I’m in psychotherapy and it’s been very helpful to me. Now that I’ve started doing Buddhist meditation, I’m wondering if I should give up therapy. Is meditation all I need to deal with my issues?
This is something that’s hotly debated in the Buddhist world. Purists say that the wisdom and compassion we develop in meditation is all we need because it addresses our suffering at the deepest and most effective level. But many Western practitioners—perhaps most—find that Buddhist meditation combined with Western psychology is the best way to free themselves from past trauma, habitual patterns, and negative emotions. In general, Buddhist meditation reveals the basic nature of thoughts and emotions, while psychotherapy deals with their content. The fact is, some of today’s best-known Buddhist teachers are also psychologists or psychotherapists. So meditation, psychotherapy, or both—the choice is yours.