Meditation and Attachment Disturbances

A recent  promo for a mindfulness webinar on WorldWide Insight caught my eye:

“How can we use our meditation practice to repair attachment disturbances caused by our early conditioning, so that we can be completely ourselves in our relationships with others and in our work, as we pursue the path of awakening?”  … George Haas

Imo, the short answer to this question is that we actually can’t resolve attachment disturbances that way.    Attachment disturbances are wounds that are created in relationship, and they are best healed in relationship.   Our minds are organized for interpersonal connection, and it is corrective emotional experience with others that ultimately heals attachment wounds through ‘earned attachment security’. 

Meditation practice is helpful in many ways.    It can certainly help us learn to feel connected to ourselves and thereby improve our experiences of Love and Work.  In addition, connecting to our interconnectedness with others —  and our interbeing with the whole of life – is a deep healing.   However, while creating “true refuge” in our relationship to the background field of experience (non-dual awareness) is a steady and comforting source of ground, it does not take the place of the corrective emotional experience and insight which can occur person-to-person.   

Unfortunately, transcendent experience too readily devolves into spiritual bypass.

 (I discuss the issue at length in my recently published book, “Inquiring Deeply”)




The Real Deal

The Real Deal

In psychotherapy, moments of meeting which are deeply felt are the most important ones.   Such moments provide the opportunity to be deeply seen and known.  In my view, this intimacy is the very heart of psychotherapy.

The actual therapeutic dialogue that takes place is only one layer of connection;  the larger part of what happens is nonverbal and implicit.  There are a myriad of possible flavors of shared experience,  all of which occur within a ‘frame’  of intimacy and presence.    But whatever the particular experience, Pooh got it exactly right…. you have to Feel It.

Mindfulness meditation helps us learn to be present with the felt sense of the experience,  to expand our awareness of each moment and to open to what is there.  Thus, mindfulness helps brings the “implicit relational field” alive in the consulting room.