Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
Title: A Buddhist psychology
Language of title: English
Author/Creator: Scott Kamilar
One Sentence Summary: Buddhist psychology is discussed in relation to Personality Psychology and psychotherapy.


This chapter is part of a volume which presents the personality and psychotherapeutic theories of all the major religions. Organized according to topics within modern psychology, the author looks at how Buddhism has its own theories of personality, distress, and therapy. After beginning the chapter with a short look at the history of the Buddha's life and an overview of the three-fold division of Buddhism into Hinayāna, Mahayāna, and Vajrayāna Buddhism, the author illustrates the many angles by which the Buddhist tradition has defined personality according to the Buddhist divisions of the five aggregates (form, feeling, perception-impulse, conceptualization, and consciousness), the six realms (the realms of the gods, the realm of the jealous gods, the human realm, the animal realm, the realm of hungry ghosts, and the realm of hell beings), the six psychological states associated with the six realms, and the five Buddha families. The Buddhist theory of distress is explained according to the Buddha's teaching on the Four Noble Truths.

The remainder of the chapter, which covers more than 2/3 its entire length, opens into a discussion of the various ways Buddhism elaborates its own form of psychotherapy, as well as how Buddhist ideas relate to other forms of psychotherapy. According to the author, the priniciples of Buddhist psychotherapy are acceptance, the adoption of "right view," the focus on the here and now, and the affirmation of unity between the mind and body. The Buddhist tradition also describes stages of healing according to the theory of the ten bhūmis or grounds and the six pāramitās or perfections (giving, morality, patience, joyous energy, awareness, and superknowledge). The practice of psychotherapy can be found in the practices contained within the "Eightfold Path," as well as in various forms of Buddhist meditation such as shamatha-vipashyana (practices aimed at developing concentration and insight), tong len (a Tibetan Buddhist practice centered on taking on suffering and giving away personal happiness to another), lojong (a family of Tibetan teachings based on aphorisms for training the mind in cultivating virtue throughout all of one's experiences), and koans (paradoxical sayings in Zen and Ch'an Buddhism).

Throughout the chapter, the author, a clinical psychologist, draws on a wide variety of concepts throughout multiple areas of psychological theory, such as group therapy, Freudian psychotherapy, Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Bateson's cybernetic epistemology, family therapy (which aim to understand the individual within the system he or she is embedded), and hypnosis. The chapter ends with a case study using Buddhist principles of psychology to treat a middle aged woman experiencing major depression. (Zach Rowinski 2005-01-13)

Publisher Place: New York, NY
Publisher: Haworth Press, Inc.
Normalized publisher place: New York, NY
Publisher country: United States
Publisher URL: http://www.haworthpress.com/
Published Date: 2002
Subject: Meditation
Vajrayāna Buddhism
Abhidharma (chos mngon pa)
Śamatha (zhi gnas)
Mahāyāna Buddhism
Lojong (blo sbyong)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Psychotherapy,Clinical psychology
Tonglen (gtong len)
Hīnayāna Buddhism
Personality theory
Family therapy
Dialectical-Behavior therapy (DBT)
Case study
Five Buddha families
Five aggregates (skandha)
Ten bhūmis (grounds)
Six pāramitās (perfections)
Vipaśyanā (lhag mthong)
Native American spirituality
Classification: Buddhism and Science -- Buddhism -- Tibetan Buddhism
Buddhism and Science -- Buddhism -- Vajrayāna Buddhism
Buddhism and Science -- Buddhism -- Contemplative Practices -- Calm Abiding (zhi gnas, śamatha)
Buddhism and Science -- Buddhism -- Contemplative Practices -- Insight Meditation (lhag mthong, vipaśyanā)
Buddhism and Science -- International Science -- Psychology -- Clinical Psychology -- Psychotherapy
Buddhism and Science -- International Science -- Psychology -- Clinical Psychology -- Psychotherapy -- Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Buddhism and Science -- International Science -- Psychology -- Clinical Psychology -- Psychotherapy -- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Buddhism and Science -- Buddhism -- Contemplative Practices -- Zen Meditation/Zazen
Buddhism and Science -- International Science -- Psychology -- Personality Psychology
Buddhism and Science -- Buddhism -- Zen/Ch’an Buddhism
Cultural Coverage: Euro-American
Temporal coverage: 21st century CE
Language: English
Series 2 editor:
Source URL: http://www.haworthpress.com/store/product.asp?sid=GU03EFM5DWW98NFTTUH61
Source: Religious theories of personality and psychotherapy : east meets west
Source Editor: R. Paul Olson
Source Type: Collected Volume (single author)
Source Page Numbers: 85-139
ISBN/ISSN: 0789012367
Format: Print media (print or manuscript, including PDFs)
Resource Type: Chapter (single author)
Release Flag: OK for viewing
Date Of Record Creation: 2005-03-22 12:19:20
Date Record Checked: 2005-03-22
Date Last Modified: 2006-05-15 16:48:48
Cumulative Rating: this resource has a 1 star rating
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