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Chapter Fifteen - Vagal Superstars: Dialogue with Graham Music

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Dialogue with Graham Music

You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world,

that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature,

but perhaps this very holding back

is the one suffering you could avoid.

—Kafka (1917–1918)

References

Corrigan, E., & Gordon, P. -E. (1995). The mind object: precocity and pathology of self-sufficiency. 1–22. New Jersey: Aronson.

Goleman, D. (2003). Destructive Emotions and How Can We Overcome Them: A Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. London: Bloomsbury.

Kafka, F. (1917–1918). Collected Aphorisms. N. 103. Translated by M. Pasley. London: Penguin Books, 1973.

Keltner, D. (2009). Born To Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life. New York, London: W. W. Norton.

Porges, S. W. (2011). The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation. New York, London: W. W. Norton.

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CHAPTER THREE The Buddha in the sky

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CHAPTER THREE

The Buddha in the sky

Dialogue with Stephen Malloch

Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anaemic.

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

mp:

Well, this is really extraordinary for me: to have this dialogue across oceans and continents via Skype! Yes, Stephen, I can see you in your house in Sydney while I am based in the room you used when you stayed with us in London some years ago on the occasion of your book launch. Well, I would like to focus on the aspect of your working life related to your research in musicality in mother/father–baby communication and ask you how you integrate your Buddhist self into such research. To begin with, could you tell me when you first became interested in Buddhism and in researching the musicality in mother baby interactions?

sm:

I came upon Buddhism first of all when I was living in Cambridge and I was studying for my Master’s in music theory and analysis at the University of London. I was living in Cambridge with my first wife and she started going along to a group called Friends of

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN Mindfulness and meditation in the consulting room

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Mindfulness and meditation in the consulting room

Dialogue with Ricky Emanuel

There are only two days when things are impossible— yesterday and tomorrow.

—Dalai Lama

mp:

Ricky, thank you for meeting me to talk about your ideas on psychotherapy and meditation as I know you have been meditating for a long time and have been interested and written on psychotherapy and Buddhist ideas.

re:

I don’t practise Buddhism, but I practise meditation and am interested in the Buddhist thinking and constructs of mind, not in the religion.

mp:

How did you get to meditation in your life?

re:

Very early at university, I did transcendental meditation, but I didn’t keep up with it.

mp:

Did you have a mantra then?

re:

Yes, I did that for a while then left it. It was part of all that was going on in the sixties and seventies. How I came back to it

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CHAPTER FOUR: Separation difficulties and parental input

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Introduction

In this chapter, I describe two families, the first one in greater detail than the second one. Both these cases have been published elsewhere in modified versions. The two families could have been easily included in the chapter on bereavement and loss, reflecting the fact that many problematic situations are rooted in a difficulty in negotiating depressive feelings and mourning.

The first case is about a little girl, the only child in the family, who was unable to separate from her mother and to start nursery school. Her mother was also stuck with issues of separation and could not contain her daughter’s distress.

The second case is about a little boy who could not separate from his mother to go to nursery, and the mother who was unable to help him because she had not mourned the death of a previous baby.

The Health Visitor had referred Poppy and her mother directly to me, after having attended a discussion group for Health Visitors. She felt unable to go any further with this family, the Greens, as I shall call them. In her letter, the Health Visitor wrote that, already at the age of eight months, Poppy would become very upset when strangers looked at her, so that the developmental checks were difficult to complete. Poppy was three years and four months old at the time of the referral. She was so deeply distressed when left by her mother at the nursery that her mother had given up taking her there.

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CHAPTER SEVEN Coming home

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CHAPTER SEVEN

Coming home

Dialogue with Anonymous

There’s nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to be.

mp:

a:

I appreciate that you have agreed to talk to me about your experience as an NHS Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and a

Buddhist.

Yes, at the moment.

mp:

I would love to hear about how you can use—if we can say so—your Buddhist background in that role, but before that I just want to ask you at which point in your life you began this journey, if you come from a family with religious or Buddhist tradition and how this dual interest—the Buddhist choice and the psychiatrist choice—came about for you.

a:

The direct antecedents, when I was at medical school and even going further back when I was a teenager, I remember buying a book on yoga and began doing yoga exercises and also read about terms such as Dharma, Dhayani (wisdom), and I was curious about this. At university, I went to a transcendental meditation class and that made an immediate link for me to the stuff that I had read.

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