This website is dedicated to an understanding, and appreciation of, the rich intersection of Zen meditation and Western psychotherapy.

“As we slip beneath more superficial levels of awareness, we begin to tap into the rich complexities of the unseen psyche. Within these realms, unconscious forces—both healing and destructive—flow like a serpentine river through the many oceans of experience. At times these forces rise to the surface; at others, their presence moves with scarcely a whisper. The deeper we go in our dharma work, however, the greater is their influence. Their impact finds expression in both our more formal practice, and throughout our lives.” 

Lawson Sachter

PsychoDynamic Zen™

refers to a style of dharma practice that places a premium on the mobilization of the unconscious, an often overlooked feature of intensified meditation. When worked with skillfully, these mobilized energies can help us see into hidden forms of resistance that create so many complications in our formal practice and in our lives as a whole. More importantly though, this kind of inner work helps us to access the deeper healing and compassionate currents flowing through us all.

Based on more than two decades of exploration, Windhorse Zen Community now offers Zentensive Workshops and Retreats®, programs specifically designed for those who feel drawn to exploring the depths of the rich intersection between meditation and Western psychology. Zentensives offer fully accredited training for mental health professionals interested in discovering more about the ways the unconscious functions and reveals itself. Equally so, these programs offer dharma practitioners an opportunity to gain insight into these often ignored or misunderstood dynamics as they arise in the midst of meditation—dynamics that inevitably exert a profound influence on our practice and relationships.

The fact is, the more deeply and directly we enter into these realms, the clearer it becomes that we do not, in fact, have two minds, one “psychological” and one “spiritual.” Instead we find that these largely artificial distinctions fall away, and a more encompassing paradigm for deep levels of change emerges. Based on this unfolding, Zentensives offer an experientially-based approach to the unconscious, one guided by our moment-to-moment internal experience.

Personal Note:

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, our normal Zentensive Retreats have been put on hold. Instead, I’ve decided to offer an online Zentensive Consultations programThis confidential, one-on-one service focuses on psycho-spiritual issues arising out of someone’s personal or professionally-oriented interests or concerns. 

These sessions are open to anyone interested in the interface between psychotherapy and spirituality. As with our Zentensives, mental health practitioners may consider this work as part of their professional training, and therefore as deductible expenses. For more information, or to schedule a session, please get in touch with me at LawsonSachter@gmail.com.