Tag: Existential Psychology Abroad

The Proper Use of Tradition and Scholarly Authority


Lu Xun Quick to kindle, quick to calm down, an even quick to grow decadent, men of letters [i.e., a type of scholar] can always find reasons and precedents from the classics to justify their shifts of allegiance. (Lu Xun, 1931/2003) One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil. (Nietzsche,… Read more »

There’s Poverty, and There’s Poverty


My friends didn’t believe in giving money to homeless people. But I couldn’t escape the notion that I should be doing something. It was Shanghai in maybe 2009 or 10. Wealth was everywhere, crazy wealth. In Hong Kong, we had walked through an indoor mall for three hours. It seemed endless. Commerce was alive and… Read more »

The Tallest Trees Have the Strongest Roots


Photo by Ian Capper. I chose this quote by Nietzsche as the title of my blog because I was reminded of it during a recent trip I took through southern Xing Jiang in Northwest China earlier this month. My friends in Xing Jiang introduced me to the multi-leaved poplar tree (poplar diversifolia). My friends brought… Read more »

The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being: Part Five: The Struggle to Stay Awake


“The way to value life, the way to feel compassion for others, the way to love anything with greatest depth is to be aware that these experiences are destined to be lost” — Yalom, 2008 It has been three months since I returned from the Bay Area. In some ways, it still feels surreal, to… Read more »

The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being: Part Four: Being Awakened


Over the course of the past seven months, I have been asked countless times by loved ones, friends, co-workers and strangers, “So what have you learned?” (by moving to the Bay Area). While most may be expecting some concrete answers on theories and concepts of therapy, and useful therapeutic skills or tools, I find that… Read more »

The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being: Part Three: The Paradoxical Experience of BeingãIsolation & Meaning


Edmund Leighton’s 1919 “Sweet Solitude.” Isolation vs. Relation As I began to make conscious efforts to be more present with myself and how I live my life, my heightened sense of self-awareness also led to the increased awareness of my sense of aloneness—the life anxiety that Otto Rank (cited in Yalom, 2008) warned us about…. Read more »

The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being: Part Two: The Paradoxical Experience of BeingãFreedom & Death


As I immerse myself in “the work” and struggle to seek a new way of experiencing and being, I was able to appreciate the meaning of the four important paradoxical concepts of our human existence Irvin Yalom described in his book Existential Psychology (1980) from a whole new perspective. Freedom vs. Responsibility I flew many… Read more »

The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being–Part One: Being on a Continuum


Photo by David Yu. [Editor’s Note: I am honored and delighted to be able to write this brief introduction to a series of blogs written by a courageous Malaysian student and her journey into her own existence. The person that I’d like to introduce to you is JoAnn Loo who I met during one of… Read more »

Existential-Humanistic Psychology and Buddhism


Statue of Maitreya Buddha. Photo by Payal Vora. Recently I returned from a trip to China where I was asked to speak at a conference entitled “Buddha from the Heart: Humanistic Psychology Maitreya Culture.” Maitreya Buddhism is a lesser-known school of Buddhist thought originating in China, particularly connected with Maitreya Buddha (i.e., future Buddha). The… Read more »