Buddhism and Psychology: Community Conversations

January 4th—June 6th

Date details +
    Room: Main Meditation Hall

    Buddhism and psychology have many common points of interest and study.  Each month, a local psychologist helps us explore these intersections, bringing their deep understanding of people within the frame work of Buddhism. Join the conversation; No special knowledge of psychology or Buddhism is required.  

    First Thursday of Each Month, 7-8:30 pm 

    In person at the Shambhala Center of Lexington AND available live online. (Zoom link TBA)

    Free; donations appreciated 

    Scheduled talks and their presenters:

    January 4: Geraldo Lima, “Meditation and Health Psychology”
    February 1: Judith Broadus, “Suffering: a Juncture of Buddhism and Psychology”
    March 7: Vincent Dummer, “The Seat of Identity-Who Am I? ”
    April 4: Lance Bruner, “The Trauma of Everyday Life” (Zoom Only)
    May 2: Susan Smith, “Compassionate Communication”
    June 6: Gary Stewart: TBA 

    Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88570011505

    Summary of January 4th with Geraldo Lima: Traditionally mental health and physical health were treated as separate domains. The concept of psychosomatic conditions began to bridge this separation and pointed to the interaction of both domains. Through meditation, we have another perspective to understand and impact the complexities of these interactions. Geraldo will use his personal experience with health issues, his vast clinical experience from working in the federal prison medical center and his keen familiarity with research findings to explore how meditation may  benefit your health.

    Summary of February 1 with Judith Broadus, Suffering: Okay, we know that coming to a talk about suffering doesn’t sound like much fun. BUT, many times situations are less terrorizing when we understand what’s happening. So, let’s chat about that together!

    Summary of March 7 with Vincent Dummer:  

    The Seat of Identity or Who Am I?

    In this conversation, Vincent Dummer will explore the topic of self-identity or ego, as it is used in psychology and Buddhism. In psychology the development of a strong and autonomous ego, is often considered to be an important goal towards mental health, whereas in Buddhism, obtaining non-self or the absence of a limiting self-identity is considered an essential step towards reducing human suffering. Resolving this apparent contradiction is a challenge for many beginning meditators, and this discussion aims to offer some clarification of this topic so that “confusion may dawn as wisdom.”

    Summary of April 4 with Lance Brunner: 

    The Trauma of Everyday Life

    The writings of the child analyst W. D. Winnecott has had a profound influence on the psychiatrist Mark Epstein, who in his own writing has woven threads of his experience with Zen meditation together with Winnecott’s work.  In my presentation I will summarize important insights from both authors as a basis for discussion and exploration.  I will focus particularly the issue of trauma as articulated through Epstein’s book The Trauma of Everyday Life (2013). 

    this month will be online only, with the Zoom link above

    Summary of May 2 with Susan Smith:

    The Natural communication system of body, heart, and mind is like a frequency that we tune in to when we let our fences down.

               -Susan Chapman, Five Keys to Mindful Communication  (2012: Shambhala Publications)

    Learning how to practice connecting to our “we-first” mind and open communication requires that we recognize when we become disconnected from our self.  When this happens, we are at risk of flipping over into pursuing people or things outside ourselves to make us happy.  This never works for very long and creates a lot of extra problems.  We will explore the keys to remaining in the green-light district of empathy and open communication, and what to do when we find our self in the red-light district of pursuing/distancing in relationship.    

    Dr. Susan Smith is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) in private practice in Lexington.  Mrs. Chapman is a retired LMFT in Canada and a Buddhist teacher within the Shambhala Community.