Iosu Cabodevilla, clinical psychologist, specialist in paliative care, and author of La Espiritualidad en la Final de la Vida and other books, invited me to address a circle of his friends and colleagues, all members of the helping professions, on the subject of Zen Therapy. I think the material I presented was somewhat at odds with their expectation but once we got into discussion we had a wonderful encounter. Finally I gave short demonstration which was much appreciated. The whole idea of a psychology that leads the client away from rather then towards their ego is a considerable challenge to much contemporary thinking, perhaps especially so here in Spain. At the same time, people are very interested. Of course part of the art is to deal with the subject in a way that does not lead to participants becoming locked into their egos too much in the discussion. One can readily imagine how it would be perfectly possible to get really dogmatic, narrow and ego-centric about the idea that one did not have an ego!!
I was very happy to meet Iosu and hear about his work with patients, with groups of parents and with other professionals, in palliative care for the dying and also in the field of personal growth generally. The existence of this circle of professionals pleased me greatly. Members of the helping professions generally either work in private practice or as specialists in large organisations. These settings can be quite isolating yet to keep the work alive one needs the stimulation of encounter with others at something deeper than a merely social level. This circle meets regularly and has an invited speaker about once per month. The members come from a variety of professions. Support networks of this kind provide a crucially important element in keeping the work progressive and vital.