Dr. Sulkin has been teaching meditation as part of his clinical practice since 1988.
He typically starts someone new to meditation with two 50 minute introductory sessions, and then follow-up sessions as needed.
He also offers both “brush-ups” on methodology and “deepening” sessions for those already practicing meditation who wish to enhance their practice.
Zen Buddhism as a Life Practice
Dr. Sulkin has been teaching his version of Zen Buddhist methodology as a life practice since 1997 when he opened the Saratoga Center for Social Therapy. Zen and social therapy are very compatible. The practice of one augments the practice of the other. Dr. Fred Newman, the main architect of social therapy, was heavily influenced by Zen Buddhist methodology.
I became interested in Zen Buddhism in my childhood. I became more serious in my study and practice of Zen after my first meeting with Thich Nhat Hanh when I was 19.
I have continued the study and practice of Zen methodology throughout my adult life. The teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, Shunryu Suzuki, Chögyam Trungpa and John Welwood have particularly influenced me in the development of my own version of a Zen Buddhist methodology of “life practice.”
While I have, since 1997, taught my version of Zen as an integral part of my professional psychotherapy practice, I have hesitated until recently to publically present myself as a “teacher” of Zen. Finally though, I found myself regularly instructing a number of people in this practice, my version of Zen “life practice,” and one of those students challenged me to “come out of the closet.” He reminded me of two short dialogues between Shunryu Suzuki and his students, both presented in the wonderful book, “Zen Is Right Here” (2001), and I offer them to you now:
“Roshi, what is the difference between you and me?” I asked, as we drank tea together.
“I have students and you don’t,” he answered without hesitation.
During a discussion someone asked Suzuki Roshi if he ate meat.
“Yes I do,” he replied.”
“Buddha didn’t eat any meat (said a student).”
(Suzuki Roshi responded) “Yes, Buddha was a very pious man.”