Sunday, August 23, 2009

Psychotherapy and Spiritual Practice

A young therapist, poet, and regular reader of this blog is exploring the intersection between psychotherapy and spiritual practice. In honor of her substantial ability to both create and appreciate poetry, I thought I would offer what I found to be a rather poetic response to the question, "How is psychotherapy and spiritual practice similar?" by Janet Pfunder in Psychotherapy and Religion: Many Paths, One Journey.

“Psychotherapy and spiritual practice both offer the opportunity to actually suffer our suffering, offsetting the ways we have become numbly unreal to ourselves. We listen for the inaudible scream, finger the invisible scar. We reach toward agony X finding yet never fully finding, yet ever reaching toward, on and on. We fall into ravines, scale perpendicular cliffs, enter flames, and cross scorching deserts looking for the baptism of tears – the kind of tears that fall ever faster as the heart opens. The baptism of tears that transmutes the parched, torn , scorched body into a body of light, a body of breath, a body of gems, over and over and over until the body gradually begins to retain some of its glow. It’s the work of at least one whole long lifetime.”

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