Enlightening Conversations at Harvard Divinity School

Enlightenment: Idealized or Real?

Psychoanalysts and Buddhist Teachers Talking About Idealization and Awakening

EC-Blue-White-ECThe Second Program in a Series in Which Psychoanalysts and Buddhist Teachers Speak Openly and Honestly About the Nitty-Gritty of Human Liberation. Through panels and small group conversations, these conferences engage all participants — speakers and audience — in reflective conversations about our discoveries from deep investigations of the mind. Idealization, with its tendencies to split our experiences into expansive and contractive or pure and impure, is required to enter into psychoanalytic and Buddhist practices. When idealization is not humanized, however, it leads to destructive projections, self-attacks, lying and ethical violations. This conference will focus precisely on what it means to be enlightened and how it is a human activity with human failures.

November 13-14, 2015
Enlightening Conversations at Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA


Read about the Enlightening Conversations Series in Psychology Today


Past Enlightening Conversations Events

Enlightening Conversations: Opportunities and Obstacles in Human Awakening

Presented by The Institute for Psychotherapy and Meditation and Harvard Divinity School, Hosted by Enlightening Conversations founder and director Polly Young-Eisendrath

May 9-10, 2014
New York Blood CenterEnlightening Conversations 2014
310 East 67th St, New York

The First Program in a Series which featured principally the contributors to a special issue of Spring Journal “Buddhism and Depth Psychology: Refining the Dialogue,” Volume 89, June 2013. These presenters are all accomplished Buddhist teachers or  psychoanalysts, and well known in their field. They were joined by Tricycle editor James Shaheen, and Zen teacher Pat Enkyo O’Hara Roshi. Panel discussions addressed, What does it mean to “be enlightened” or to “be psychoanalyzed”?, Uses and Abuses of Power in Buddhism and Psychoanalysis, and Roles of Humor, Paradox and Helping in Human Awakening.

Featuring Polly Young-Eisendrath, Henry Shukman, Pat Enkyo O’Hara Roshi, Jeffrey Rubin, Shoji Muramoto, Pilar Jennings, Robert Caper, James Shaheen, Grace Schireson, Robert Chodo Campbell, Nancy Cater, Deon Van Zyl, Melvin Miller, Deborah Luepnitz, and Morgan Stebbins.


Future Enlightening Conversations Events

Chicago 2016: Love and Relationship

Seattle 2017: Dying and Death

San Francisco 2018: Truth