Dependent Arising of the Self in Terms of Relations with Others

This article is the result of a long-term dialogue between Dr. Alexander Berzin and Dr. Catherine Ducommun-Nagy, a psychiatrist internationally known for her work on contextual therapy. Traditional Buddhist analysis reveals that self, other and various types of relationships between the two are affected by changing causes, conditions, parts, names and concepts. Contextual therapy offers an extensive set of variables that affect these relationships. They supplement the Buddhist analysis, broaden our understanding of dependent arising and allow for less rigidity in our relationships. With insight into all the changing factors that affect relationships, we realize that we can improve the quality of our interactions with others, which in turn will strengthen our Buddhist practices.