Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds
Why does American Buddhism concentrate so much on meditation and the “inner experience” of the practitioner? Because of the way children are raised in America, with no concern for their interior life. Their interior selves are never nurtured or developed, neither is their emotional pain and trauma ever addressed or healed, or even noticed. So Americans grow up with no interior life, deeply wounded from unhealed trauma, without a capacity for empathy for themselves or others. All their trauma is externalized in the attainment of wealth, success and power. So it is no wonder that Americans interpret everything in Buddhism as psychology, because the psychotherapeutic process is the closest thing they have to the experience of an interior life. And it’s no wonder that Americans come to dharma practice seeking the experience of meditation above all else, because it gives them the experience of the interior that they never had.
Tony Schwartz, author of Trump’s Art of the Deal, talks with The Beat host on why Mary Trump’s portrait of Donald Trump’s psychopathology is so accurate. Schwartz says of Mary’s book:
“This is a portrait of trauma, and that in itself is an enormous contribution to the public. That experience that those Trump kids had is along a spectrum. Nearly all children experience some level of trauma, and it is fundamentally ignored in our culture. We don’t pay much attention to the internal lives of people and to the effect of their early childhood experiences. And you see the insidious impact of what’s going on inside for Donald Trump with how he behaves on the outside.”