Vincenzo Tallarico is an
analytic psychologist and a Sand Play therapist. He is a member of
the Associazione Italiana di Psicologia Analitica (A.I.P.A.) and of the
IAAP (International Association for Analitical Psychology). He is a
promoter and teacher of the
Mindfulness Project (www.tallarico.it/mindproject.asp), and a meditation
teacher according to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
He came into contact with
Buddhism in 1978 when he met Lama Thubten Yesce. He trained with Dora
Kalff, a Jungian analyst and a direct student of C.G. Jung; since that
time, both on a personal and a professional level, he has sought to
integrate western and oriental psychology.
He held seminars on
psychology in various Italian cities and he has taught psychology and
meditation in various European cities as well as in India and in Nepal.
Since many years he is
regularly invited to teach theoretical and experiential courses in various
Italian Buddhist centers, in yoga schools, in universities and in
psychology schools, hereby spreading a comparative approach between
western and oriental techniques and methodologies.
The fundamental role
of active listening and of syntony in the development of the psychological
resources of the child
Practicing meditation, breathing consciously, training in concentration and
in the four immeasurables (loving kindness, rejoicing for others,
compassion and equanimity) – all of these are fundamental instruments to
generate the inner qualities that can help to listen deeply to a child.
Fundamentally speaking, these practices make the mind clear and limpid by
purifying it from its attachments, from its conditionings, from the so
called mental impurities.
In the Buddhist teachings it is said that the fundamental nature of the
mind has the qualities of purity and clarity: it is like a clean mirror
that reflects everything that appears on its surface, without judging if
something is to be considered as beautiful or as ugly, as good or as bad.
It simply reflects the nature of things as they are.
A mirror has no preferences for reflecting certain types of things rather
than others. It always works in the same way independently from the object
that come stand in front of it.
A mirror does not change its fundamental nature, and, in the same way, the
mind in its fundamental unconditioned nature is empty.
The metaphor of the mirror gives us some precise indications on the way
that adult persons should learn to listen.
Our awareness will work like a kind of inner massage that brings about
The modality of active listening is defined as “non-directional”.
According to this, the changes in the child are not made by the adult
person: rather, the adult person only makes these changes possible by
supplying the conditions that support the natural tendency to
self-realization and growth.
In psychotherapy, this is defined as the paradox in change: there is no
need to understand, there is no need to fight against oneself in trying to
change, there is no need to go looking for something else or to reach some
It is enough just to develop the capacity of having a mind that present
and compassionate. This suffices to transform blockades, knots,
conditionments and to develop wisdom (the so-called insight, a term that
is often paraphrased as “becoming aware of”. However, this refers to a
process that doesn’t stand in relation to the rational and conceptual
mind, but rather to a syncretistic elaboration that involves both sides of
the brain and that derives from deeper, unconscious ways of elaborating
In this perspective the adult person doesn’t have the function to help and
to understand (according to the model ‘if I understand then I will do and
change’). Rather, his function is to help the child to be, to develop a
sense of presence and of openness – and this, in itself, is