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Kathleen A. Lyon, MD

Kathleen A. Lyon, M.D., is a psychiatrist and training and supervising psychoanalyst on the faculty of The Institute for Psychoanalytic Education at NYU Medical Center, and an Assistant Clinical Professor at NYU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, where she has taught psychiatric residents and psychoanalytic students for over 15 years. She is in full time private practice in NYC. She has more than 15 years of meditation experience and study of contemplative traditions, and 25 years of clinical experience. She has completed the Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training course and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.

Flowers on Wood

"I was about 4 years old, walking down the short hallway of our family’s tiny Cape Cod. As I remember it, I was walking from the kitchen, past the dining table toward my bedroom. There was light coming through the dining room window. I was alone. On this particular day, rather than remaining absorbed in my usual internal imaginings and games, I had a bolt of awareness. I walked past the window thinking, “This is me,” I thought. “I am me, and this is my life, and I am the one who will make it be what it will be.”

There was no turning back from that exhilarating realization. And with the awareness of my “me-ness” came, gradually, less sharply, the awareness of everyone else’s “being-ness”, and the “being-ness” of the world. Our impact on each other and the world we lived in, the people, animals, forests, rivers and oceans, became a daily concern. This was the truest expression of my spirituality at the time. Eventually, it developed into my interest in science, then medicine, and psychoanalysis. I wanted to know how things in the human experience worked and how to impact them. The most vital effort was to help others recognize and express their most essential selves, so as to fully engage their lives and their impact on others and the world around them. This effort has in turn shaped me, and helped me become more fully who I am.

When I found Buddhism, I found the spiritual practice that supported and expressed this truth for me, in its profound understanding of the interrelationship between the individual and the surround, of the interdependence of all things, and in its practices which are based in the knowledge that through the full realization of this truth, each person can individually realize enlightenment, and in so doing benefit all beings. Half a century has passed since that moment in my dining room. I’m still becoming fully “me” and I hope, helping others do the same."

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