How Does a Buddhist Counselor
Approach This Kind of Practice?
We begin with a sacred trust, and sacred space
One of the key principles I learned along the way is that this healing and growth most easily happens in a sacred space. This sacred space and trust has three key elements:
- First of all, sacred space is an environment where the person does not feel judged, requiring the helper to be in a state of presence and compassion.
Secondly, it is a place where the helper can see the client’s spirit, beyond all the levels of suffering, and that spirit is invited to be there, present and respected. This requires that the helper have sufficient awareness.
And third, a method is used where the client’s soul is engaged in awakening its latent powers of healing. This requires that the helper have the necessary training and experience.
This methodology introduces a new frame of thinking, that both allows the client to honor who they are and their unique journey, while also reminding them that, to be truly happy we must let go of our petty concerns, the gnashing of teeth, the lust for power of the lower ego. It reminds us that we must not wish so hard for the how things might be in the future, but rather accept, in the very core of our identity, that we are okay right now, right here.
This, in turn, requires that the client feels a profound sense of trust in the helper. They come to believe, and feel, that the therapist or coach can hold the ground, can create safety. They trust that the clinician can see the client with what we call in Buddhism ‘a vajra mind,’ or a state of non-judgment. The client must trust that the helper has the requisite experience, both professionally and spiritually.
And, as Joseph Campbell described it, a client needs to trust that the clinician has gone deeply on their own journey to the Underworld, confronted their demons, obtained the gifts and treasures in the caves of consciousness, and then journeyed back home, to share those gifts with others. . .
We need to know that along their journey our helpers have connected with their own guides, those radiant beings who help humanity selflessly and tirelessly. And we need to know that our helper has had the humility to follow the directions of those guides and teachers, and made their path a daily practice, not just some prayers repeated by rote on a Sunday morning.
Please click on the link below to read more about what we might actually do in therapy and coaching sessions.