Private Practice, Brain Cancer, Yale discussed on The Upgrade by Lifehacker


And then i i as i learned more about western psychology western sokaiya tree i was always looking at it through the filter of the prism of what i had learned already about buddhism so then it's been my work since then to try to bring those two worlds together you senior back advice not given that you were hesitant to bring buddhism interior psychotherapy act s why is that when i started my psychotherapy practice and i've been doing private practice for you know thirty odd years now i didn't wanna be in the position of laying a buddhist or any spiritual or any kind of religious trip on my patients many of whom had no interest in that weren't coming for that i decided to keep the buddhism within myself unless someone explicitly wanted to know about it and to function like a regular therapist which meant i could deploy the attention that i had learned how to cultivate and in meditation and so on in my listening but i the for instance rarely would teach someone in the office to meditate i wouldn't lead with a um a buddhist point of view and it wasn't until nine years ago when my own father died after coming down with brain cancer the same kind of brain cancer that ted ted kennedy and john mccain both were diagnosed with um when my father was diagnosed with cancer he was a an academic physician he worked at yale and then he was chairman of the department of medicine at harvard he was very proud of me that i'd gone to medical school and wrote these books but he was never interested and the meditation and buddhism in any kind of spiritual thing and so i never talked to him about it until he came down with the cancer and i remember i was sitting in my own office thinking about him and i realized you know we've never talked about this and they do teach a law in buddhism about what to do with your mind when you're dying and i thought you know if i don't try to talk to my dad about this you know maybe i'm depriving him of uh the benefit of the doubt you know um so i called him on the phone and i kind of uh with a little bit of trepidation uh and said to him you know we've never talked about this.

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