Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lucid Dreams

After I became disabled back in the 1970's, I was Awakened and, as soon as I was able, began reading everything spiritually philosophical I could find. I needed answers and explanations for the events I had experienced and to the new realizations that were coming to me almost daily. I was meditating for about an hour each day and had completed the four-book "Teachings of don Juan: A Yaqui Indian Sorcerer" by Carlos Castaneda. In one of the books, he taught Carlos how to gain control of his dreams. The technique was simple but required dedication and focus. Every night in bed right before falling asleep, he said to raise your hand until it was right in front of your face where you could see it clearly. You were to study every single detail of your hand intensely for five minutes and then go to sleep. Just the act of raising your hand up to your face was part of the training. After a period of time, you would stop in a dream, raise your hand up to your face, and it would hit you that you were in a dream. The lights would literally come on, everything would become so beautifully vivid, and the magic would begin! 
Mine began this way with a big bang! Wow! This technique has probably been used for thousands of years by Meso-American shaman to initiate dream control. There is no trick to it. In a normal dream, you witness many bizarre things but just pay them no mind because you are unable to think critically. This technique causes your mind's critical faculty to become active when you raise your hand and realize why it is there. I can not speak to the techniques covered below but Stephen LaBerge is world-renown for his research of lucid dreams. I suggest you look into these but highly recommend using the simple technique above first. 
This is my introduction to lucid dreaming to familiarize you with dream control before I share some of my incredible experiences controlling mine with you. I like to call it an introduction to travel in your ethereal body, or "soul travel". I hope you enjoy this and look into it further.
by David Town

     Most people don't  realize  they've  been  dreaming  until  after
they've awakened  and  the  dream  has  come  to an end.  Some people,
however, are conscious that they're dreaming.  These  lucid  dreamers,
scientists  have  discovered,  can  literally direct their actions and
change the content of a dream, deciding perhaps to talk  physics  with
Einstein,  woo  and  marry  a  movie  star,  or  assume  the powers of

     After nearly a decade of piloting these daring nocturnal flights,
two psychologists - Stephen LaBerge of Stanford University, author  of
LUCID DREAMING (Ballentine), and Jayne Gackenbach of the University of
Northern  Iowa - have begun to develop a series of techniques aimed at
helping ordinary  dreamers  "turn"  lucid,  and  lucid  dreamers  gain
greater control  over  the wooly behemoth of the night.  These special
techniques, still under development, have never before been  presented
in a public forum.

     For  those  who  have aquired the knack of lucidity, the benefits
can be enormous.  Lucid dreaming gives one the  chance  to  experience
adventures rarely  surpassed elsewhere in life.  These experiences can
enhance   self-confidence   and   promote    personal    growth    and
self-development.   By  facing  fears and learning to make the best of
the  worst  situation  imaginable,   lucid   dreamers   can   overcome
nightmares.   Because  recent  scientific  studies have demonstrated a
strong connection between dreams and the biological functioning of the
body, lucid dreams might facilitate physical as well as mental health.
And finally, because lucid dreaming allows us to tap the power of  the
unconscious, it may also be useful for creative problem solving.

     To  direct  your  own  nightly dream-time show, attempt exercises
one, two, three and four as outlined below.   LaBerge  and  Gackenbach
suggest that  you  do the tasks as often as possible.  Some people may
succeed in having a lucid dream the very  first  night  they  use  the
techniques;  others,  the  researchers  note  may need to practice for
several weeks before getting results.

               EXERCISE ONE

     A number of techniques facilitate lucid dreaming.    One  of  the
simplest  is asking yourself many times during the day whether you are
dreaming.  Each time  you  ask  the  question,  you  should  look  for
evidence proving  you  are not dreaming.  The most reliable test: Read
something, look away for a moment, and then read  it  again.    If  it
reads the same way twice, it is unlikely that you are dreaming.  After
you  have  proved  to  yourself  that  you are not presently dreaming,
visualize yourself doing whatever  it  is  you'd  like.    Also,  tell
yourself that you want to recognize a nighttime dream the next time it
occurs.   The  mechanism at work here is simple; it's much the same as
picking up milk at the grocery store after reminding yourself to do so
an hour before.

     At night people usually  realize  they  are  dreaming  when  they
experience unusual  or bizarre occurrences.  For instance, if you find
yourself flying with no visible means of support, you  should  realize
that  this  only  happens  in  dreams  and  that you must therefore be

     If you awaken from a dream in the middle of the night, it is very
helpful to return to the dream immediately, in your imagination.   Now
envision yourself  recognizing the dream as such.  Tell yourself, "The
next time I am dreaming, I want to remember to  recognize  that  I  am
dreaming."  If your intention is strong and clear enough, you may find
yourself in a lucid dream when you return to sleep.

               EXERCISE TWO

     Many lucid dreamers report dreams in which they fly unaided, much
like Superman.    Some  lucid  dreamers say that flying is a thrilling
means of travel; others, that it has helped them return  from  one  of
the more harrowing dream experiences --- the endless fall.

     Why is  dream flying so important ?  It's a form of dream control
that's fairly easy to master.  It gives the  dreamer  an  exhilarating
sense of  freedom.    And  it's  a  basic means of travel in the dream

     How do you make a dream flight happen at all ?  We  suggest  that
before  you  retire for bed, you simply repeat these words: "Tonight I
fly !"  Then while still awake, imagine that journey.

     If you find yourself flying, it will be a clear sign that you are
in a dream.  In any case, when you realize you're  dreaming,  remember
that you  want  to  fly.  When you actually feel yourself flying, say,
"This is a dream."  Make sure  that  you  start  modestly,  by  simply
floating above  the  surface  of  your  dream  ground.    As  you gain
confidence, both in the notion that  you  are  dreaming  and  in  your
ability to control that experience, you might experiment with flying a
bit more.    Run,  taking  big  leaps,  and  then stay aloft for a few
seconds so that you resemble an astronaut walking on the  moon.    Try
sustained floating,  and  then  flying  at  low  altitudes.    As your
confidence increases, so will your flying skills.  While asleep,  work
on increasing  your  altitude,  maneuverability,  and  speed.  As with
speed sports, you should perfect  height  and  maneuverability  before
speed.   Of  course, you couldn't really hurt yourself --- it's only a
dream.  But you could get scared.

     After you  get  proficient  in  dream  flying,  remember  to  ask
yourself these questions : "How high can I fly ?  Can I view the earth
from outer  space  ?  Can I travel so fast that I lose awareness of my
surroundings and experience the sensation of pure speed ?"

     Throughout your efforts in dream  flight,  please  remember  that
you're in a dream.  With this in mind, your fears will be held at bay,
and your control over your dream will be greatly enhanced.

               EXERCISE THREE

     Even  if  you're a frequent lucid dreamer, you may not be able to
stop your- self from waking up in mid-dream.  And even if your  dreams
do  reach  a satisfying end, you may not be able to focus them exactly
as you please.  During our years of research, however, we  have  found
that spinning your dream body can sustain the period of sleep and give
you greater  dream  control.    In  fact,  many  subjects  at Stanford
University have used the spinning technique as an effective  means  of
staying in  a  lucid dream.  The task outlines below will help you use
spinning as a means of staying asleep and, more exciting, as  a  means
of traveling to whatever dream world you desire.

     As  with  dream flying, the dream spinning task starts before you
go to bed.  Before retiring, decide on a person, time, and  place  you
would like  to visit in your lucid dream.  The target person and place
can be either real  or  imaginary,  past,  present  or  future.    For
instance,  Sigmund Freud, Vienna, 1900; Stephen LaBerge, Stanford, the
present; or the president of the  solar  system,  Galaxy  Base,  2900.
Write  down  and memorize your target person and place, then visualize
yourself visiting your target and firmly resolve to do so in  a  dream
that night.

     When following this procedure, it is possible that you might find
yourself  visiting your target in a non-lucid dream; you will be aware
that this happened only after you awaken.   Nevertheless,  you  should
strive for lucidity by following the techniques in exercise one.  Then
proceed to your goal.

     To do so, repeat the phrase describing your target in your dream,
and  spin  your whole dream body in a standing position with your arms
outstretched.  You can pirouette or spin like a top, as  long  as  you
vividly feel your body in motion.

     The  same  spinning  technique will help when, in the middle of a
lucid dream, you feel the dream imagery beginning to fade.   To  avoid
waking  up,  spin  as  you  repeat your target phrase again and again.
With practice, you'll return to your target person, time, and place.

               EXERCISE FOUR

     Up until now we have had little control over  the  occurrence  of
creative dreams.    But  with  lucid  dreaming  it  may be possible to
intentionally access the creativity of the dream state.  You can  help
determine  the  feasibility  of  this  idea  by  attempting to solve a
problem in a lucid dream.  Before bed, decide on a problem  you  would
like to solve.    Frame  your  problem in the form of a question.  For
example : "What is the topic of me next book ?" "How can I become less
shy ?"  If you have an illness, you might consider  the  problem  "How
can I regain my health ?"

     Once  you  have  selected  a  problem question, write it down and
memorize it.  When doing the lucid-dream-induction exercises, remember
your question and see yourself looking for the  answer  in  your  next
lucid dream.   Then, when in a lucid dream, ask the question, and seek
the solution.

     You might be most successful at problem solving if you  take  the
direct approach.  For instance if your problem is shyness, be less shy
in your dream.  If your problem is health, try to heal yourself in the
dream.   Then reflect on how your dream solution relates to the waking
problem.  It may help to question other dream  characters,  especially
if they  represent  people  who  you think might know the answer.  For
example, if you  were  trying  to  solve  a  physics  problem,  Albert
Einstein might  be  a  good  dream  character  to query.  You can even
combine this task with the dream spinning and flying  tasks,  visiting
an expert on your problem.  You can also just explore your dream world
with  your  question in mind, looking for any clues that might suggest
an answer.

  ---Stephen LaBerge and Jayne Gackenbach, OMNI Magazine

     For those of you who have made it this far, I have just a  couple
of comments.    Lucid dreaming is the absolute MOST fun I've ever had,
and that's saying a lot, since I've  had  some  terrific  times  while
awake.   I  can't  dream  lucidly  every  night,  and  if  I  stop the
exercises, it takes a couple of days to get things lucid  again.    If
you do try lucid dreaming, don't expect results the first night.  Give
it a few  days,  and  keep  up the exercises.  They really work.  I've
found that it helps me to write down every detail I can recall from  a
dream as  soon  as  I get up in the morning.  Then before bed the next
night, I read those details, making them fresh in my mind.   It  seems
to help bring on dreams that night.

     If  you  have  questions  or comments about this article, you can
leave a message on MENHIR BBS at (609)-263-2861.  Just leave a comment
to the sysop.



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Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Garden of Emptiness, The Treeless Forest

I occasionally come across some amazing jewels of Wisdom when doing research for my blog. Below is one such jewel. The author of this explanation of Enlightenment, or Buddha Mind, is a true Zen Master who has studied with several great Zen Masters. Here is a short biography:

Echard Musgrave Roshi is a Zen Master in the Soto tradition of Japan, the largest Zen tradition in the world. He received transmission and the title Roshi in 1988 from Reverend Doctor Soyu Matsuoka, bishop of the Soto tradition, one of Japan's most respected Zen masters and patriarch of American Zen. Roshi Echard has been a Zen student for twenty-eight years and has studied under masters of the Rinzai, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese traditions.

This essay is wonderful! I understand it and have experienced brief encounters with my True Nature but my Practice continues. It is my life - my Path with Heart. May you find yours too. Enjoy!


The Garden of Emptiness, The Treeless Forest
Stephen Echard Musgrave Roshi
Zen Institute of San Diego

A Zen student is someone who wishes to undergo Zen training with the purpose of realizing ones true nature. According to Buddhist teachings, the fundamental Reality of the Universe, the Buddha Mind, is none other than our own original nature. This nature is hidden from us due to the conditioning of desire and attachment to the process of becoming. We literally are unable to see the Forest for all of the trees, and yet there is no forest other than these Trees. 

Our practice of Zazen allows us to see each tree for what it is, a perfect expression of time and space. Each tree becomes a mirror to the process of becoming, reflecting all other trees in its existence. 

Our usual understanding is that a tree is an adaptation of a particular organism to a unique time and space. This is a linear perspective, however, and does not see the tree for what it is. It ignores the tree's interaction with the rest of the environment. A tree is a dynamic process rather than a concrete unit of being. That we perceive it as such is because of the limits imposed upon our sense by their structure. 

In other words, our eyes are able to perceive the light, but only that which can reach our face. Though the energy of light is composed of undulating patterns of waves, our perception of it gives us the impression of solidity. This sense of solidity is further nurtured by the fact that our perception of change is limited to only rapid transformation. We can see this clearly when we look at a time lapse film of a garden flower. 

What appears to our ordinary consciousness as a rose in bloom, is actually a rose in process. Through time lapse photography, we can see the crest and trough of the energy of the Rose as it generates buds, blooms, drops flowers and begins again, all the while growing in the process. Along side all the visible manifestations of process are the myriad aspects of its interaction with the other forces of the garden. The Rose interacts with the soil, taking in nutrients and dropping leaves and flowers to add new nutrients, hosting insects and the insects feeding each other, breathing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. 

Nothing about the rose is static, in fact its very being is in interaction. Our consciousness defines it as a thing, however, a unit which is separate from the other units in the minds arena. It is either experienced as foreground or background. When the mind contemplates a garden, it delegates the rose to the role of background, and when it considers the rose itself, the sky or the garden wall becomes the background. The reality of rose, however, is in its interaction with its environment. The names rose, garden, sky, earth are mere tools of the intellect and communication; having no real relationship to the reality of the phenomenon itself. This is always a matter of mutual interaction or better put, interpenetration. 

The Buddhist term mutual interpenetration recognizes the absolute coincidence of being that is an environment. Every aspect of the garden is effecting and being effected by all other aspects -- simultaneously. The evidence of this reality is recognized in many disciplines; from ecology to particle physics. The essential point for the Zen student to realize is that his own being itself is also sharing in this interpenetration. There is no abiding reality of self outside of this interpenetration; no permanent soul, mind or spirit that is not one with this eternal interchange.

The process is being, there is nothing else. Ideas about self are irrelevant to the truth, they are mere clouds over the garden, coming into being and dissipating. All the while the constant stream of interaction goes on. As clouds blow where the wind takes them, so should the Zen student allow ideas of self to be free to blow across the sky of this eternal mutual interpenetration. The forest is the trees, the trees are the forest -- others are the self, self is the other. There is nothing other than this; nothing to cling to and nothing to fear. For if all is Self then there is no self which can be threatened by other. 
Understanding this reality is to have Wisdom, and Wisdom's expression is compassion. Not just loving others as you would have them love you, but loving others because they are you! This is the real nature of love, the recognition of mutual identity. Just as the real nature of hate and fear is the ignorance of real self, which sees the world as a series of things outside of itself. 

Through the process of our Zazen practice, we become aware of this interpenetration which is our real nature. A nature which is birthless and deathless. Life and death are concepts of limited awareness. The boundless Buddha Nature has no borders. Night and day, birth and death, are merely reflections of this reality. They are two sides of the same coin; inseparable, united, one always following the other. When we attain this perspective, we no longer have to strive to be anything, yet we are able to accomplish much. 

How is that possible? It is possible because each phenomenon, though sharing an essential being with all other phenomenon, never the less maintains its own pattern or structure as an express of this interrelationship. Things do not cease to exist when we become aware of their essential emptiness of self. If they did, then all existence would vanish with them. The process of this awareness in Zen practice is in the expression: first there is a mountain, then there isn't, then there is. 

When we first see things, we see them as absolute concrete realities in themselves. A mountain is a mountain and nothing else. Then we become aware of the mountain's essential emptiness, that is, it does not exist outside of its interrelationship with the world. Finally, it becomes mountain again when we see it with the enlightened eye -- as the perfect expression of the universe as mountain. In the final vision, it is no longer other, but participates with us in the mutual being of the moment. 

We do not sacrifice anything by attaining this enlightened perspective. We are still able to function in the world of things with the same facility as before. We use reason and discrimination in our daily lives with even more adroitness than we did when we saw each thing as a reality onto itself. Now we understand on a visceral level, that no action we take does not interact with the whole. Impetuous and stupid actions we would have taken before, thinking them to be in our self interest, are now seen for what they are. 

For the first time, we trust our intuition to be a full partner with our reason in determining lifes action. This is because there has been a fundamental turning round of consciousness which allows intuition to flow directly from that shared being which is the universal consciousness. Before, intuition was crippled by the mind's obstinate adherence to a conception of a world of things separate in being. 

We begin to move through the world with the grace of a virtuoso, who having attained technical mastery of his instrument, can now let his intuitive genius flow into the symphony of harmonious actions. Each note consistent with the symphony of life, but with our own unique touch and accent. The old view of self, which we believed gave us a sense of freedom, actually held us back from experiencing the beauty of our life. This beauty is what we call the Buddha nature, it is the harmony of life of which we are one note. 

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gautama Buddha the Unique Psychotherapist

Gautama Buddha's teachings were taught as a way, "The Way", for us as human beings to overcome the suffering of this material world. As All the great teachings of this "One Truth", they were not a religion. He put into words this ineffable Truth, as best he could, so others could find their Way too. As with All the other teachings of this "One Truth" throughout history by other great Sages, his were understood by the Awakened Few and turned into a religion by the Sleeping Masses. Such is the way of this world for reasons I do not understand. Buddhism, though, particularly Zen or Cha'an Buddhism, has remained clear enough to this day that Science has begun studying the Mind-Restructuring that occurs through It's Practice. Psychologists realized the practical uses of Buddhist meditation years ago and an entire style of therapy has evolved from it. Through this Mindfulness Therapy, many patients and students have learned to overcome their emotional problems by training themselves to Be Present. It is during these moments of relaxation and focused silence that their repressed suffering surfaces where it can be let go. I have earlier posts on "Mindfulness" that I highly recommend you read too. Here are the links:

"What is Mindfulness?" 

"Caution: Mindfulness Includes Pain, and Requires Readiness" 

"Kindness - An Essential Companion of Mindfulness" 

"Mindfulness and Kindness: Inner Sources of Freedom and Happiness" 

Here are some additional resources:

"Meditation and Mindfulness Resources" 

Recently, a group of brain scientists from various disciplines have been studying the actual changes in the electrical activity in the brain. It took the invention of a special "MRI-type" brain scanner for this research to become a reality. It has now been proven that the mind can actually be reshaped. It is called "Neural-Plasticity" and many students of the Dalai Lama are currently allowing their neural activity to be mapped as they meditate. Here is an earlier post about an excellent interview by Krista Tippett of "Speaking of Faith" with his French translator, Matthieu Ricard, who participated in this study:

"The Happiest Man in the World"

 Now, back to this item. The title to this particular article caught my attention so I thought I would share it. It shows how the philosophy of Buddha has influenced many types of psychotherapy in use today. During his travels and teaching, you will see how his Wisdom helped several people with their suffering almost 2500 years ago. I hope you enjoy it.


Gautama Buddha the Unique Psychotherapist
By Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D., Sri Lanka Guardian, March 29, 2010

Ontario, Canada -- Many people interpreting Buddhism see it as one of the numerous philosophies and religions known from antiquity. Certainly Buddhism is a practical philosophy in the sense that prevails today.

This philosophy sets up a system of vast psychotherapy. In that context the Lord Buddha was a unique psychotherapist. In general Psychotherapy means a treatment of emotional, behavioral, personality disorders based primarily upon verbal or nonverbal communication. The Buddha who was an inimitable healer helped a large number of people to overcome stress, emotional problems, and relationship problems through friendly mediation.

Dr Sigmund Freud introduced the Psychoanalytic therapy. Psychoanalytic treatment involves discussing past experiences and how these may have led to present situation and also how these past experiences may be affecting the life now. The understanding gained frees the person to make choices about what happens in the future. Psychoanalysis attempts to get to the root of the problem" by analyzing the transference relationship which develops between the therapist and patient.

Buddha did a complete form of analysis and found the route cause of affliction, then successfully treated the particular psychological ailment and brought complete mental release to the person. In this analysis he went up to past lives. Past life therapy also known as regression or resolution therapy allows individuals to complete traumatic and emotionally stimulated past experiences which on an unconscious level are unresolved.

Today PLT or Past Life Therapy is popular in the Western world and it allows the client to resolve past issues in a therapeutic setting using clinical methods. The most famous Western past life therapist was Edgar Cayce who gave over 14,000 "readings" during a period of 43 years. Edgar Cayce demonstrated the uncanny ability to put himself into some kind of self-induced sleep and he could respond to questions asked by his patients about their illnesses.

Cognitive Therapy based on gaining insight into unconscious emotions and drives mainly focusing on thoughts, assumptions and beliefs. Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Therapy is an example of Cognitive therapy. Ellis considers strong emotions to result from an interaction between events in the environment and beliefs and expectations.

Buddhist point of view, suffering is not caused by external, traumatic events, but by qualities of mind which shape our perceptions and responses to events. These same words were repeated by the Psychologist Albert Ellis in 1953 when he introduced his action oriented therapeutic approach – Rational Emotive Therapy. According to Ellis not the event that causes psychological distress but the belief held by the client. He further argues that one's emotional distress is actually caused by one's catastrophic thinking in appraising stressful events. Ellis theories that unrealistic appraisals of stress are derived from irrational assumptions.

Psychiatrist Aaron T Beck - the developer of CBT or Cognitive Behavior Therapy emphasized the role of cognitive distortions in depression and anxiety. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is one of the major orientations of psychotherapy and represents a unique category of psychological intervention because it derives from cognitive and behavioral psychological models of human behavior.

Lord Buddha used numerous kinds of cognitive therapies. In the story of Kisagotami Buddha used a cognitive mode of action to give insight to a young mother who lost her little son. She was devastated with grief. She went to Buddha Carrying the dead body of her son and asked for medicine that would restore her dead son to life. The Buddha told her to get some mustard seeds from a house where there had been no death. Kisagotami went from house to house but she could not find a single house where death had not occurred. She gradually got the insight and the meaning of death. She realized death is a universal phenomenon.

Buddha often used Socratic Method to teach his doctrine. Socrates (470 399 BC) was a Greek philosopher who engaged in questioning of his students in an unending search for truth. He sought to get to the foundations of his students' and colleagues' views by asking continual questions until a contradiction was exposed, thus proving the fallacy of the initial assumption. This became known as the Socratic Method.

When the assassin Angulimala screamed at the Buddha to stop the Buddha turned and told Angulimala that he, the Buddha, had already stopped and Angulimala, to do likewise. These few words made a cognitive revolution inside Angulimala's head. He realized that the Buddha has already stopped means he does not commit any violence so now the time for Angulimala to renounce violence. He threw away his sword and became a monk.

Patachara a young woman developed an acute stress reaction when she witnessed the death of her husband two children and the parents. She came to Buddha weeping and with utter confusion. After she became rational Buddha explained her true meaning of suffering and the nature of impermanence. The story of Patachara reveals an excellent case study of trauma counseling. Trauma counseling should offer practical help that works and should teach skills to manage flashbacks, painful memories and anxiety. Buddha used practically most of the above mentioned avenues to resolve the grief reaction of Patachara.

There are obvious similarities between the Buddha's empathically based attitude and Carl Roger's term empathy. Carl Rogers plays an important historical role in the development of Client Centered Therapy and he was one of the founders of the humanistic psychology movement. Like Carl Rogers Buddha accepted people with unconditional positive regard. Psychologists claim that living an authentic life is impossible without developing empathy. Empathy is a fundamental ability for being able to develop relationships with other people, and thus develop one's personality.

Buddha believed in human freedom. Rogers felt that it was irrelevant whether or not people really had free will. He further says we feel free when choices are available to us. Rogers pointed out that the fully-functioning person acknowledges that feeling of freedom, and takes responsibility for his choices. Buddha doesn't reject the human freedom with complete responsibility for one's action.

Robert Carkhuff -one of the pioneers in Client Centered Therapy studied and worked with Carl Rogers. He published his outstanding book Towards Effective Counseling and Psychotherapy in 1967. Robert Carkhuff introduced seven co conditions such as empathy, respect, concreteness, genuineness, self disclosure, confrontation and immediacy. In psychotherapy immediacy is a vital issue. The story of Rajjumala –a domestic servant who tried to commit suicide following the harassments caused by her mistress was saved by the Buddha. This is a fabulous example of suicide prevention counseling and Robert Carkhuff's seventh co condition "immediacy".

In the Buddha's teaching meditation has a special place. Meditation can be used for personal growth. Buddhist meditation is a process of mental clarification and geared to direct perception. The purpose of Buddhist meditation, therefore is to gain intellectual understanding of the universal truth. Buddhist Vipassana meditation gives realization of impermanence, suffering and non-self. The Mettha (loving-kindness) meditation helps to reduce anger and a perfect way to control aggressive feelings. Generally meditation helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Today many psychotherapeutic centers in the East and the West use meditation as a successful therapeutic mode.

Existential Psychotherapy is a form of psychotherapy which aims at enhancing self knowledge. In Buddha's teaching existentialism is widely described. Buddhism brings up questions about ethics and the nature of our existence. The goals of existential therapy are to enable people to become more truthful with themselves, to widen their perspective on themselves and the world around them , to find clarity on how to proceed in the future while taking lessons from the past and creating something valuable to live for in the present. Also it helps to explore the client's physical, social, psychological and spiritual dimensions.

The story of Mattakundali – a young boy who was terminally ill and suffered without any medical assistance due to his father's greediness died prematurely. After Mattakundali's death his father became extremely sad and used to go to the cemetery everyday and mourn. The meaning of death is revealed in Mattakundali Jathaka in an existential form. Finally Mattakundali's father's grief was resolved. This story can be interpreted as a good example of grief counseling.

Buddha was a unique psychotherapist. His therapeutic methods helped millions of people throughout the centuries. Today the Western world has realized the psychological essence of Buddhism. Many Psychotherapeutic systems in the West derived from Buddha's teaching. Buddha showed empathy and non judgmental acceptance to everyone who came to him. He helped people to gain insight and helped in growth promotion while eliminating troubling and painful emotions. His therapeutic methods are exceptional and can be applied for all time.

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