Law Practice as a Springboard to Inner Peace

Holistic law practice emphasizes the unique core of an individual that lies beyond his or her “problematic” real life legal situations. The holistic focus, emphasizing mindful attention on the present moment, often collides in law practice with client concerns which are typically future-focused, often manifesting themselves in the emotion of fear. This clash between present-moment awareness and projected future concerns, however, can also serve as fertile ground in which to plant the seeds of inner peace.

My holistic practice tends to work simultaneously on two planes: (1) the practical plane emphasizing real-life legal solutions; and (2) the “spiritual” plane which aims to heighten one’s mindfulness and dis-identification from learned conditioning in a way that will lead to deeper internal peace. Improved mindful attention to the present moment will often lead to otherwise overlooked creative legal solutions as well as a reduced likelihood that the client will repeat decisions, behaviors, and reactions which may have contributed in no small way to the client’s current legal difficulties.

In my initial meeting with a client, there is a focus on understanding his or her current legal situation to ensure that timely actions are taken to preserve and defend the client’s legal rights and/or defenses. A blueprint for addressing the client’s legal issues is laid out so that the client can begin to let go of some of the fear that he or she has come to associate with current legal difficulties. Ideally, from this point forward in the holistic representation, meetings become more oriented towards the cultivation of mindfulness. Less time in future sessions is devoted to he practical solution-oriented aspects of representation – the tenor shifts more from attorney to counselor.

From this point forward, our in-person sessions present both challenges and opportunities to begin letting go of future-oriented concerns triggered by legal issues and to begin a deepening of one’s present-moment awareness and inner peace.

As an example, a client facing a divorce involving children may, through our mindfulness sessions, come to identify certain entrenched thoughts which, upon closer examination, are directly contributing to strong “fears” that their legal situation may cause them to “lose everything,” e.g., identity as a spouse, a parent, etc. These fears may be causing the client to react in ways that are actually exacerbating the client’s situation, e.g., “clingy” or obsessive behavior, manipulation of children so as to win their approval vis a vis the other spouse, etc.

Through our mindfulness sessions, however, a client can begin to internalize the notion that he or she need not be defined by his or her thoughts. The client begins to cultivate an ability to connect with a more grounded sense of being that lies beyond his or her conditioned thinking, and beyond the prior importance the client had put on his or her status as this or that. In becoming more present focused, negative thoughts associated with formerly projected negative future outcomes begin to dissipate. The client comes to realize a whole new way of approaching life. The client’s previously destructive behaviors begin to cease.

In this way, holistic law practice can serve as a unique springboard for truly improving the lives of clients, and society as a whole. To learn more about holistic law practice, visit, or call Michael Lubofsky, Holistic Lawyer, at (415) 508-6263.

The Shortcomings of Traditional Law Practice

Holistic law practice fundamentally differs from traditional law practice in that is works both to resolve a client’s immediate legal problems as well as to cultivate a foundation for future happiness in a way that greatly reduces the likelihood of similar future legal problems. As I have written elsewhere, legal problems and personal suffering often share the same root in one’s identification with a constructed sense of “self” perceived as separate from other life forms. Instead of a life connected to a non-dualistic sense of “being,” the fictional sense of “self” or “ego” is inherently insecure based on the simple fact that it is not real. As a result, we constantly strive to satiate cravings or aversions of the ego which surface largely as a result of an individual’s historical societal conditioning. These strivings are often manifested in time as legal problems.

Unless one can learn to dis-identify from the conditioned thoughts that comprise his or her ego, he or she will continue to act in ways so as to feed and preserve this fictional sense of self. This endless pursuit to satisfy wants and avoid unpleasantries is very likely to lead to more unhappiness and, quite possibly, repeated legal problems in the future.

The inherent lack underlying this fictional sense of self or ego is well articulated in a recent talk by David Loy at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. You can click here to listen to this talk online. Besides exploring various ways in which we have historically sought to compensate for this sense of lack through religion, money, and fame, Mr. Loy also acknowledges the important societal utility of the constructed sense of separate self as largely facilitating communication. Without the constructed sense of separate self, much of our communication – e.g., pronouns, etc. – would be non-sensical. Again, however, problems arise when we mistake this construct as real and personally identify with this construct as defining who we really are.

Traditional law practice ignores these underlying dynamics. An attorney aiming to help clients and society by addressing legal problems at their root must look beyond overt actions by a client that may have precipitated his or her current legal situation. To ignore the underlying roots of these behaviors is to fail to solve the client’s underlying problem. In failing to provide real solutions, traditional law practice arguably becomes part of the problem.