Whereas the various concepts described above are conceptually formulated by the therapist’s objective observation and explanation, the ‘nuclear feelings’ which Prof. RHEE is referring to are characteristically experiential and perceived by the therapist’s mature personality, such that the state of subject-object congruence along with perfect empathic capacity.

Therefore in Prof. RHEE’s Taopsychotherapy, he quickly grasps the patient’s nuclear feelings and therapy advances very quickly towards the core. Charles Brenner(Pers. correspondence 1994) commented that “it is remarkable how quickly Professor RHEE penetrated to the essence of the patient’s complaint.”

In this context of stressing feelings, Prof. RHEE pointed out the importance of grasping and overcoming the patient’s subjective ‘nuclear feelings’ in psychotherapy, by comparing this practice with the ox in the Ten-Oxen-Pictures which have traditionally described the process of awakening in Zen practice(RHEE 1993b). According to him, there is a clear parallel between the nuclear feelings and the ox in Tao practice.

2) Nuclear Feelings and the Ten-Oxen-Pictures of the Zen Path

Prof. RHEE has illustrated the process of purification of the mind by using the Ten-Oxen-Pictures. The ten pictures take the viewer through a process beginning with the ox-herder ‘Looking for the Ox’ 1), followed by ‘Seeing the Tracks’ 2), then ‘Glimpsing the Ox’ 3) - these three stages correspond to understanding the nuclear feelings and in the initial experience, these are negative feelings.
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※ Ten-Oxen-Pictures illustrate the process of purification of mind. Pictures of this site are Ten-Oxen-Pictures of Songgwangsa Temple.