• Buddhist Psychotherapy,  Coping Skills,  Mindfulness & Meditation,  Self-Love

    Coping Skills from a Buddhist Perspective

    I often talk with my clients about the fact that so few of us are taught coping skills as children. From the moment we are born, we begin to experience pain and distress but we aren’t taught how to cope with things that hurt – not at home, at school or in religious institutions. Rather, we’re told “It’s okay”, “You’ll be alright” and other well-intentioned but often invalidating platitudes when we’re hurting. It’s very hard for a parent to watch his or her child suffer, especially when he or she can’t fix the problem. So we all rush to make it okay – often because of our own inability to…

  • Buddhist Psychotherapy,  Mindfulness & Meditation

    What is Buddhist Psychotherapy?

    Humble Warrior Therapy is a form of holistic counseling rooted in Buddhist principles, techniques and teachings. Blending Western psychology with Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist psychotherapy is an approach in which suffering is understood to stem from the mind, or ego. Therapy based on Buddhist psychology includes practices such as mindfulness and meditation, and teaches us how to work with suffering.   The Buddha taught that our thoughts create our reality; in this sense, the stories we tell ourselves – our “inner monologue” – have the ability to hinder or promote well-being. Our minds take us away from the present moment, and can cause us great distress: through self-defeating beliefs and a…

  • Mindfulness & Meditation,  Uncategorized

    Meditation Jitters?

    According to Yogapedia, meditation is “the process of quieting the mind in order to spend time in thought for relaxation or religious/spiritual purposes” with the goal of attaining “an inner state of awareness and intensify(ing) personal and spiritual growth.” In order to achieve such inner peace and quiet, meditation teaches us to concentrate the mind on a sound, image or feeling (such as the breath or a mantra). In recent decades, numerous studies have been undertaken documenting the physical and mental health benefits of meditation, including the following: Increases immune function Decreases Pain Decreases Inflammation at the Cellular Level Increases Positive Emotion Decreases Depression Decreases Anxiety Decreases Stress Increases social…

  • Buddhist Psychotherapy,  Happiness & Well-Being,  Mindfulness & Meditation

    Staying Present

    A major aspect of Buddhist psychology and psychotherapy is the notion of being present. What does this mean exactly? And why is presence important to our mental health, happiness and overall well being? The truth is, the present is the only moment that exists. Let me repeat that simultaneously incredibly simple and complicated reality: your entire life is happening now. This moment. And it’s always just this moment. The future and the past are illusions created by our minds (or egos, in Buddhist terms). We remember the past through memory and we anticipate the future through imagination…and one of the major traps of the future and the past is the…

  • Buddhist Psychotherapy,  Happiness & Well-Being,  Mindfulness & Meditation

    Inner Peace: How to “Let It Be”

    As a therapist, I’m often asked about happiness, well-being and how to find a sense of inner peace (or if it’s even possible ;)). As a Buddhist psychotherapist, my answer is usually along the lines of “let it be”. But what does this really mean? To just “let go”, let it be, accept things as they are? People often believe that acceptance – or a general attitude of surrender – implies passivity and defeat…that if I accept the circumstances of my life (/depression/marital problems/insert “distress” here), then I am condoning that reality. The truth is actually the opposite. When we stop resisting reality, and cease fighting against whatever is present,…

  • Anxiety,  Buddhist Psychotherapy,  Coping Skills,  Mindfulness & Meditation

    How to Mindfully Relate to Anxiety

    From a perspective of Buddhist psychology, our feelings themselves are never the problem. Emotions such as anxiety have no inherent value to them and yet we often label painful emotions as “bad” or “wrong”. We seem to believe that emotions exist on a dichotomous spectrum, ranging from “good” = happy to “bad” = sad. Feelings, Buddhists say, are like visitors – they come and they go. The key is to learn how to relate to our feelings in a way that isn’t harmful or destructive, and in doing so, find freedom from suffering. Step 1: Use Mindfulness to Detach from the “Story”  In order to understand what we feel, we…

  • Buddhist Psychotherapy,  Coping Skills,  Happiness & Well-Being,  Mindfulness & Meditation,  Self-Love

    The Mind, Perception and Thought Detachment

    In Buddhist psychology, the mind is everything: our minds are both the cause of our suffering and the avenue through which to overcome it. The Buddha taught that “the mind is everything”, that we become what we think and that happiness depends solely on our thoughts, nothing else. On the flipside, the Buddha is also quoted as saying that “nothing can harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.” Through this perspective, our sense of well-being stems from perception, and from our ability to “detach” from our thoughts. Such thought detachment – also known as mindfulness – means stepping back from the constant mind-chatter, seeing our thoughts as clouds…