It also may differ depending on times and circumstances in one’s life. It is pointed out that while purists say that meditation is all that is needed to address suffering “at the deepest and most effective level,” many Western practitioners find that meditation combined with Western psychology “is the best way to free themselves from past trauma, habitual patterns, and negative emotions” (p. 32). It is noted that many well-known meditation teachers are also psychotherapists – a reality that points to the interrelated interests of these two fields of study. One can follow one’s own inclination and interests with regards to how to engage in an investigation of experience.

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