C.G.Jung / Philosophy / Religion / Meditation / East / Contemporary


As an unchurched catholic Christian, I’ve gained some of my most valuable insights into spirituality from Zen Buddhism. I’ve finally managed to stay with a daily meditation routine and encountered exquisite beauties and powerful insights which helped me to regain my footing in the current world in crisis and cultural decay of the West and all their institutions.
Being left alone and sometimes taken aback by Jesus’ ground personnel has eroded somewhat my Christian faith but for sure disconnected me from their temporal institutions. I haven’t been to a mass in church anymore for more than two years.

I did, however befit from three monasteries, one Shaolin, one Catholic and Plum Village, a monastic community founded by the late Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. I think Zen Buddhism is almost the other side of Jung’s psychanalysis but ironically it shows also deep connections to Christianity.


Firstly I do classic zazen (sitting meditation), i.e. simply to count four breaths, over and over again. When a thought intrudes, attention is gently returned to the breath, which becomes a vehicle for concentration and an opening to peace. When pain or worries come up I deal with them gently. Suffering and happiness are not separate.

“Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh

Secondly I strive for mindfulness for all I do.

Mindful walking my animal companion, a young Labrador, reduces stress and makes the apparently unhinged world feel more manageable. Its not a (healthy) chore anymore, but makes both of us feel better, and calmer.

Thirdly I ignore people or institutions with negative emotions.

Do you know how receiving impulses from certain people makes you feel better and calmer? I do. Good vibes are scientifically called coregulation, an inter-personal process in which participants permanently adjust (often unconsciously) to co-create and maintain a positive emotional state.

For instance, my spouse (sometimes, we have been married for almost 25 years), or my Shaolin Chi Gong teacher come to my mind. However quite a few others are not around anymore. Literally or not (quite a few turned to the dark side during the last few years). Negative vibes. That’s true for also for groups, institutions, even most Christian churches.

Time to move on.

Well, I started intro-personal coregulation with myself and this time it worked. Establishing a routine of active meditation with Qi Gong and Shaolin forms and Zen meditation. I am focusing on mindful living and feeling my way in into Buddhism (again). Calms body and mind, making aware (coregulating) body and mind and shuttling down mind chatter. Good Zen practice, looks neither back nor forward. It is a practice of live in the present, of being present, in that who we are is defined by what is happening right now and not so much where we came from and not so much where we’re going. It’s not what we’ve been, or what we’re trying to become. Only the present counts.

How about inter-nonpersonal coregulation? For me, stargazing and astrophotography always helped me to connect with the natural world, the universe and align with their rhythms. I added a daily sport routine and substract social media, media period.

When we engage in an activity, our minds are thinking of or we are doing something else. That’s why the Zen principle of mindfulness is so powerful. It calls us to be fully present in each moment, living it fully because it will not pass this way again. The ritual of the tea ceremony is an enactment of the principle of mindfulness.

Eating mindfully can be a good way to start. When I eat, for example, I am fully present for each bite. I savor the smell and the sense of foot on the tongue. I do this this automatically during fasting periods (No meat, No Sweet, Strict Abstinence): New Year Day to Easter and September to Advent.

One need only listen to the words of the Gospel of Thomas to hear how Christianity resonates with the Buddhist tradition:
Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘Look, the Kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will get there first. If they say, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will get there first. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the children of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, then you dwell in poverty, and it is you who are that poverty”.

After all, fear is only an illusion. Often even a deliberately induced mind formation.

“We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.”.”

No Mud, No Lotus The Art of Transforming Suffering, Thich Nhat Hanh

Living Buddha Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh