Essay on Buddhism and Western Psychology

Essay on Buddhism and Western Psychology

Length: 2137 words (6.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Western Psychology and Buddhism
Western psychology is concerned with the investigation of understanding the negative aspects of human behavior, emotions and the mind, and to some extent, with changing them. The Buddhist approach to the investigation of the mind is unscientific, as defined by the science of Western Psychology. It is not concerned with laboratory conditions, control groups, or ‘objectivity’ in the sense of the experimenter being separate from and impartial to the subject (Nettle, 2005). In Buddhism, the person conducting the experiment and the subject are the same. Buddhists seek truth, as do scientists. Science, for the most part, sees the world as something external, which can be observed and understood as truth. Psychology involves understanding the human experience through the study of the mind and how perception governs behavior. Buddhism sees perception as internal and of one’s experience of the outside world as a fundamental part of understanding the truth within our self.
Buddhism is known for happiness. Happiness can be achieved by genuinely practicing meditation. Meditation is the central practice of Buddhism. Practicing Buddhism gives one a way of finding answers to deep questions about life and the nature of reality. “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What is the meaning of life?” “Why do we suffer?” and “How can I achieve lasting happiness?” As the Dalai Lama commented,
I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness (Dalai Lama & Cutler, 1998, p. 15).

... middle of paper ...

...he art of happiness: A handbook for living. NY: Riverhead Books.
McLeod, M. (2007). The best buddhist writing: There's no "i" in happy. MA: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Nettle, D. (2005). Happiness: The science behind your smile. (First ed., pp. 1-6). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Prager, D. (1997). Happiness is a serious problem: A human nature repair manual. NY: HarperCollins Publishers
Seligman, M. (1998). Learned optimism. NY: Pocket Books
Seligman, M, & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction: American Psychologist, 55, 5-14.
Wallace, B. L., & Shapiro, S. L. (2006). Mental balance and well-being. Building bridges between buddhism and western psychology, 61(7), 690-699.
Wong, P. T. (2011). Positive psychology 2.0: Towards a balanced interactive model of the good life. What to do about the negative?, 52(2), 69-70.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Buddhism and No-Self

- Eastern enlightenment religions have been gaining popularity throughout the western world for the past few decades, with many people attracted to a "different" way of experiencing religion. As with many other enlightenment religions, Buddhism requires disciples to understand concepts that are not readily explainable: one such concept is that of no-self. In this essay I shall discuss the no-self from a number of modern perspectives; however, as no-self is difficult to describe I shall focus on both the self and no-self....   [tags: Religion Religious Buddhism]

Term Papers
1950 words (5.6 pages)

THich Nhat Hanh: The Creator of Engaged Buddhism Essay

- ... When ordaining, Viemanese ordain for their entire life. He kept learning about it until the age of 16 when he had the permission of his parents to enter the monastery in Vietnam. He received training in both Zen and Mahayana. He was named editor-in-chief of Vietnamese Buddhism in 1956. In the following years, he founded the school of Youth for Social Service, a neutral Corps of Buddhist Peace workers who went into rural areas to establish a school to built a healthcare clinics and help re-build villages....   [tags: Vietnam war]

Term Papers
604 words (1.7 pages)

Other Perspectives: Buddhism Essay

- Buddhist perspective supports that there is an underlying selfishness (ego) which is the base of suffering, and therefore depression. All of the teachings of Buddha stem from compassion, the desire for all things to be liberated from suffering and suffering’s causes. While mental health is related to chemical imbalances, it is not purely neurological. Subjective mental processes affect the brain. The mind and the brain are not synonymous, and more than just the brain must be examined because mental illness does not occur solely in one....   [tags: religious beliefs, oriental philosophies]

Term Papers
1795 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Incorporating Tibetan Buddhism into Modern Psychotherapy

- Incorporating Tibetan Buddhism into Modern Psychotherapy As the world moves into the twenty first century, Western civilizations are witnessing a surge of new technology, ideas and economic success. Urbanization is spreading rapidly and Western society’s push for progression is becoming more apparent. However, this obsession with advancement has begun to take its toll on the happiness of the citizens. Studies have shown that in 2002, up to 13 percent of U.S. citizens suffered from mental disorders and that this number has only increased since then (Rinpche 60)....   [tags: Psychology Eastern Philosophy]

Term Papers
3915 words (11.2 pages)

Essay What Makes an Individual Happy?

- R. El Hosseiny Philosophical thinking Dr. Jason Blum 8/12/2013 Philosophical thinking; the connection between virtue and happiness Introduction What makes individual happy. Sociologists argue that the quality of social support; the social capital in family and friends is responsible, economists claim that a high income and consumption is the only reason. On the other hand, psychologists argue emphasizing on the essence of mental health, personality and personal state of mind, various philosophers have argued that virtue is critical to happiness....   [tags: happiness, virtue, eudaimonia, Buddhism]

Term Papers
1544 words (4.4 pages)

The Spread Of Buddhism And Western Countries Essay

- The increased exposure to globalisation through technology and westernisation has brought about much change in Buddhism. However, it has also placed strains on the belief system, as Buddhists attempt to uphold the traditional views and ideologies. The spread of Buddhism to Asian countries and more currently western countries have led to changes of its traditions and values concerning gender, technology usage, its ability to adapt to society as well as their place in society. The traditions of Buddhism have generally remained the same throughout its history, however, have had small changes as a result of globalisation....   [tags: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Mahayana]

Term Papers
1718 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Thich Nhat Hanh and Buddism

- Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk and a peace activist. Thich or Thay in Vietnamese means teacher. He is an author of more than 100 books and was nominated for the nobel prize by Martin Luther King Jr. His life has since been dedicated to the work of inner transformation for the benefit of individuals and society. Nhat Hanh was born in the city of Quảng Ngãi in Central Vietnam in 1926. He was inspired to become a monk when he was seven. He saw the picture of the Buddha sitting on the grass with peace and a smile....   [tags: Buddha, Vietnam]

Free Essays
2598 words (7.4 pages)

Impermanence and Death in Sino-Japanese Philosophical Context Essay

- Impermanence and Death in Sino-Japanese Philosophical Context This paper discusses the notions of impermanence and death as treated in the Chinese and Japanese philosophical traditions, particularly in connection with the Buddhist concept of emptiness and void and the original Daoist answers to the problem. Methodological problems are mentioned and two ways of approaching the theme are proposed: the logically discursive and the meditative mystical one, with the two symbols of each, Uroboros and the open circle....   [tags: Philosophy Buddhism Papers]

Free Essays
3172 words (9.1 pages)

Essay about Buddhism

- Buddhism Many people interpret Buddha as a big fat guy, that will give you luck if you rub his belly. This may be true, but Buddhism is much bigger than that. Buddhism began in Himalaya region and has been around since the first century. In Buddhism, the nature of God is a man named Shakyamuni Buddha. In this paper, we are going to look a little more into Buddhism. We will review responses from an actual Buddhism worshipper. We will also compare Buddhism to other religions. Although the Buddha was apparently an historical figure, what we know about him is sketchy....   [tags: Religion, Buddhism]

Term Papers
1762 words (5 pages)

Essay about Buddhism

- The Question is Buddhism Why. It can be a simple question to answer with something to the affect of, “just because”. To most of us however, this question at some point in our lives, or at this very moment, has plagued us and consumed countless hours of our deepest thoughts. Many have lost sleep over this grouping of 3 random letters from the English alphabet because it is the question that seems impossible to concretely answer. This has been the cause of the birth for numerous religions across the globe and throughout history....   [tags: Religion Buddhism]

Term Papers
1182 words (3.4 pages)