Realizational Practice Studies


Dharma & Psychoanalysis

Dogen’s Zen, Bion’s Psychoanalysis

An Online Retreat Day


Seiso Paul Cooper, Sensei, 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The British psychoanalyst, Wilfred Bion (1897-1979) and the Soto Zen master, Eihei Dogen (1200-1253), were both highly creative and brilliant writers and thinkers whose works share many areas of overlap. They both exerted a radical impact on their respective disciplines. However, despite the highly regarded philosophical and theoretical complexity of their teachings, they both shared the agenda of strengthening and deepening experiential realizational practice with an insistent emphasis on the present moment. The direct experience of practice animates their teachings and brings them to fruition for both Buddhist practitioners and psychotherapists in the Twenty-first Century. Both are directly applicable to religious realization and effective clinical work. This retreat will be an opportunity for psychoanalysts and psychotherapists and the interested individual to practice meditation intensely in a retreat framed in the holding environment provided by the Soto Zen meditation tradition. Experience with Zen meditation practice is not necessary. People from all meditative backgrounds – experienced or with little or no experience- are welcome. This retreat will include presentations and discussions on the interrelation between Buddhism and psychoanalysis with an emphasis on both Bion and Dogen with an eye toward similarities and differences.

It is in the spirit of these great thinkers that we offer this silent retreat, which is specially tailored for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, psychologists, mental health practitioners, and seekers of the Dharma within the context of a Soto Zen Buddhist retreat structure and includes Zen, presentations and discussions on the interrelation between Buddhism and psychoanalysis and opportunities for private one-to-one discussions with the teachers.

Seiso Paul Cooper, Sensei will present on Bion and Dogen to frame and facilitate the interrelation and integration of Buddhism and psychoanalysis, We invite you to participate in an exploration of these great thinkers deeply centered and nurtured in the shared intimacy of a practice-oriented silent retreat environment grounded in extensive meditation practice, which, in the spirit of Dogen and Bion, will function as the nodal point of the retreat.

An afternoon session will provide space for questions and discussion. It may be helpful to reflect on the decision to locate our sitting practice in a religious frame and to name the foundational view of the Mahayana that underlies Zen Buddhism. This is also an opportunity to share how all of this is lived out in clinical work.

Retreat Fee:

Registration: $65. Closes September 23rd

Early Registration Discount By September 1st.: $50

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This retreat is limited to twenty participants

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