Naiken Therapy

The inverted tree, one of the first diagrams I placed on my web site, draws attention to the complications that can arise when we reflect on our past, speculate about our future and, as often as not, skip over the present. Naiken Therapy was one way to give expression to our spiritual selves.

This was brought to my attention by:

David Brazier

…. he has a number of very different ways of relating to our ‘self’ that are less well-known to me. Some of his spiritual direction draws my attention to the impact of our relationship with time – one that can undermine or improve our emotional well-being.

One practical way this can be done can be found on an UK-based web site that describes Naikan Therapy. This can be found at:

I like the quote credited to Gregg Krech saying “The biggest risk you can take is to do nothing at all, when you know there’s something you need to do.”

Sounds familiar to me as I can either ACT now, or not ACT now (the middle box of my inverted tree diagram). I am not well-versed in the Buddhist philosophy that may well lie behind that quote, but that is how I see it.

Questions to foster safe experiments

This web site provides an immediate safe experiment when it asks us to reflect on:

  • What have I received from ___? 
  • What have I given to ___? 
  • What troubles and difficulties have I caused ___?

I sense this is a specific and practical starting point: I can consider these questions in relation to both my immediate family and friends, as well as my wider world.

To do full credit to Naikan therapy is not be easy. As ever, I’d see research into it as a safe experiment. My curiosity has been stimulated by my own inquiries.

I will summarise the web site, however, when it says Naikan is a Japanese word that means “inside looking”, “introspection” or “seeing oneself with the mind’s eye”.

Meditation is encouraged to transform our way of journeying based on Buddhist teachings. It offers retreats in which structured methods of self-examination and reflection are practised. The aspiration seems to be to help people understand themselves, and their relationships with others.

Further leads


How to give yourself a Nudge

A scenic route to consider

David Brazier

One example of safe experiments with our spiritual self

Another outcome for a specific client