Ralph De La Rosa joins Ethan to talk Western psychology meeting Buddha Nature, mindfulness as psychic survival, and normalizing dharmic rage.
Ralph De La Rosa, LCSW, is an author, psychotherapist, meditation teacher, Buddhist philosopher, and student of Amma. He leads healing retreats at Omega Institute, Spirit Rock, and Kripalu, and his work has been featured in the New York Post, CNN, GQ, SELF, Women’s Health, and many more. For information on Ralph’s ongoing work and his new book, Don’t Tell Me to Relax: Emotional Resilience in the Age of Rage, Feels, and Freak Outs, head over to ralphdelarosa.com
Bhakti, Buddhism, & Psychic Survival
Ralph shares with Ethan his entryway into Bhakti Yoga and mantra chanting as a student of Amma. The path of love cracked him open, but left him yearning for more structure in terms of a systematic approach to meditation, which he was able to find in Buddhism and mindfulness. Allowing vulnerability and truth, Ralph opens up about the PTSD, depression, and addiction that sparked his search for spirituality, which posed a salve for his pain and confusion.
“Meditation was something that took root in my life because I was backed into a corner. It was a matter of survival and necessity. It really feels germane to where we are as a society right now, that our practice has become more of a means of psychic survival.” – Ralph De La Rosa
For more Ralph De La Rosa on liberation, compassion and coming home, put practice into play by checking out Ep.344 of Mindrolling
Psychology, Buddha Nature, & Trauma (10:24)
Illuminating the ongoing interplay and co-causality in the evolution of the relationship between Eastern mindfulness traditions like Buddhism, and Western psychology and psychotherapy, Ralph and Ethan discuss the intersection of Internal Family Systems and Buddha Nature in regards to relating to our wounds for healing trauma.
“If we can go there and heal, dissolve, and release those burdens in a radical kind of way, than what are we left with? Just following the line of logic, we are reduced to our Buddha Nature. What we’re left with is the capacity for an open heart.” – Ralph De La Rosa
If you are enjoying this conversation, check out Ep.275 of Mindrolling for another discussion with Ralph De La Rosa, digging into healing our wounded narratives.
Dharmic Rage 2020 (25:09)
A major theme in Ralph’s new book Don’t Tell Me to Relax: Emotional Resilience in the Age of Rage, Feels, and Freak Outs, is surrounding the topic of rage. Ethan, noticing the 2020 trend of Dharma books about rage, asks Ralph to offer perspective on the importance of the new movement of mindfulness and meditation teachers normalizing working with emotions like anger.
“You can study Dharma, internalize these teachings and go on retreat after retreat, and find that anger still eclipses you…If we don’t have a vehicle for practice and process that allows space for that, we’ll never get to know that within us. We’ll always trying to go around it, spiritualize it, and turn it into something else.” – Ralph De La Rosa