I notice there seems to me to be a lot of psychology in various forms creeping into and offered as a supplement to Zen and other forms of Buddhist practice. Many books I have read, from Joko Beck and her students Barry Magid and others (and Big Mind techniques) are keen on some sort of amalgamation of Buddhism with modern psychotherapeutic techniques. So, since the Buddha's teachings were mostly designed to deal with suffering in various guises, why isn't our Buddhist path alone sufficient to deal with suffering in any modern form? Or do we all suffer more nowadays and need extra specialised help? Or is Buddhism being adapted and absorbed into Western psychology and there's nothing wrong with that?
This subject came up in another forum, where this article was being discussed:
Still Crazy after all these Years:
Why Meditation isn’t Psychotherapy
by Patrick Kearney
“….Buddhism is not a collection of spiritual or therapeutic techniques. Buddhism is an ocean. If we want we are free to paddle on the edge of the shore, trying a technique here or a therapy there, occasionally getting our feet wet, but staying safely within our limitations. Or we can take the advice of Døgen Zenji, who said: "Arouse the mind that seeks the way, and plunge into the ocean of Buddhism." Ultimately the future of Buddhism in the West will be decided by those who take the plunge, because the paddlers will always draw back and, rather than adapt Buddhism to its new home, will develop new forms of Buddhised psychotherapy. For ultimately we must choose whom we will follow. We can follow Buddha or we can follow Freud; we cannot do both, because they are just not travelling in the same direction.”
I would like to hear what you all think as I am still a bit confused about this.