Zen Meditation and Psychotherapy

A psychospiritual exploration of intensive dharma practice

PsychoDynamic Zen refers to the ways that intensive meditation practices mobilize the whole of the psyche. This website looks into the complexities, paradoxes, and contradictions often found in this mobilization, and explores some key implications for both Western dharma practitioners as well as for mental health professionals. Research shows that although many similarities exist between Asian and Western psyches, there are also significant differences, especially in terms of the punitive superego. The implications here are vast, and so are the opportunities. My hope is that those interested in the intersection of practices East and West will find something of value in what’s being presented here, and that out of this work there may arise a healthier dharma and enriched perspective of mental health.

For those of you new to this website here’s a little background: I’ve been a Zen practitioner for over 50 years. I’m a Buddhist priest, a Zen teacher, and have been a licensed psychotherapist for almost 30 years now. I came to psychotherapy through the backdoor of Zen, so my perspective is perhaps somewhat non-traditional. Some time ago it occurred to me that in order to become a better dharma teacher I had to become a better psychotherapist, and to become a better therapist I had to become a better Zen teacher. What this boils down to is a deepening recognition of how essential the unconscious is in all systems of change – and in many ways that’s what this website is about.

Individual Zentensive Consultation Sessions:

In addition to the longer, individual consultations that are already available, I’m going to start offering shorter sessions on meditation practice itself. These would be brief, 10 or 15 minute sessions, primarily for therapists interested in starting up, or maintaining a meditation practice of their own. These sessions would focus on questions relating directly to the sitting practice itself.

Longer consultations, ones that might include personal, meditation-based, or supervisory issues, are also available. These sessions are professional, Zentensive-based explorations designed to complement other forms of training, and may be helpful in addressing various psychospiritual issues arising in a person’s personal and professional life. If you’re interested in exploring this further, feel free to get in touch with me at LawsonSachter@gmail.com.

As with our Zentensive Workshop and Retreats, these longer consultations could be considered professional trainings, and as such, deductible business expenses. Please note, only your accountant can advise you as to whether such deductions would actually apply to your specific work situation.