Keith Martin-Smith talks with Dr. John Churchill about the themes in Keith’s latest book, When the Buddha Needs Therapy: shadow and awakening, the problem and promise of spiritual communities, the state-stage model as it relates to trauma and growth, narcissism and other personality disorders inside of spirituality, the power and trap of lineage, and what a fully Western version of an awakened spiritual path might look like.
Born in London, Dr. Churchill's interest in psycho-spiritual development, Integral theory, Contemplative studies, Western Esotericism, and Mahayana Buddhism began in his adolescence, eventually leading him to spend several years as a Buddhist monk at Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland. During this time, John received the esoteric Planetary Dharma transmissions that would in time unfold as his contribution to a planetary fourth turning teaching.
Dr. Churchill spent 15 years training and teaching “Great Seal” meditation in an Indo-Tibetan Mahayana lineage under the mentorship of the late senior Western teacher, translator, respected author, and clinical psychologist Dr. Daniel P. Brown.
He is also a founding member of the Integral Institute led by esteemed Transpersonal/Integral philosopher, Ken Wilber.
John has received advanced training in: attachment therapy, hypnosis, positive psychology for peak performance, and the “Pointing Out” style of Mahamudra meditation.
For the last 25 years, John has developed a a Fourth Turning Planetary Dharma practice which includes the somatically based contemplative practice path; Embodying the Open Ground, that integrates psychodynamic healing, adult development and meditation.
John holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from William James College, and is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Married to his partner, Nicole since 2000, they share two teen-agers together - Trinity and Bodhi, and are Co-Founders of Samadhi Integral, and Co-Directors of Karuna Mandala.