Gary Buck, PhD., Licensed Psychologist, (PSY27298)

I am a licensed clinical psychologist serving child, adolescent and adult clients in San Rafael and Petaluma, CA. I completed my internship with the Child Therapy Institute in San Rafael where I remain connected as an independent contractor for MediCal clients. My work with all three age groups utilizes our human ability to express ourselves through imagery in art, imagination, dreams, and play in ways the catalyze healing and inner transformation. 

My professional school, Meridian University (formerly the Institute for Imaginal Studies), has an archetypal, neo-Jungian flavor, sometimes referred to as Imaginal Psychology, that informs my approach with clients. My internship training emphasizes sandplay therapy, play therapy, and art therapy. 

I also integrate the practice of mindfulness and complementary techniques of Cognitive Therapy into my therapy sessions, both as a way to deepen this work with imagery and as profoundly effective therapeutic approaches in their own right. In addition to my many years of personally using mindfulness as a practice for spiritual exploration and liberation, I am also trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), both of which are powerful secular applications of mindfulness practice. I have also studied with Richard Miller, PhD, the developer of Integrative Restoration (iRest/Yoga Nidra) and can also teach iRest, a variation on traditional mindfulness practice, as a part of a psychotherapeutic process. In my work with Mindful Schools I teach mindfulness to elementary school classes. In my individual psychotherapeutic work with children, I often mix in exercises form the Mindful Schools curriculum. 

Education and Training

  • BA in Religion, Princeton University

  • PhD in Psychology, Meridian University (formerly the Institute for Imaginal Studies)

  • Post-doc internship at the Child Therapy Institute of Marin

    • Psychotherapy with children, adolescents, adults. and families

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction internship at Jon Kabat-Zinn’s center at the U. of Mass. Medical School

  • Training in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy through Center for Mindfulness, UC San Diego.

  • Integrative Restoration (iRest, Yoga Nidra) with Richard Miller, PhD.

  • Accredited, Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), Levels 2, 3, 4, and 5.

  • Motivational Interviewing.

Dissertation: Attention, Subtle Energy, and the Structure of Subject-Object Consciousness, 2010.


“The Roles of Attention and Subtle Energy in the Transitions Between Subject-object and Participatory Forms of Consciousness.” ATP/ITP Annual Conference on Transpersonal Psychology, February, 2012.

“Mindfulness in Psychotherapy and Education with Children and Parents,” with Lesley Grant, at The Child Therapy Institute, San Rafael, CA, April, 2012 and at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA, September, 2012.

“Mindfulness for Parents,” with Lesley Grant, San Anselm Catholic Church, San Anselmo, CA, May, 2012.

“Dependent Origination: Seeing the Dharma,” 8-week class series, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA, June-August, 2012.

“Healing the Subject-Object Split,” Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA, August, 2012

“Mindfulness in Child Psychotherapy” with Lesley Grant, The Child Therapy Institute and Marin Mindfulness Institute, San Pablo, CA, three part series, May 11, June 29, and July 13, 2013.

“Mindfulness in Child Psychotherapy and Education,” with Lesley Grant, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Fall, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

“Dependent Origination as a Buddhist Psychology,” Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA, Daylong, November 10, 2013.

“Awakening Mindfulness & Compassion In Our Work As Psychotherapists, Healing Arts Professionals & Educators,” a Spirit Rock Meditation Center retreat held at the Angela Center, Santa Rosa, CA, with Lesley Grant and Richard Shankman, June 22-28, 2015.

“Dependent origination as a Buddhist Psychology,” Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA. An eight week class series, July 22 through September16, 2015.


Relevant Work Experience

  • 10 years providing cross-cultural education services for U. S. bound Southeast Asian refugees in a refugee camp in Thailand (adults, youth and children)

  • Over 6 years as Associate Director, Spirit Rock Meditation Center

    • Supervised Family and Teen Programs

    • Managed many Human Resource activities

    • Staffed Board committee which developed the protocol used to handle spiritual and psychological emergencies on retreat

  • 2 years as Managing Director, 2 years Board of Directors, Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA

  • 2 years as Director, Rainier, OR, Head Start Program

  • 2 years as Elementary School Counselor

  • 3 years teaching mindfulness to elementary school classes.

Spiritual Interests

  • Buddhist mindfulness practice

  • Vajrayana Buddhist Mahamudra and Dzogchen practices

  • Reiki Jin Kei Do

  • Diamond Logos work with Lama Palden

Volunteer Work

  • Founding member and Board member, Institute for Spirituality and Psychology

  • Research Intern, Institute of Noetic Sciences, on a research project teaching transformative practices to homeless adults at a Petaluma homeless shelter

  • 1 year, hospice volunteer

Life Experience

  • Cross-cultural, interracial marriage (my wife, Muk, is Thai)

  • Adoptive father (Muk and I adopted her niece, Ying, from Thailand at age 12)