Tibet’s Gift to the World

On the evening of March 17 1959, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama (23 years of age at the time) embarked on a perilous journey escaping Tibet’s capital, Lhasa into exile, disguised as a Chinese soldier. Along with his retinue of cabinet members, family members and bodyguards, Tibet’s political and spiritual leader was followed by 80,000 fellow Tibetans opposing China’s brutal military occupation.

As a life-long student of Buddhist psychology (in the Mahayana Tibetan tradition) and currently a student of psychotherapy and counselling (in the Western model), this historically significant world event compels me to honour and acknowledge— that if not for this bold act of resistance — the so-called ‘third wave’ and paradigmatic shift in the field of psychotherapy, as we know it, plus contemporary psychotherapeutic modalities inspired by principles of Tibetan Buddhism exported to the West with the Dalai Lama: CBT, DBT, ACT, CFT, Compassionate Inquiry, MBSR and manifestations of Mindfulness-based modalities, would not have been likely, or even possible.

Depicted among these photos is the Dalai Lama with the late Aaron T. Beck MD,, globally recognized as the Father of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and one of the world’s leading researchers in psychopathology. The American Psychologist called him “one of the five most influential psychotherapists of all time.” In 2005 and 2014 Dr Beck engaged in public and private dialogues with the Dalai Lama and concluded that CBT and Buddhism have much in common.

Read more
Dr Aaron Beck the Father of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, dies aged 100
His Holiness The Dalai Lama Condoles the Demise of Dr Aaron Beck

Australia Tibet Council: Protecting Tibet’s Religious Identity
China is Destroying Tibet’s Culture and Religion: It will backfire
Tibetan Buddhism: Religious Freedom in China (Freedom House Report)

The Dalai Lama escapes Tibet into exile with his retinue and Khampa bodyguards, following the 1959 people’s uprising (observed globally on 10 March). Photo: OHHDL.

Dr Aaron T. Beck and the Dalai Lama in 2019 Photo: Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Meeting with His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Dharamsala India, 2005 with an Australian delegation in support of The Year of Tibet in Australia 2006 and official Australian visit of then Tibetan Prime Minister, His Eminence Professor Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche.

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