Announcing the first international
ITZI conference in Madrid
“Buddhism, therapy and cultural engagement: an emerging synergy”
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th September.
is an evolving movement in psychotherapy, counseling and spirituality. The International Institute for Zen Therapy (ITZI) is an umbrella organization. It encompasses individuals, scholars, groups and practitioners, from around the world who are involved in applying Buddhist psychology to engaged work.
Not narrowly Zen, not narrowly therapy, the purpose of the conference is to bring people together and to explore the wide variety of approaches, applications and interpretations that are emerging. It will also create a forum in which further fresh channels can open and new collaborations blossom.
This first ITZI conference comes at an exciting time of growth in the therapeutic professions with new synergies being formed between the fields of psychology and spirituality, meditation and dialogue, mindfulness and engagement. Buddhist based practices in the areas of health and wellbeing are blossoming. We are confident the conference will prove a rich and stimulating event for a broad range of practitioners.
The ITZI Conference will be held in
Madrid, 25 - 27 September 2015
We would like to an invitation to you to join ITZI for this exciting event.
We are delighted to announce what we consider to be an academically exciting, intellectually stimulating and rich programme in the field of Buddhist psychology.
Presentations and workshops, short talks and practice demonstrations will take place over the course of three days – Friday 25th to Sunday 27th September. The days are organized into three sub-themes to stimulate the discussion of new ideas and create potential for emerging synergies in the field.
The themes are:
Day One: Zen Therapy - encompassing mindfulness and going beyond
Day Two: Ancient dharma forms - Zen, therapy and encounters with the other
Day Three: Buddhist Therapeutics – the many facets of Dharma
An outline of the Conference Programme is displayed below for your information. As you will see there are a diverse range of international speakers and a rich range of subjects being presented. All relate to the headline theme for the conference
Buddhism, Therapy and Cultural engagement:
An Emerging Synergy.
We invite you to look at the programme, which you will find below, and the website, We hope that what you see there will encourage you to come along and participating in what we think will be a land mark event in the field of therapy and Buddhism.
Here is the Conference Page on Facebook, where you will find introductions to many of the speakers and workshop facilitators.
Book now by following the link: Conference Booking Form
Day 1 - Zen Therapy - encompassing mindfulness and going beyond
9.00 – 10.00 Welcome ceremony and opening keynote – Dharmavidya David Brazier, President, Instituto Terapia Zen Internacional (ITZI)
In the keynote presentation by Dharmavidya David Brazier, he will talk about the vision of the institute:
𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯
ITZI is a non-sectarian alliance of trainers, teachers, centres, translators, and others. In general the aim is to make ITZI members more successful in a variety of ways in the delivery of education on Buddhist topics, especially, but not exclusively, those related to Buddhist psychology. This presentation will address the history and idea of ITZI and is intended to stimulate discussion and debate within the conference. An aim of the conference is to stimulate connections between members with a view to building the kind of confidence that can lead to co-operative ventures in the future. In its beginnings, ITZI originally aimed simply to be a vehicle for some training and educational efforts that were already on-going, both in the form of attendance classes, lectures and workshops and in the form of on-line programmes. This aspect has been achieved. However, it is apparent to those most involved that having established an on-line platform for the delivery of distance learning there is the possibility of a wider usage and wider range of courses than originally envisaged. Similarly, as the membership of ITZI grows and diversifies, there arise more possibilities for members to work together or complement one another in the creation of educational or other ventures. This, in turn, could help diversify what centres offer and what teachers teach and create a more co-operative ethos within the Buddhist world as a whole. This presentation will outline the thinking that has led to ITZI developing in the way that it has done so far and will fill in some of the history and what has been learnt from it to date.
10.00 – 11.00 Getting to know you/harvesting ideas – Karin Verhaest
11.00 – 11.30 Break
11.30 – 12.30 Parallel keynote talks
1) Mindfulness in Working Life: Taking stock of mindfulness based interventions – a critique of current practices and rethinking mindfulness through the assumption of a phenomenological position rather than a neuro-scientific one. Masimo Tomassini
2) 'The Contribution of Mindfulness based approaches to strengthen, maintain and to resist the abandonment of kindness and compassionate care in Residential Care Settings for Vulnerable Elders’ - Mo and Peter Henderson
12.40 – 13.00 Short Talk
The limits and dangers of employing mindfulness meditation in the context of treating mental disorders and the new possibilities for utilising meditation skills and psycho-energetic tools – Ortwin Luers
14.30 Meditation – Florence Simonnet
15.00 – 18.00 Parallel Workshops
1: Zen-Mindfulness, Trauma and Trance: Explorations in Integrative Mind Body Healing - Mindfulness as method for treating trauma and the pathway to healing Ronald Alexander
2: Meditation Initiated Integrative Therapy. Utilising meditation as a starting point and means for therapeutic or self-growth group work. The workshop also addresses the possible danger of ‘spiritual bypassing’ that can occur in long-term meditation practice. Caifang Zhu
18.30 – 19.00 Plenary – feedback from the workshops - emerging themes
Day 2 - Ancient dharma forms – Zen, therapy and encounters with the other
7.00 – 7.40 a.m. Meditation (optional)
9.30 – 10.00 Day Two opening remarks – Karin Verhaest/David Brazier
10.00 – 11.00 Keynote presentation
Exploring and understanding the meaning of historical Pureland texts as a basis for interpersonal connection in the context of chaplaincy - Richard Ollier
11.30 – 12.30 Keynote presentation
The phases of Chan Buddhism in Chinese history as precursors to introduce a
contemporary version of Chan in China known as Shenghuo Chan (Life Chan) - Caifang Zhu
12.40 – 13.00 Parallel short talks
1: Karma Transformation - employing an understanding of karma for the purposes of personal transformation in psychology and therapy – Maurits Kwee
2: Zen perspectives in the teacher/disciple relationship – a special kind of therapy – Michel Depreay
14.30 – Relaxation/Meditation – Zen meditation and yoga therapy with Ronald Alexander
15.00 – 17.30 Parallel workshops
1a: The significance of reaching authentic emotional expression as the basis for transformation and growth in the therapy relationship – Florence Simonnet (60 mins)
1b: Deepening the therapeutic potentials in the teacher/disciple relationship – Michel Depreay (60 mins)
2: Mindful Self-Compassion and Self-Care for Therapists and Care-Givers – Francoise Guillot
3: Mindfulness in Working Life: Taking stock of mindfulness based interventions – critiques of current practices and proposals for rethinking the issue – Massimo Tomassini
20.30 Workshop – What ITZI means to us? Gathering for open dialogue about the aims of ITZI and its future development facilitated by David Brazier
Day 3 – Buddhist Therapeutics – the many facets of Dharma
7.00 – 7.40 Meditation (optional)
9.30 – 10.00 Day 3 opening remarks – Karin Verhaest/David Brazier
10.00 – 11.00 Parallel workshops
1: The place of Buddhist pilgrimage in personal transformation and growth – Maarten Olthof
2: Systemic approaches to the unfolding of therapeutic narratives and the arising of bodhicitta – Lama Wangmo
3: The Buddha’s Toolkit. The workshop will present methods drawn from various aspects of Buddhism and Buddhist meditation that support individual creativity and help us tap into our healing potential – Ronald Alexander
11.15 - 14.00 Parallel Workshops (long)
1: Karma Transformation - a unique approach employing a psychological reading and reformulation of the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path as a basis for assessment and structured treatment – Maurits Kwee
2: “Taming Existence” - Insight meditation as a systematic method transforming human despair (fear and disenchantment) into equanimity and, conditions permitting, also joy and calmness - Henk Barendregt
3: “Vajra Technique” - a new method for helping those who have experienced trauma and suffer psychological symptoms for the psycho-neuronal integration of traumatic memories – Ortwin Luers
14.00 – 15.00 Lunch
15.00 – 16.00 Plenary – All congress speakers will present five minutes summary and feedback, followed by Q&A – facilitated by Karin Verhaest
16.00 Closing address and ceremony – David Brazier
of attending the conference for the full three days – including three nights stay, all food and conference programme – is €320. Register Now and get an early bird discount and pay just €295
Please do forward this email to friends and colleagues who you think might be interested in the conference, and if you wish to support us please post details on your own website(s) and social media network pages.
:: Conference Booking Form
:: ITZI Conference Page on Facebook
With thanks on behalf of the conference team
The ITZI mailing address is:
Institute of Zen Therapy
AA is an on-line academic platform established by ITZI to deliver distance learning programmes.
Namo Amida Bu