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Archives for God in Therapy - Page 2


Mindfulness–Reach Beyond Your Turbulent Mind

We're continuing our discussion of the intersection of spirituality and therapy with psychotherapist Tanchum (Tani) Burton. Tani is a rabbi and educator whose approaches to therapy and spirituality are relevant for an increasing number of clients and students.

Welcome back, Tani. You are a student of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, whose powerful teachings we have frequently blogged about on the Therapy Soup blog. Can you tell us about the (free) classes you are currently teaching at called The Chassidic Law of Attraction?

I’m giving a course on one of Rebbe Nachman’s famous stories, known in English as “the Sophisticate and the Simpleton."

This story shows us a path towards—and away from—true wealth, joy and growth in the analogy of the main characters, who are simple and complicated, satisfied and restless, joyous and miserable respectively.

The challenge and opportunity for us is that we all have elements of both characters, and, when we can recognize which one is operating, we can readjust and reboot our lives for the better.
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Therapy and the Soul with Tanchum Burton

We're talking with psychotherapist Tanchum (Tani) Burton, who is also a rabbi and educator, about his approaches to therapy and spirituality.

Welcome. What do you believe is the interface between spirituality and psychotherapy, the spiritual nature of people and their emotional well-being?

It’s harder to define “spirituality” than to define “psychotherapy”; spirituality means different things to different people.

Psychotherapy, on the other hand, has certain basic defined elements, such as Rogers’ six conditions for therapeutic change--unconditional positive regard, empathic understanding, communication of that understanding, and the like.

When these are in place, when the human connection between people in a therapy room is one of acceptance, and of a prizing of the individual who has come for help, I think that the groundwork for spirituality has been laid.
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Meditation: Benefits…And Dangers?

C.R. writes: A friend of mine's son left his home in Israel to travel through India and Nepal and returned shortly before the recent earthquake. He had trekked with his friends, searching for enlightenment, but returned home with a parasitic infection, feeling weak and also disillusioned.

He described what he saw as the hypocrisy of some of the gurus and yogis he met (he called them "cash-rakers") and told how some of the Westerners who flocked to them seemed to magnify their worst personality traits after time spent following certain meditative practices.

His email to me said: "They become intolerant of anyone who disturbs their "bliss", and they are like addicts being hooked on their drug," he told me. "Nothing bothers them unless it messes with their personal comfort and they seem to become really short on compassion."

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23 Ways To Make Life Better

Here are 23 of our favorite ways to make life better:

1. Be prepared for things to not go as planned. Have faith it will all work out in the end if you do the right thing.

2. When possible, have a Plan B, even a Plan C. But remember number 1.

3. Look for the good in others. Make this an active, not passive. process. Try it daily.

4. Look for the good in yourself. Make this an active process. Try it daily.

5. Give other's the benefit of the doubt, but if someone breaks your trust more than twice, be wary.

6. Explore Faith and Belief. Connect to the Creator.

7. Learn from mentors. What is an example of a good mentor? An experienced person who truly" walks the walk", someone who has good relationships with others and is kind and caring. Someone who almost never gets angry. Someone who is honest. Someone who is moral. Someone who behaves when alone as he/she does in front of others. Someone who values each person and is not swayed or lured by money, fame, or power. 
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Starting Over In The Dead Of Winter–New Year For The Trees

Tonight is Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for the Trees.* Each year, we serve an enormous variety of fruits (this year it will be a few more than 30, some years, we've served 72 types!), bless them, and eat them, sharing them with guests.

It's actually a lot of fun, adults and children love it, and there are many beautiful practices and customs associated with the day, including a deep and mystic "Seder" (containing elements of the Passover Seder), as well as many creative personal expressions of the holiday.

But Tu B'Shevat isn't just a fruit extravaganza nor is it only a mystical meditation. It actually has a very powerful practical message for those willing to listen.
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Girl Declared “Brain-Dead”, Jahi McMath, Is Alive And Responsive

Sam Schmid's is a college student who returned from a "brain-dead" coma.

Cases including that of Steven Thorpe, a teen who "came back" after being declared brain dead by four medical experts, as well as Terri Schiavo and Karen Quinlan who were both pulled off life support (and in Terri Schiavo's situation, that life support consisted of nutritional support) are hotly debated.

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Could A Walking Meditation In The Park Be The Way To Deal With Too Many Problems?

Ebola spreading.

Nukes increasing.

Isis lasting.

Families losing.

Couples splitting.

Children risking.

Depression targeting.






Walking meditation, especially done in a natural setting, whether a city park or a wilderness trail, has the ability to help us gain new insights into problems both personal and global, as well as insights into ourselves.

There are various techniques that can get you started. Here are two:

Numbers Walk
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Three Universal Questions To Ask Ourselves During Rosh Hashana

This Wednesday night through Friday, Jewish people the world over will observe the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, literally translated as the Head of the Year.

The Jewish New Year is quite different from other New Years—though there are festive meals rich with tradition, Rosh Hashana is primarily spent in lengthy prayer, meditation, and self-reflection.

Many people take upon themselves a day or two of limiting or even refraining from trivial conversation, in order to better connect with the spiritual potential inherent in these days.

But whether we limit chatter or not, self-reflection is something every New Year observer is encouraged to engage in. But, self-reflection can feel static unless it involves the process of questioning and answering.
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Letter To A Former Guru, Circa 1986

Shared recently:

I've been reading a lot about depression and buddhism (especially zen) on Psychcentral and other places.

It prompted me to write a letter to my former buddhist meditation teacher (circa 1986).

Dear G,

I remember what you said:

That we must buckle down and accept that life has no intrinsic meaning.

That we should just experience and seek bliss because that's the only valid experience of enlightenment.

That the body is an illusion.

That the soul is an illusion.

That money and ownership were illusions, too.

You said you were above greed, but you weren't.
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