Trudy Goodman

From Trudy

Death and Birth

Last Saturday, I received a call that my psychoanalyst from forty years ago, Larry Strasburger, passed away. Larry was a meditator, rare for the early seventies; I was a Zen student who needed therapy. Together, we discovered the powerful synergy of Dharma and psychotherapy which inspired my life’s work.

A gentle, noble, and generous soul, Larry helped me learn how to quiet down and be present with the overwhelming emotions of a young 20-something. I’m not sure I could have entered the path of intensive meditation training without Larry. I carry his priceless teachings about relationship with me every single day.

It’s so mysterious how we have deep connections and love relationships and – they all end. People die. And people are being born; cousin Kadie just had a new baby, delivered with Marea Goodman, a cousin who’s a young midwife…Just take a look at the world population clock, ticking away births and deaths each fraction of a second!

Life is bittersweet; sad and rich, delightful and mysterious, fragile and enduring. The point of mindfulness – and psychotherapy – is to be awake to all of life. With loving awareness, we learn to experience the birth and death of each breath, of each moment of life. With practice, we can live this great mystery with our eyes clear and our hearts open.

On a rock in the rapids


a fallen camellia

(Miura Yuzuru)



Image Credit: T. Goodman