The therapeutic value inherent in Shambhala training and the practice of meditation

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McGrath, Mark
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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This paper posed the question: Is there much in Shambala training that is of value from a psychotherapeutic perspective? It examined key texts which inform the practice of Shambhala Buddhism and also Shambhala training as a secular path. By way of comparison, this paper also made references to literature from psychotherapy. Meditation and mindfulness are core components of Shambhala training, and the researcher was aware that a large body of research has been done in these areas already, so this was not the primary focus of this paper, although some references were made to existing studies in that area. The paper chose to focus specifically on the teachings of Shambhala and how its training programs may relate to the practice of psychotherapy, as it would appear that very little research has been done in this area. In addition to reviewing the key Shambhala texts, a series of five in-depth interviews were conducted with long-term meditation practitioners in the Shambhala tradition, exploring some of the key concepts found in Shambhala such as: Warriorship, Basic Goodness, The Cocoon, The Genuine heart of Sadness and Fear and Fearlessness. The subsequent findings and analysis did indicate that there is much inherent in the teachings and trainings of Shambhala which would compliment and enhance the practice of psychotherapy in a positive way and that there is room for further research into the possibilities of integration of this training into the practice of psychotherapy and the training of psychotherapists.