Awakening and Insight: Zen Buddhism and Psychotherapy

Awakening and Insight: Zen Buddhism and Psychotherapy

Awakening and Insight: Zen Buddhism and Psychotherapy

Awakening and Insight: Zen Buddhism and Psychotherapy


Since the 1990s, many efforts have been made to integrate Buddhism and its therapeutic ancestors in the West. Taking Japanese Zen Buddhism as its starting point, this title is a collection of critiques and histories of Buddhism.


Once Chuang Chou dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Chuang Chou. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Chuang Chou. But he didn't know if he was Chuang Chou who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Chuang Chou. Between Chuang Chou and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.

Chuang Tzu, chapter 2 (Watson 1968:49)

On 16 May 1958, Shin'ichi Hisamatsu (1889-1980) met with C.G. Jung at Jung's home outside of Zurich. Hisamatsu, an outstanding Zen layman and professor of Buddhism, was on his way back to Japan after lecturing on Zen Buddhism and Zen culture at Harvard University the previous year. On his one and only trip abroad, Hisamatsu was eager to meet and have discussions with leading figures in the fields of religion, philosophy, and psychology. He had had a number of discussions in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the Protestant theologian Paul Tillich. On 18 May, two days after Hisamatsu's meeting with Jung, the German thinker Martin Heidegger led a colloquy with Hisamatsu at Freiburg University.

The conversation with Jung was held in Japanese and Swiss German with interpretation. Communication problems arose, naturally enough, in the course of their conversation, and Jung did not consent to its publication. After his passing in 1961, however, transcriptions of the discussion have been repeatedly revised, translated, and published in English and in Japanese. This

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