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Buddhism and Psychotherapy: A Healing Partnership: Path Part I

Residential Program
Dates: Dec 15, 2022 - Dec 18, 2022
Days: Thursday - Sunday
Number of Nights: 3 nights

Instructor(s): Pilar Jennings

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Course Description:

Part 1: Working with Self & No-Self: An Integrated Approach to Subjectivity

This retreat is part of a year long path program called Buddhism and Psychotherapy: A Healing Partnership. Please click here for more information on the full program.

In this module, we will explore the Buddhist teachings of anatta, or no-self, in conversation with a Western psychological understanding of self and its development. We will read classic Buddhist texts and their commentaries, alongside developmental and psychoanalytic texts exploring how selfhood is formed within the parent/infant dyad and in family systems. With an emphasis on the need for a well-developed sense of personhood, or subjectivity, we will explore the model of spiritual mentor/student, in contrast with the therapist/patient model in in psychotherapy. Themes will include the Buddhist and psychotherapeutic understanding of mind, as the foundation of selfhood, and how it is shaped in the context of relationship.

This retreat is open to meditators of all experience levels and will be especially relevant to clinicians interested in the clinical applications of Buddhist contemplative practice.

Noble Silence:
Noble silence will be observed following each evening session through breakfast the following morning.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.


Registering for the “Buddhism and Psychotherapy” Path program is making a commitment to attend all three residential retreats and the online meetings between retreats. Please check this box to indicate that you have made a sincere intention to participate in all elements of this program.

Continuing Education:

Applications for 10 continuing education credits for psychologists and social workers have been submitted for this course. Accrediting agencies are the National Association for Social Workers (NASW) and the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy (IMP). You can find more information about social work licensure board endorsements here. Please confirm with your licensing board whether the CEs offered are applicable for your licensure before registration. For more information about CEs through BCBS, please click here.

Cancellation Policy:
During the pandemic, there is a cancellation fee of $50 for all residential programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs. 2023: If you need to cancel your registration, please contact us as soon as possible. If you cancel two or more weeks before a program begins, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs. If you cancel less than two weeks before your program begins, your full deposit is forfeited. If you have requested financial assistance, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs. All cancellation fees support our Scholarship Funds.

Covid-19 Safety Protocol:
Please review our Covid-19 Safety Protocols here: https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/covid-19/.

As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming. Please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Dr. Pilar Jennings is a psychoanalyst based in New York City with a focus on the clinical applications of Buddhist meditation practice. She has been a Buddhist practitioner for 40 years; a teacher of Tibetan Buddhism in the Sakya lineage; a Visiting Lecturer at Union Theological Seminary; Columbia University; and a faculty member of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science. Her publications have included "East of Ego: The Intersection of Narcissism and Buddhist Meditation Practice," "I've Been Waiting for you: Reflections on Analytic Pain," “Imagery and Trauma: The Psyche’s Push for Healing,” and Mixing Minds: The Power of Relationship in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism released through Wisdom Publications. Her most recent book: To Heal a Wounded Heart: On the Transformative Power of Buddhism & Psychotherapy in Action, is a psychoanalytic memoir exploring her entry into clinical work as a practicing Buddhist.