BY: Brian Murphy
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To those looking for healing I strongly suggest that you very seriously look at the spiritual resources around you in your community, or search further afield to find a meditation tradition that has both depth and weight. Then enter it with reverence and to learn meditation and forms of prayer, as this will make a remarkable difference to your own meaning in life, and ultimately provide bedrock for your healing process – the journey that you are on.
Unfortunately, the meditation that the vast majority people are exposed to is the secularized and watered-down from the original meditation. It is not okay to take away something from its roots, and then expected it to function the same way, especially given the fact they were dealing with life threatening / life altering conditions. We need to be true to the source, and the source is found by returning to the tradition itself. Be that in Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc. The important thing is that we are authentically on a journey, and we plug into this ‘stream’ – the source!
It is my intention in writing this to wake up the treatment sector to the truth that light training in meditation is ineffective and unwise. Long-term specialized training is required to gain the real competency needed. This takes far longer than counselling or psychotherapeutic training. I feel very fortunate that I been the recipient of this via my formal monastic training as monk -15 years. I know the difference it makes to work with people from that base, grounded in the centuries of tradition, bringing that entire specialist learning into the healing space is quite remarkably effective!
Addiction treatment and the treatment of similar conditions, which might for many people include a range of eating disorders, has been problematic for many years. In my wide experience, having run several large treatment centres in the U.K. and North America, levels of success are low chiefly because the spiritual component has as yet not been properly emphasized. I mean that the clinicians, therapist etc. have not done the preparatory work themselves, and they are simply teaching meditation and other similar spiritual approaches as a standard psychological intervention. This sidestepping ultimately negates very roots of the meditation process.
My approach, by contrast (and those of my friends) is very much about making use of the spiritual traditions that exist, plugging into thousands of years of vibrant traditions, and using psychotherapy as key component. By keeping with the original traditions, you get the benefit of an unaltered lineage that is deeply archetypal, transpersonal and intergenerational. It is a beautiful thing to see and work with! My primary purpose, as a spiritual guide is to change the person and orientate them towards what is deeply spiritual in their unfolding inner process.
Blog written by Brian Murphy, Psychotherapist at Inner Care UK in association with The Surrey Centre.
For more information on Brian and the Retreat Work he offers, please visit: http://www.surreycentreforcounselling.com/service/retreat/