Skip to main content

Zen Musings on Bion's “O” and “K”

The author defines Bion's use of “O” and “K” and discusses both from the radical nondualist realizational perspective available through the lens of Eihei Dogen's (1200–1253) Soto Zen Buddhist orientation. Fundamental differences in core foundational principles are discussed as well as similarities and their relevance to clinical practice. A case example exemplifies and explicates the abstract aspects of the discussion, which draws from Zen teaching stories, reference to Dogen's original writings, and the scholarly commentarial literature as well as from contemporary writers who integrate Zen Buddhist study and practice with Bion's psychoanalytic writings on theory and technique.