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Buddhism and the Art of PsychotherapyBuddhism and the Art of Psychotherapy

Hayao Kawai

Narrated by Tom Pile

Available from Audible

Book published by Texas A&M University Press

In this engaging and intriguing work, renowned Japanese psychologist Hayao Kawai examines his own personal experience of how a Japanese became a Jungian psychoanalyst and how the Buddhism in him gradually reacted to it.

Kawai reviews his method of psychotherapy and takes a fresh look at I in the context of Buddhism. His analysis, divided into four chapters, provides a new understanding of the human psyche from the perspective of someone rooted in the East.

Kawai begins by contemplating his personal koan: “Am I a Buddhist and/or a Jungian?” His honest reflections parallel Jung’s early skepticism about Buddhism and later his positive regard for Buddha’s teachings. He then relates how the individuation process is symbolically and meaningfully revealed in two philosophical and artistic picture series, one Eastern and one Western.

After exploring the Buddhist conception of the ego and the self, which is the opposite of to the Western view, Kawai expands psychotherapy to include sitting in silence and holding contradictions or containing opposites.

Drawing on his own experience as a psychoanalyst, Kawai concludes that true integration of East and West is both possible and impossible. Buddhism and the Art of Psychotherapy is an enlightening presentation that deepens the reader’s understanding of this area of psychology and Eastern philosophy.

Hayao Kawai was the first Jungian psychoanalyst in Japan. He came to Los Angeles on a Fulbright Fellowship in 1959 and became professor of clinical psychology at Kyoto University. He has written and edited more than fifty books in Japanese and four books in English, including The Japanese Psyche, The Buddhist Priest, Myoe, and A Life of Dreams.


“What makes this book so forceful and readable, from beginning to end, is that Hayao Kawai has written it all, and tells it all, from the perspective of his own experience, both as an analyst and as a Japanese man who rejected Buddhism and then returned to make his own Jungian peace with it. When you consider both ends of these traditions, and realize how unlikely it is for a truly autobiographical book to come out of either of them, you will appreciate what Kawai is offering here. Get out your best Mikasa and pour yourself a cup of tea, dear reader. This is a good one.”

Spring 60

“In a self-effacing style that fails to dim the brilliance of his intellect and intuition, Kawai explores the differences between the Japanese and Western ego.”

The Bloomsbury Review

“Engaging, intriguing ... and enlightening.”

Resource: A Guide to Books, Audiotapes, and Videotapes

“This brief taste of Kawai’s riches hardly touches the repast he provides in his thinking. It is both popular and deep, humorous and serious, Buddhist and Jungian, individual and collectiveas East and West as his initial dream promised and as his life has fulfilled.”

Psychological Perspectives

“Dr. Kawai’s self disclosures and ruminations serve as an open invitation to us all to step beyond our culturally imposed frames and expand our understanding of the impact of culture on the psyche and the implication for consciousness and individuation.”

Journal of Analytical Psychology

“A remarkable book by a remarkable man. Kawai's writing is direct, honest and self-effacing and it can be quite confronting to read. , , The exraordinary and heart-warming feture of this book is to see how one's fate can manifest itself through the unconscious, even if one has pushed it away.”

Journal of Analytical Psychology

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University Press Audiobooks