This paper integrates Zen and psychoanalytic concepts; introduces the Zen concept of total exertion; elaborates the profound implications that the notion of total exertion has for the psychoanalytic encounter and the psychotherapist’s capacity for maintaining an optimal attentional stance; addresses anxiety-driven interferences to both the psychoanalytic process and deepened Zen practice. Clinical vignettes, personal experiences, poetry and psychoanalytic theory serve to demonstrate the abstract aspects of the discussion.
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Dhyāna is the fifth of six paramitas (perfections) and is translated as “concentration” or “meditation.” Dhyana was originally transliterated as chan-na, and was eventually shortened to just ch’an. Zen is the Japanese transliteration of ch’an.
Shōbōgenzō: A series of Dogen’s discourses on Zen delivered or written between 1,231 and 1,253.
In Miner, An Introduction to Japanese Court Poetry (1968, p. 127).
Zenki: Total dynamic functioning.
With the distinction that gūjin refers to the individual self and zenki refers to all existence or to the universe Self.
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Cooper, P.C. Total Exertion: Zen, Psychoanalysis, Life. J Relig Health 50, 592–601 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-011-9506-4
- Total exertion