I've been thinking about the apparent contradiction, raised by Philip, between the Gestalt press for closure of cycles and the Buddha's experiments in, for example, avoiding mobilisation, action, contact, satisfaction and withdrawal when it came to eating, sometimes for months on end. As Brian's reply possibly suggests, fasting may have been an experiment from which lessons were learnt, at which point the Buddha adopted a healthy diet.
Perhaps it comes down to 'which' cycles are to be completed, and which cycles the organism persues when others remain. unfinished. (Does spiritual liberation imply a very fine set of cycles and the ommision of injurious ones?)
Completing cycles that involve, say, purchasing an extraordinarily fast car, in order to make contact with feelings that I am special, may well result from unfinished business around parental love. A route leading to the possibility of more appropriate self-regulation might include raising self awareness and developing my sense of compassion in an environment where others are doing, or have done, the same. This latter point, to me, appears to be a profoundly relevant interpersonal aspect of Buddhism that gets over-looked; the human need to be in the presence of accepting, compassionate others or, more simply, 'to be in healthy relationship'. (One we may transcend at the absolute level, but at the relative level we are all still related. It has been suggested that 'Right Relationship' be added, as number nine, to The Eightfold Path). It is suggested that the need for awareness and healthy relationship can also be met through good dialogic encounter with a Gestalt therapist.
(There are two issues here; 1/ How do we achieve healthy living? and, 2/ What is the degree to which relationship is essential? I am keen to hear responses to either.)
One important difference between Buddhism and Gestalt is Gestalt's need to stay away from the moral imperatives found in philosophical systems. The Buddha had ideas on what were reasonable cycles and what were unreasonable, (though he also strongly advocated personal wisdom that was experientially derived). Gestalt therapists, despite their own ideas on right and wrong, leave choices to the client.
Finally, thanks to all who have set up this new form of Gestalt encounter (?). And a special Balmain Forehead Sandwich to you, Brian.