Self and No-Self

Continuing the Dialogue Between Buddhism and Psychotherapy

Edited by Dale Mathers, Melvin E. Miller, Osamu Ando

© 2009 – Routledge

240 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415436069
pub: 2009-05-18
US Dollars$45.95
Hardback: 9780415436052
pub: 2009-05-18
US Dollars$145.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

This collection explores the growing interface between Eastern and Western concepts of what it is to be human from analytical psychology, psychoanalytic and Buddhist perspectives. The relationship between these different approaches has been discussed for decades, with each discipline inviting its followers to explore the depths of the psyche and confront the sometimes difficult psychological experiences that can emerge during any in-depth exploration of mental processes.

Self and No-Self considers topics discussed at the Self and No-Self conference in Kyoto, Japan in 2006. International experts from practical and theoretical backgrounds compare and contrast Buddhist and psychological traditions, providing a fresh insight on the relationship between the two. Areas covered include:

  • the concept of self
  • Buddhist theory and practice
  • psychotherapeutic theory and practice
  • mysticism and spirituality
  • myth and fairy tale.

This book explains how a Buddhist approach can be integrated into the clinical setting and will interest seasoned practitioners and theoreticians from analytical psychology, psychoanalytic and Buddhist backgrounds, as well as novices in these fields.


"This dialogue between these two perspectives is a fascinating one and is well served by this book. The reader does not need to be an expert in either field, and, as long as there isn’t too quick a rush to equating the concepts of one with the other, analytic theory has much to gain from this encounter." - Helen Morgan, Journal of Analytical Psychology, (55) 2010

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction. Miller, Buddhism and Psychotherapy: A Dialogue. Ando, Psychotherapy and Buddhism: A Psychological Consideration of Key Points of Contact. Gunn, Two Arrows Meeting in Mid-air. Part II: Buddhist Theory and Practice. Magid, Desire and the Self: Reflections on J. M. Coetzee’s Slow Man. Yasunaga Roshi, Zen and 'Amaeru': A Psychological Approach to Zen. Pawle, The Ego in the Psychology of Zen: Understanding Reports of Japanese Zen Masters on the Experience of No-Self. Part III: Bridges. Austin, Our Ordinary Sense of Self: Different Aspects of 'No-Self' During States of Absorption and Kensho. Perelman, Similarities, Differences and Implications in the Patient–analyst and Student–spiritual Teacher Relationship. Part IV: Psychotherapy Theory. Miller, No Self and the Emptying God: Dwelling in the Emptying Place. Young-Eisendrath, Empty Rowboats: No-blame and Other Therapeutic Effects of No-Self in Long-term Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Tift, Anxiety, Struggle, and Egoic Process. Part V: Psychotherapy Practice. Van Zyl, Polarity Processing: Self / No-Self, The Transcendent Function and Wholeness. Mathers, Stop Running. Mace, Mindfulness and the Technology of Healing: Lessons from Western Practice. Wallace, Dying to be Born: Transformative Surrender within Analytical Psychology from a Clinician’s Perspective. Part VI: Mysticism and Spirituality. Shimizu, Experience of Self in Zen and Christian Mysticism. Kron, Self / No Self in the Therapeutic Dialogue According to Martin Buber’s Dialogue Philosophy. Muramoto, Muso Soseki (1275–1351): The Development of Zen Culture Out of Conflicts. Part VII: Myth and Fairy Tale. Nakamura, The Image of Mahavairocana-tatha-gata Emerging from the Therapist at a Crucial Point in Therapy. Hart, The Healing Properties of a Fairy Tale. Mathews Grant, Breaking the Spells of Self: How Insights from Fairy Tales and Buddhist Psychology can be Applied in Therapeutic Practice. Part VIII: Re-introduction. Cooper, Oscillations: Reload. Index.

About the Editors

Dale Mathers is a Jungian analyst in London. He directed the Student Counselling Service at the London School of Economics and attends the Theravada class at the Buddhist Society, London.

Melvin E. Miller is Professor of Psychology and Director of Doctoral Training at Norwich University and has twice been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Divinity School. He has a private psychoanalytic practice.

Osamu Ando is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Hanazono University and President of the Japanese Association for Transpersonal Psychology/Psychiatry.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General