Being Peace in Divisive Times: An Evening With Sister Chan Khong

Sister Chan Khong spoke on embodying peace in our tumultuous lives, and how mindfulness can help us touch our common roots. A conversation with Sister Khong, Joseph Bobrow, and the audience followed.

Here is a complete recording of the talk and discussion:

Transforming Trauma: Psychological and Spiritual Pathways to Healing Conference

With Joseph Bobrow; Donald Kalsched; Jack Kornfield; and Ann Ulanov. Benefit for Deep Streams Institute and The Coming Home Project, San Francisco, CA.

Cultivating the Inner Conditions for Happiness

With Mattieu Ricard, Joseph Bobrow and Paul Ekman.
May 20, 2006
Co-sponsored by Deep Streams Zen Institute and Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

The Mindful Heart: Buddhist and Psychological Perspectives on Emotions and Well Being

With Paul Ekman and Joseph Bobrow.
March 24 - 4:00-6:00 pm
Palace Hotel, San Francisco

Zen and The Art of Psychotherapy

With Joseph Bobrow
March 23 - 1:00-5:00 pm
Palace Hotel, San Francisco

Messages from the Minoans: Gender and Power in an Ancient Culture

With Dianne Elise; Discussion: John Beebe, M.D., Joseph Bobrow, Ph.D. February 19, 2006
In a number of cultures, the existence of a powerful female deity seems to have been integrated quite beneficially within the male (and female) psyche. This presentation explores the conditions for and rippling effects of gendering the divine as either female or as male.

Connectivity and Personhood: Contemporary and Perennial Perspectives – The Interplay of Psychotherapy, Buddhism and Development

With Joseph Bobrow, Ph.D. January 14, 2006.
Buddhism and psychotherapy share much in their potential for enhancing the emotional well-being, self-awareness and sense of meaning and purpose to their practitioners. Among other things, their respective views of reality and illusion, the nature of Self and its relationship to others, and techniques for self-exploration and understanding bear many similarities as well as differences. This comparative exploration may serve to complement and augment each approach with the other, as well as to challenge some of the basic tenets of each.

Essentials of Zen – An Introduction For Psychotherapists

With Joseph Bobrow. November 6, 20, December 4, 2005
Not a religion in the traditional sense, Zen is at once a method (meditation), a way of seeing things, and a way of living. Zen practice is a way to come home to our direct experience of being alive, to develop our capacity to hold shifting states of mind with equanimity, and to deepen our understanding, compassion and responsiveness. The instructor, a Zen Roshi and a relational psychoanalyst, will guide participants through an introduction to Zen practice and principles as he articulates their relevance for the practice of psychotherapy, discerning their similarities and differences and exploring the possibilities for mutual enrichment. All are welcome, from beginners through seasoned practitioners. Questions and dialogue encouraged.

Spirit Of The Unconscious – Meeting Places of Spirituality, Psychotherapy and Buddhism

With Joseph Bobrow. October 9 , 2005.
In collaboration with the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and Mercy Center. Mercy Center, in Burlingame.

Emotion Meets Spirit: Integrating Mindfulness, Psychotherapy and Neurobiology

A residential conference with Daniel Siegel, Harvey Aronson, Polly Eisendrath, Anne Klein and Joseph Bobrow. June 2-7, 2005

Buddhism and Psychotherapy: Partners in Liberation

A residential retreat with Sylvia Boorstein, Trudy Goodman, Joseph Bobrow, John Buksbazen and others. July 11-16, 2004.

Psychoanalysis and Spirituality

with Neville Symington and Lisby Mayer.
April 17, 200.
There is growing interest within psychoanalysis in the spiritual dimension of human life. Likewise, in spiritual practice circles many are becoming aware of the value of psychoanalytic thinking and practice, particularly regarding the unconscious emotional field and the relational dimension of existence. In this program, two psychoanalysts with deep interest in this interplay will share and discuss their ideas. Neville Symington will speak on Religion and Consciousness, Elizabeth Mayer will discuss his presentation, and Joseph Bobrow will moderate a discussion in which all are invited to participate.

Meditation and Psychotherapists' Well-Being

A Workshop with Denise Scatena and Joseph Bobrow. April 27, 2002
As therapists we take care of others, providing a safe space and relationship in which others can heal and grow. Although this brings its own reward and satisfaction, it also brings a high degree of responsibility and strain as we help clients with their struggles and pain. We can easily neglect to bring the same degree of attention to our own care and well-being. As therapists, how can we bring the same attentiveness to our own care as we bring to the work of caring for others? In this course we discussed secular and Buddhist meditation as self-care in the lives of therapists, and its role in personal and professional well-being. We explored the usefulness of meditation in reducing the effects of work-related stress on our own intrapsychic and interpersonal lives, prevention of burn-out, and enhancement of clinical skills from practical secular, Buddhist and psychoanalytic perspectives.

Desire - Problem and Opportunity: Perspectives from Zen and Psychoanalysis

A workshop with Raul Moncayo and Joseph Bobrow. January 26, 2002.
This workshop explored the various meanings of desire within psychoanalysis and Buddhism. Desire occupies a central place within both practices and theories. Within Hinayana Buddhism and the four noble truths, desire is conceived as the cause of suffering and the extinction of desire as a precondition for the manifestation of enlightenment. For Freud the repression of desire was the conditioning factor for the development of the existential condition known as neurosis. Although Buddhism and psychoanalysis initially may appear to hold opposite views with regards to desire, Freud also conceived of desire as in pursuit of an impossible object of satisfaction. Psychoanalysis recommends working therapeutically with and through the phantasies and objects associated with the joys and pains of desire. Developing experiential insight as to the nature and activity of desire seems to work better than a simple prohibition that only serves to fuel a desire to transgress the prohibition. In this psychoanalysis comes very close to Mahayana Buddhism that teaches the nonduality of desire and Nirvana. How the clinical psychologist construes and works with the questions raised by desire determines whether desire becomes a friend or a foe in the psychotherapeutic process and in the lives of his/her patients.

Attachment and Non-attachment: Refining our Understanding

A workshop with John Welwood and Joseph Bobrow. December 1 , 2001.
This workshop explored roles and meanings of attachment and non-attachment in psychological, psychotherapeutic, near-biological and meditative frameworks. The work of researchers such as Mary Main, Peter Fonagy and Allan Schore on the development of attachment between baby and caretaker and its importance for the development of the growing child's capacities were explored, as were the development of relational capacities for later adaptive functioning and the capacity for intimacy. The reciprocal relationship between the interpersonal attachment process in infant psychological and near-biological development in the first three years of life, and its repercussions throughout the life span was also examined.

The developmental and psychological conceptions of attachment and non-attachment were compared, contrasted and integrated with the Buddhist conceptions reflected in the five skandas and the four noble truths. Particular attention was focused on the second noble truth, that of the source of suffering, which is said to be clinging, craving or attachment to views and experiences, conscious and unconscious, that engender conflict and affliction both intrapsychically and interpersonally.

There was a comparative approach throughout, seeking through presentations and dialogue to broaden therapists' conceptions and understanding of the importance of both attachment and non-attachment in psychopathology and psychotherapy, and in facilitating the development of optimum well-being throughout the life span. A focus on the role and relevance of these concepts in psychotherapy and effective intervention was integrated throughout.

Exploring the Wisdom in Emotion: Buddhist and Psychotherapeutic Perspectives

A workshop with Ajahn Sundara and Joseph Bobrow. November 3, 2001.
In the current climate of turmoil, trauma and misunderstanding, our emotional experience, individual and collective, can be a source of grounding, linking and revitalization, and it can also be compromised, benumbed or highjacked by the overwhelming pain, grief and anxiety generated by the tragedy of September 11 and the ongoing events in its wake. In this workshop, we explored psychological and Buddhist perspectives on working skillfully with intense emotions and how emotion might be a doorway to wisdom, compassion, connection and responsiveness and not simply an obstruction to awakening.

Cultivating Attentive Presence and Connectedness Meditation and Developing Therapeutic Capacities

A workshop with Trudy Goodman and Joseph Bobrow. October 6, 2001.
Faced with violence, terror, loss and precarious security, how do we cultivate the qualities of Buddhism and psychotherapy: wisdom [insight] and compassion [love]? How do we stand, understand and respond? not simply react. How do we maintain a sense of aliveness and connection to others? Many of us are helping professionals -- how do we work creatively with despair, helplessness, numbing and denial in ourselves and others, and keep open to sources of vitality? How do we cultivate awareness of this precious moment and receptive and responsive presence to our own, others' and the world's experience, even in the face of danger and great pain? These are some of the questions that were explored in this day-long workshop. It was open to all and especially recommended for psychotherapists and others in the helping professions and experienced meditators.

Liberation - The Experience and the Living of Freedom: Perspectives from Buddhism and Psychotherapy

A workshop with Ajahn Amaro and Joseph Bobrow. July 21, 2001.

The Bliss Body Meets the Unconscious Emotional Field - The Creative Interplay of Buddhism and Contemporary Psychoanalysis

A talk by Joseph Bobrow to benefit Deep Streams Institute and the Association for Transpersonal Psychology. June 8, 2001.

God and the Unconscious - In Light of Matte-Blanco's Bi-Logic

with Rodney Bomford, James Grotstein, Laurie Ryavec, Dawn Farber, and Joseph Bobrow. October 28, 2000.
The relationship between psychotherapy and psychological work on the one hand, and mysticism and spiritual work on the other, is filled with potential for understanding deeply the human condition. Using the innovative ideas of Chilean psychoanalyst Ignacio Matte Blanco, Rodney Bomford, an Anglican priest working in an inner city South London parish and author of The Symmetry of God, explored the links between mysticism and psychotherapy. James Grotstein, M.D. a distinguished psychoanalyst noted for his study of the spiritual dimension of the psychotherapy , discussed the paper, and Joseph Bobrow facilitated discussion and questions. In Matte Blanco's view, the Unconscious is characterized by a logic of its own, a bi-logical deep structure, which sheds light on the nature of our thinking, feeling and being. The cultural, clinical, spiritual and personal implications and applications of these links were explored.