External Mindfulness, Secure (Non)-Attachment, and Healing Relational Trauma: Emerging Models of Wellness for Modern Buddhists and Buddhist Modernism
Keywords:Buddhism, Buddhism in America, Buddhism and Psychoanalysis
Much scholarly attention has been devoted to examining the incorporation of Buddhist-derived meditations such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) into psychotherapeutic and medical settings. This paper approaches the cross-fertilization of Buddhist and therapeutic notions of wellness from the opposite direction by exploring Dharma Punx teacher Josh Korda’s interweaving of psychoanalytic developmental theory and affective neuroscience into his Buddhist teachings. Korda provides a useful case study of some of the main patterns emerging from psychotherapeutically informed American Buddhist convert lineages. One of these, I argue, is a “relational turn,” a more context-sensitive approach to individual meditation practice and an increasing interest in developing interpersonal and communal dimensions of Buddhist practice. In conclusion, I consider what Korda’s approach and this relational turn suggests in terms of the unfolding of Buddhist modernism in the West.
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