My Bio and the Inspiration for My Work

Charlotte Juul Zen Psychotherapist
Charlotte Juul Zen Psychotherapist

My karma is my dharma

I grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark, and in my early 20’s I worked in a nursing home where I had the honor of being present during the death processes of two very different women. Witnessing these two distinct passages made an indelible impression on me. One woman was in fear, horrified all the way into her final moments. The other was happy, loving, generous, and died with a big smile on her face. The difference was striking. The one with the smile had lived out all her dreams. Some things had gone well, others had not, she had experienced successes and failures, yet she had always done her best. The one fearing life had closed herself off, trying to avoid risks and unnecessary suffering.

The memory of this experience has never left me. It was clear to me that I didn’t want to live or end my life closed and contracted by fear. I made a deep decision to always give everything I have to everything I do for the rest of my life, to not end my last days in fear of death because I had not given myself completely to life.

This decision took me far away from home, and to a deepening intimacy with myself and others. For many years I was driven by a need to prove to myself that I was okay. From adolescence I struggled with a negative self-belief buried deep in my psyche that “something was wrong with me.” I feared it was true, and tried to hide my shame about it by appearing strong and confident. I felt trapped, not knowing how to change.

The entrapment lasted for years, culminating in an existential crisis while studying in Italy during my 30’s. I had pursued a lifestyle that began to feel empty and meaningless. I realized I didn’t know who I truly was. It drove me mad that I couldn’t grasp or feel the bigger picture or purpose of life. Why are we here? It no longer made sense to live just for my own succes or happiness. There had to be more! I ended up divorcing my husband, quitting my job. I had to go to the end of it all. I needed to find the answer. It was one of the most difficult and dark but also most transformative periods of my life. I discovered that in order to find the answer to why I am here I had relax into the chaos and pain of it all, instead of fighting it, embracing it.

In the ensuing years, I began to melt into a greater sense of ease of being. This created space and, in this space, I realized how much my struggles was self-created by the need to prove to myself I was worthy. I began to embrace my life as it is, my limitations as well as my gifts. As years passed, my resentment and anger at feeling lost slowly dissipated as the old childhood negative self-belief, lost its power over me.

For the past two decades I have focused my life on educating myself in several forms of Psychology as well as on Zen practice and tons’ of meditation:)

Today, my life is all about sharing and assisting others with meditation, Big Mind Zen, and group facilitations, as well as psychotherapeutic practices. My work with individual clients, student and the groups that I lead are my way of giving back for all I have been gifted. I refer to it as a Zen Psychotherapy, working with both the spiritual and the psychological sides of our humanity. Getting stuck in deeply rooted psychological matters crimps our spiritual growth; getting stuck in our spiritual practice obstructs our psychological maturity. Some come into the spiritual before taking care of the psychological, others the opposite, as I did. Eventually we must take care and mature in these two seemingly different dimensions of life itself. Self-realizations or awakenings always come suddenly, psychological growth comes with time, age, and life experiences.

CoreWork is the synthesis of my life experiences, studies, practices and the questions they raises: “Who am I, how should I live my life, and what and how can I contribute to others’ well-being and their movement towards waking up and becoming more fully evolved human beings”

Ink painting of mountains