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
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
- 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
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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or Comprehensive Psychiatric, Psychological, and
Therapy Services at www.northeastpsych.org/index.cfm
© 2005 Reid Baer
* * *
The fame you earn has a different taste from the
fame that is forced upon you. - Gloria
Reid Baer, an
award-winning playwright for A Lyons
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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