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Wedding the Personal and Impersonal in West Coast Vipassana: A Dialogical Encounter between Buddhism and Psychotherapy
Journal of Global Buddhism
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2012
Pages: 129-146
Sources ID: 22203
Visibility: Private
Abstract: (Show)

Numerous studies have noted that depth psychology has been one of the most prevalent frameworks for the interpretation of Buddhism in the West. Similarly, many commentators have bemoaned the assimilation of Buddhist thought and practice into western psychological discourse. This paper argues, however, that such critiques often fail to adequately distinguish between reductive approaches that reduce Buddhist phenomena to psychological states, and dialogical enterprises that utilize psychology as a tool to extend, through dialogue, the aims of Buddhism. Through a focus on what I identify as "West Coast Vipassana," a distinctive current within the American Insight Community, I examine attempts to incorporate personal life into Buddhist practice. While there are numerous incidents of the reductive approach in the Buddhist-psychology interface, I interpret West Coast Vipassana as providing a more legitimate and dialogical or "skillful means" approach to Buddhist practice in a contemporary Western climate.

Buddhist Contemplation by Applied Subject
Classical Buddhist Contemplation Practices
Psychology and Contemplation
Practices of Buddhist Contemplation
Buddhist Contemplation
Science and Buddhist Contemplation
Science and Contemplation
Contemplation by Applied Subject
Contemplation by Tradition