A Man



An interview with Pat Quinn

A Meditation With Dr. Dharma

"Do not be satisfied with hearsay or
with tradition or with legendary lore
or with what has come down in the scriptures
or with conjecture."
- The Buddha

Don't let the white lab coat of this Ph.D in psychology fool you - he's also a man with 30 years experience in The Buddhist Dharma.

Pat Quinn has written a book combining the best of East and West entitled Practical Dharma - The sensible approach to peace of mind in which he encourages us to experience our own "path to enlightenment" - which apparently has very therapeutic benefits, according to this license therapist with a specialty in Applied Behavioral Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy and Behavior Modification. His credentials sound like a mouthful, but his approach is a time proven formula.

In Quinn's new book, the author suggests we follow the admonition of Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha) and seek within ourselves that which is "wholesome" and "blameless" and then practice what we preach.

Quinn describes the basic Four Noble Truths along with their practical application.

1. Life is full of problems, hassles, inconvenience, tragedy, etc.
2. Craving and attachment cause suffering.
3. Craving and attachment can be overcome.
4. The path toward this end is the Eightfold Path which includes:

  • Right Understanding
  • Right Thought
  • Right Speech
  • Right Action (Conduct)
  • Right Livelihood
  • Right Effort
  • Right Mindfulness

"One of the Eight recommendations is to engage in: Right Livelihood," Quinn writes. "On the simplest level one might assume that this means only that one avoid jobs such as being a contract killer or a mercenary. But does this mean that if one engages in work in one of the Helping Professions that peace of mind is sure to follow?"

Being a health care worker Quinn said he knows even Teachers, Social Workers, Physicians, Firefighters and other people in noble professions can remain deeply troubled and unhappy.

"In today's world it is very difficult to know if and when our livelihood is truly consistent with Compassion and Integrity, the author continues.

"For example, I might work for a company in which my job is to develop medicine to treat disease and relieve suffering. But another division of my same company may be making chemicals that are harmful to the environment or even used as weapons."

Practical Dharma teaches one how to make a personal work environment healthy, productive, organized, and efficient, he adds.

"If I do these things in my personal life, I will maximize my chances of obtaining peace of mind in my daily activities," Quinn teaches.

The same principles apply to Right Speech. "To merely abstain from cussing or gossip will only be of some benefit," the author writes.

"The biggest part of our trouble with communication is being misunderstood, especially in intimate relationships. Practical Dharma teaches communication skills and techniques which can enhance our ability to communicate deeply and honestly especially with our lovers, family, and close friends."

Practical Dharma does not require acceptance of any particular religion or belief system, Quinn notes. "It is a practical method that can be applied to help us achieve peace of mind and relief from unnecessary suffering in this life."

According to one follower of Practical Dharma, "I don't know what happens after death. I only know that if I follow the Dharma, I can minimize my suffering in this life."

If you'd like to know more about this approach to peace of mind, then you will enjoy the book Practical Dharma: The sensible approach to peace of mind. Look for it soon in your local bookstore.

Workshops on related topics are currently available. Contact: NorthEast Psychiatric & Psychological Institute, Patrick C. Quinn, PhD, 380 Copperfield Blvd., Concord, NC 28025 or 704.262.1800 or Fax: 704.262.1836 or pquinn@northeastmedical.org or Comprehensive Psychiatric, Psychological, and Therapy Services at www.northeastpsych.org/index.cfm

© 2005 Reid Baer

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The fame you earn has a different taste from the fame that is forced upon you. - Gloria Vanderbilt

Reid Baer, an award-winning playwright for “A Lyon’s Tale” is also a newspaper journalist, a poet with more than 100 poems in magazines world wide, and a novelist with his first book released this month entitled Kill The Story. Baer has been a member of The ManKind Project since 1995 and currently edits The New Warrior Journal for The ManKind Project www.mkp.org . He resides in Reidsville, N.C. with his wife Patricia. He can be reached at E-Mail.

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