Meet Paul

Who is Dr. Paul Thielking?

I have long been a spiritual seeker and meditation practitioner.  This seeking led me to explore a variety of spiritual and healing practices, and eventually to Zen in 1999.  I have been studying and practicing Zen since 1999 with Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi.  Genpo Roshi is a teacher in the Soto and Rinzai traditions of Zen Buddhism and the creator of the Big Mind/Big Heart Process.  I was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest in 2005 and became a certified Big Mind Facilitator in September, 2017.  The Big Mind/Big Heart Process is a skillful means for helping people transcend their contracted selves to awaken to their inherent wholeness.

Professionally, I am a psychiatrist and palliative care physician, working as an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah since 2008.  I am board certified in Psychiatry, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and Integrative Medicine.  Since 2012 my clinical duties have been primarily at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital, where I am a member of the Supportive Oncology and Survivorship team and integrate meditation and other stress reduction practices with psychotherapy and medication treatments.  I specialize in helping people that are struggling with mood, anxiety, trauma recovery, and existential distress.  I also lead workshops and retreats for healing professionals who are trying to maintain balance, fulfillment, and joy in their work with others

At this stage of my life I am focused on bridging the gap between psychotherapeutic approaches to healing and the spiritual path of Zen.  The path of Healing involves working through past traumas, becoming aware of our shadows, and freeing ourselves from limited ways of thinking, feeling and relating to others.  The path of Zen involves waking up to our limitless true nature that is already complete and Whole.  The Big Mind/Big Heart Process offers a path towards fully embodying these complementary aspects of ourselves – the contracted self in need of Healing, and the True Self that is already Whole. 

In my Big Heart Healing practice, I serve as a guide/facilitator, integrating the Big Mind Process, meditation, somatic practices, and psychotherapy to help those on the healing journey. Particular areas of expertise include:

  • Those on the spiritual path who are looking for help with changing old patterns and dealing with mental, emotional, or spiritual issues
  • Trauma healing
  • Integrating profound transformative experiences with daily life
  • Exxistential issues such as finding meaning/purpose in life and coming to terms with sickness, ageing, and mortality
  • Professional healers who are looking for support/guidance in maintaining balance, fulfillment, and joy in their work with others

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