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A Buddhist Psychotherapy Web Site 


    Buddhism and Psychotherapy are both engaged in ending self-caused suffering, and the exploration of what is in the depths of the human being; the activities of both are directed toward the awakening of wisdom, the liberation of the human being.  This website will be devoted to presenting some of the main ideas that underpin Buddhist Psychotherapy, and it will direct you to some internet links that support the realisation of our full humanness, the objective of both these disciplines. 

    If we free ourselves as individuals from our prejudices - falls.jpg (55343 bytes)  from our emotional and intellectual conditioning -  we can make a significant contribution to the peace and happiness of our families, and that of local, national, and international communities. Personal peace also contributes to the welfare of all other species with whom we share this little blue planet.  When we go into our psychological depths, with no limit to the investigation, we find there our common, inexhaustible, spiritual nature.

    Pain is inevitable -  the pain of birth, of loss, of death, of accident and disease, and so on. On the other hand, everywhere in human life there is anguish that is self-caused -   innumerable forms of suffering: from the subtle tensions and gross violations which can occur in our homes, schools, or workplaces to the world-wide sufferings of racism, economic exploitation, ecological degradation, and war.  And yet, we are born capable of sustained peaceful and loving lives. 


As the Dalai Lama said: "It is still my firm conviction that human nature is essentially compassionate, gentle.   That is the predominant feature of human nature.  Anger, violence, and aggression may certainly arise, but I think it's on a secondary or more superficial level;   in a sense, they arise when we are frustrated in our efforts to achieve love and affection.  They are not part of our most basic, underlying nature."  Source:  The Art of Happiness: a Handbook for Living, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler.

    Buddhist teachings say that self-caused suffering can be eliminated if we intelligently investigate its deep causes, and that the result of such an effort is to see into the nature of our heart and , and so realise unparalleled freedom.  There is, as I said, pain that arises with disease, accident, child-birth, and so on; however, these are not 'self-caused' in the sense that is meant here, and yet, even this type of pain can be borne with greater dignity if we live in such a way as to be free of our self-centredness.   

    The common territory of psychotherapy and Buddhism lies in their interest in human liberation; their support for the awakening of love, compassion, and joy; and their unflinching investigation of what blocks these.  Indeed when psychotherapy admits of a spiritual life, then the line between spiritual work and psychological work is not so easily defined:  the psychological work is able to give access to spiritual dimensions of life, and the spiritual work gives rise to psychological manifestations.  The work of both Buddhism and Psychotherapy is the clarification of the human being.

    So, the subject of these pages, and of most of their linked pages, is the process of self-realisation through Buddhist-oriented Psychotherapy.  I'll provided some good quality links - to help you acquaint yourself with the field -   and, although the list will by no means be extensive, and the choice of links will be (of course) limited and idiosyncratic,  I'm sure they will have usefulness, and appeal.

    May all be free, and have the causes of freedom and happiness. 

Christopher McLean


We have a discussion list called the Buddhist Psychotherapy Group.  

This e-group is dedicated to dialogue concerning Buddhist practice and how it interfaces with the discipline of psychotherapy.   The group is open to all who have an interest, and doesn’t require expertise in either field.    Practitioners from all schools of Buddhism, and from all types of psychotherapy, are welcome.   Our aim is to foster understanding of the human heart, and to provide a supportive forum whereby the interchange of Buddhist teachings and psychotherapy can be explored and shared.

The group is a moderated list. The primary reason for this is to facilitate a trusting and mindful group in which we can openly share and explore the essentials of Buddhist practice and psychotherapy.

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What you'll find in Cloud Gate Buddhist Psychotherapy pages:  

The Buddhist Way -  gives a short comment on the Buddhist way of life, and some good links for learning more about this.

Psychotherapy - a short discussion of psychotherapy as a spiritual path, with some comparisons between Buddhism and psychotherapy.  I also ask what do we mean by 'self', 'no-self', 'personality', 'reality', and so on.   Links to Buddhist Psychotherapy sites,  Self Psychology sites, and other Transpersonal Psychotherapy sites are included.

Ethics - a short introduction, and some helpful texts and sites that have ethical guidelines in the areas of Buddhist psychotherapy, and spiritual leadership generally.

EcoSocial WebWestern Buddhism has taken up the challenge of bringing forth the essential compassionate nature of human beings in the world.  Here are several sites (though mostly non-Buddhist) that support humanitarian and environmental action.

Zen A page of links and a few Zen texts.

And a few of my own poems.



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