Jung and Buddhism: Refining the Dialogue
Mindfulness in the Consulting Room: The Experience of A Buddhist Jungian Analyst

Guild of Pastoral Psychology (Edinburgh Group) public lecture and professional workshop

with Polly Young-Eisendrath, PhD

DATES: Friday 10th & Saturday 11th October 2008


Jung and Buddhism: Refining the Dialgoue

This presentation is designed to explore the transformation of human suffering through the wisdom traditions of Buddhism and analytical psychology. Drawing on postmodernism and contemporary psychoanalysis, the presentation will describe self, selves and no-self from both a Buddhist and a Jungian psychoanalytic perspective, highlighting a developmental model of subjective and intersubjective life that includes no-self as an aspect of full maturity. I will relate the Buddhist view of reality to clinical issues in psychoanalysis, looking at the two views with an eye towards similarities and differences.
Educational Objectives:
Describe the Buddhist and Jungian psychoanalytic views of self, selves and no-self.
Identify ways that Buddhist understanding of self and suffering can be used in analytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.
Respond to Jung's criticisms of Buddhism and Buddhist practice for Westerners.


Mindfulness in the Consulting Room: The Experience of a Buddhist Jungian Analyst

Consideration will be given to the fundamentals of a Buddhist worldview in relation to human suffering and its alleviation. My focus will be practical and interactive, answering questions about the clinical and psychological applications of these teachings.

As well as this, consideration will be given to mindfulness meditation and the techniques that I find most helpful in tracking internal conversation, mental image and body sensations in working within the transferential field. I will make some suggestions for working with our subjective experience through cultivated "evenly hovering attention" as a means to entering more deeply into the intersubjective world of therapeutic work.

Participants are encouraged to bring clinical questions and experiences from their own practices. There will also be an opportunity to explore the experience of mindfulness through exercises and discussion.


Polly Young-Eisendrath, PhD is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont, and Clinical Supervisor and Consultant on Leadership Development at Norwich University, in Northfield, Vermont. A psychologist and Jungian psychoanalyst, she practices full-time in central Vermont. She is the author of many articles and chapters, and has published thirteen books that have been translated into twenty languages. Her most recent book is Subject to Change (Brunner-Routledge, 2004). Her newest book, The Trouble With Being Special: A Whole New Approach to Self-Confidence will be published by Little, Brown in 2008. Also in 2008, a new and revised edition of The Cambridge Companion to Jung will come out with Cambridge University Press, edited by her and Terence Dawson. She is a long-time practitioner of Zen Buddhism and Vipassana.

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