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Revista da Abordagem Gestáltica

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PEREIRA, Fábio Nogueira. The finger pointing to the moon: experiencing the contact between Gestalt Therapy and Zen Buddhism. Rev. abordagem gestalt. [online]. 2021, vol.27, n.1, pp. 91-103. ISSN 1809-6867.

At the turn of the twentieth century there is a growing interest in Eastern religions and philosophies among Western intellectuals. Some authors from this period and also contemporary ones point out that Buddhism is not characterized as a religion, nor a philosophy. Zen Buddhism presents itself as a methodology for training the mind in pursuit of personal development. In the middle of the last century, Gestalt therapy emerges amidst the dialogue of Western sciences with various oriental influences. There are currently few Brazilian publications that address the interfaces between these two traditions and this article seeks to discuss possible interfaces between the Gestalt approach and Zen. Thus, it briefly presents its history, some beliefs and concepts, and essential practices in order to invite the reader to reflect on meditation as an experiential practice and parallels observed between these traditions. Meditation and Gestalt Therapy are distinct paths, but some likelinesses denote the possibility of these methodologies being complementary to one another for personal development. This article also invites the reader to reflect on teaching and practicing meditation during clinical training and its clinical use.

Keywords : Gestalt therapy; Zen Buddhism; Meditation; Zazen; Experiment.

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