In this edited collection of essays, David Reynolds has gathered material from some of the most experienced practitioners of Constructive Living, Morita and Naikan therapies. Topics included Constructive Living in the Work Setting, The Practice of Naikan, CL with High School Students, Morita’s principles applied to those with HIV infection and two biographical essays by Reynolds on the founders of Morita and Naikan therapies: Morita Masatake and Yoshimoto Ishin. This volume is a wonderful opportunity to get a broad set of perspectives on a variety of different topics related to CL, Morita and Naikan in daily life.
Constructive Living brings together two psychotherapies–Morita and Naikan– and their associated lifeways. Both therapies were developed in this century, but their roots extend back hundreds of years in East Asian history. Morita was a professor of psychiatry at Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo. Yoshimoto was a successful businessman who retired to become a lay priest in Nara. Morita’s method has it origins in Zen Buddhist psychology, and Yoshimoto’s Naikan has its origins in Jodo Shinshu Buddhist psychology.
Neither of these systems requires that one believe in Buddhism or have faith in anything other than one’s experience. They work as well for Christians and Moslems and Jews as for Buddhists. Both are built on the naturalistic observations of humans and careful introspection of their founders. Constructive Living isn’t mystical or oriental, but practical and human.