An unexpected book arrived in the mail the other day. A gift from my friend’s at Wisdom Publications. Zen Master Raven: The Teachings of a Wise Old Bird. by Zen Master human form, Robert Aitken. Here the koans are told by and to animals of the forest: raven, porcupine, owl, woodpecker, badger, black bear, and […]
I had the pleasure of interviewing fellow wisdom author, Pilar Jennings on the release of her recent book, Mixing Minds: The Power of Relationship in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism.
PilarJennings was exposed to Buddhist meditation early in life. Her mother took herto her first meditation course at age 10, and her experience there hasessentially influenced her spiritual and professional life ever since.
Mixing Minds explores the interpersonal relationships betweenpsychoanalysts and their patients, and Buddhist teachers and their WesternBuddhist students. Through Jennings’ own personal journey in both traditions,she attempts to shed light on how these contrasting approaches to wellnessaffect our most intimate relationships.
Throughher lucid writing, Jennings discusses the many radical differences and areas ofsynergy between Buddhism and psychoanalysis, with a focus on the primaryrelationships within each system. She explores how each tradition helps usenter into and sustain relationship, and how the core teachings of eachtradition come to life by examining how Buddhist teachers relate to their studentsand how psychoanalysts relate to their patients.
Mixing Minds is at once deeply personal, erudite, and poetic. It tackles the paradox inherent in all the Buddhist traditions — while the Buddha attained his enlightenment as a solitary effort, we must do so in relationship. Her fiercely relational perspective takes us through the social matrix we can navigate to understand the paths of Tibetan Buddhism and psychoanalysis. The intimate relationship with a guru or analyst serves as the foundation metaphor for transformation. Reading Mixing Minds makes you yearn for that kind of transformative relationship.