Sunday, August 31, 2008

BPS 1103- Relationship between Thinking & Feeling in Buddhist Psychology

Ira de Reuver
Who Was Inspiring Me While Writing!


AN- Anguttara Nikāya
DN-Dīgha Nikāya
SN- Samyutta Nikāya


Chapter I-
Concepts of Emotions, 4

Chapter II-
Working with Emotions, 11

Chapter III-
Working with Chronic Pain, 17

Chapter IV-
Can East Really Meet West? 21

References- 27

Section 1

Concepts of Emotions


The title of this section has titled as Concepts of Emotions and if we see very carefully even here there is a deep psychology is functioning. The word concept is what where has to emphasize. Because it has been discussed in the 4th article of unit reader BPS 1103 with the Concept of Language and Culture are differences in East and West . Now we will see what the philosophy of the word “Concept” is.

Concept (Paññatti)

The word Concept of English language is mean that a notion, a thing conceived, or the faculty of forming an idea. More details are the doctrine or tradition that general properties can be conceived in the mind apart from any concrete embodiment.

In Buddhist Pāli canonical texts as well as the Buddhist philosophy defines this “Concept” in universal way, and (unfortunately) there are many opportunities to get misunderstanding, such as the concept of “I”, or Ego ness, and so on. We will further discuss it in this writing.

In Pāli texts the word Concept used as Paññatti (Dhamma), sometime as Sammuti (sacca). The meaning of both is same as conventional, or conceptional. It is also called as just only the name of thing and or a person, or emotion too. Ultimately it is six fold

1. A real concept
2. An unreal concept
3. An unreal concept of by means of a real concept.
4. A real concept by means of an unreal concept
5. A real concept by means of a real concept
6. An unreal concept by means of an unreal concept

According to this theory it is very difficult to understand whether the concept is good or bad, as it is showing often between East and West. Little more discussion on the word “Concept” to be clearer according to the language and culture as well.

There are two kinds of Concepts or Paññatti, or Sammuti either -

1. Made known, which is the object conveyed by the concept (Atthapaññatti).
2. Thing makes known that is the name given to the object (Nāmapaññatti).

Many other Concepts, land, ocean etc are called former concept since they correspond to the former things (Santhānapaññatti). Car, town, village, etc are called collective concept since they correspond to a collection or group of things (Samūlapaññatti). East, West, etc are called local concept since they correspond to locality. Morning, noon, etc are called time concepts since they correspond to time (Kālapaññatti). Wall, cave, house, etc are called space concept since they correspond to open space (Ākāsapaññatti). Visualized image, conceptual image, etc are called sign concept since they correspond to mental sign gained by mental development.

This is the way our concepts go in different ways that has been talked about in the article “The Roots of Self-Esteem, Differences East and West . We would discuss the theme of this article details more.


Before going to talk about the emotion or concept of emotion we would see what does emotion mean. It is one of the complex task to measure or examine what and how much emotions, how much emotional a man, either good or bad in concept. Section 1, exercise-1 has defined emotion concepts as following -

1. Emotion (Saṃvega)
2. Feeling (Vedanā)
3. Perception (Saññā)
4. Thinking (Cintā)

My personal definitions are nothing new that I have experienced since I have been expend most of the time with Buddhist Scriptures, with practical and theory. Generally to say it is like current of a river goes ahead with force (may be strong or weak), like an ice-cream with sweet flavor, aroma, color, may be in a cup or without, with small spoon. Or I am thinking my family far away from me, some time I see their faces in imagination, I feel they love me too much, sacrifice many for me (My father, Mother, Brothers, some relatives) I also feel that some of them do not help or response me for my study (Especially one of my uncles (with laugh), formers make me happy with happy emotion, later does opposite with little anger and disappointment. I don’t see it is either good or bad, may be it is, but I have the study of human natures, the universal law. Now I would tell about how the mind, a person like me , becomes emotional in emotions. If we revise the term from downward to up see there is a thinking of a thing with perception, may be it is pleasurable or un-pleasurable, he (Mind) feels, becomes emotional with emotions. We can see that feeling is most significant since one is emotional with emotions. The feeling (Vedanā) is given main concern in this discussion of emotion with the different concepts, different minds, East and West.


This is feeling, as some say sensation, impression, passion, ultimately emotion, is a mental state common to all types of mind, either to East or West. Mainly they are three-
1. Pleasurable (Somanassa)
2. Dis-pleasurable (Domanassa)
3. Neutral or indifferent (Upekkhā)

Sometimes feeling classified into 5, with
4. Happiness (Sukha)
5. Pain (Dukkha)

Here, the word Somanassa (Su+Mana’ssa) literally means good-mindedness i.e. pleasurable feeling. And Sukha means bodily happiness. According to Buddhist psychological terms (Abhidhamma) there are only one type of consciousness accompanied with pain, and one accompanied with happiness, two are connected with displeasurable feeling. Of the 89 types of consciousness, in the remaining 85 are found either a pleasurable feeing or a neutral. Former three are purely mental, and latter two are purely physical. This is the reason why we are not neutral (Impartial of East and West (with laugh). (Upekkhā) in the case of touch which, according to Abhidhamma, there must be either happy or painful.

Feeler of the Feeling

As we know that human body considered as matter and mind (Nāma-rūpa), the five aggregates namely mater (Rūpa), feeling (Vedanā), perception (Saññā), and formation (Saṅkhāra), consciousness (Viññāṇa). They are combined but the rest four works in particular way. Simply we can say that five aggregates work with the twelve bases (Āyatana). We would see now how do they work, who is the feeler of the feeling, who is the emotional in emotions.

Six Somatic Bases (Ajjhatika) Six External Bases (Bāhira)

Eye (Cakkhu) Visible object (Rupa)
Ear (Sota) Sound (Sadda)
Nose (Ghana) Odor (Gandha)
Tongue (Jibha) Taste (Rasa)
Body (kaya) Contact (phassa, potthabba)
Mind (Mano) Mental object (Dhamma)

There is beautiful simile said to be said by the Buddha “Monks, the six somatic bases-the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and the mind-base or consciousness (Mind or mind object) are figuratively termed as ‘a ruined village’ . The six external bases- visible objects, sound, odor, taste, bodily impressions and mental objects are figuratively termed as ‘gangs of robbers who plunder the village’.

All together they are counted in eighteen Psycho-physical elements - likewise- eye+visible object+eye-consciousness= (emotion from that). These 6 bases are multiplied with 3 mental element (Manodhātu), mental-object-elements (Dhammadhātu), and mind-consciousness-elements (Manoviññāṇadhātu).

To make this more comprehensible we will compare them with the present world, social situations and our personal experiences. It is this way-

1. Cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpeca uppajjati cakkhuviññāṇaṃ. On account of the eye and visible object, eye consciousness arises.

Suppose, there is a handsome man or a beautiful woman we see. A desire arises, propose for love or marry, if it is succeed makes happy with positive emotion, if not, make regret and sorrow. This is emotion.

2. Sotañca paṭicca saddeca uppajjati sotaviññāṇaṃ- on account of the ear and sound ear consciousness arises.

Suppose, in Iraq, the sound of bomb blasted, the sounds of American made M16, horrible and scared, and the sounds of speech of President G. Bush that ‘We are in Iraq struggling for human right and freedom, both are make emotional, but latter is doubtful.

3. Ghānañca paṭicca gandheca uppajjati ghanaviññāṇaṃ- on account of nose and odor, nose consciousness arises.

Suppose, there are some people plant flowers in the garden, take pleasure from there aroma, make their minds like flowers, and the gardens, humble, kind, sincere. There are some people smoke, smell the red wines, drugs, opium, smell the smoke from bomb blasted.

4. Jivhañca paṭicca raseca uppajjati jivhaviññāṇaṃ- on account of the tongue and taste tongue- consciousness arises.

Suppose, there are some people always crazy of food, various meats, enough for their body but still eat, again and again, only eat in McDonald, or Pizza hut. But still there are millions of people suffer from hunger; some find their food in street aside, from a dustbin.

5. Kāyañca paṭicca phoṭṭhabbeca uppajjati kāyaviññāṇaṃ- on account of the body and bodily impression, body consciousness arises.

Suppose, there are some people who try there best to get bodily pleasure. Only for one body they make two, three, four, or more houses, beds, go for herbal massage. Only one body but one car not enough. But there are many people even don’t have a small place for over a night.

6. Manañca paṭicca dhammeca uppajjati manoviññāṇaṃ- on account of mental element and mental object element, mind consciousness arises.

It is very obvious that what Miss Ira de Reuver (Dutch) and I myself have. Very often she uses the word that I am a western, western minded, what you saying is bad is not same to me! And I also say just reverse of the same. Everywhere we discriminate people in many ways, poor, rich, wise, stupid, bad, good, Asian, Western, and many others. Here also a big essay I have to write about ‘Can East Meet West’ .

Language and Culture

Language and Culture shape how we interpret and define emotion. There is example given that the feeling of YUGAN roughly, an aesthetic moment of oneness – in Japan, or RASA, a wordless appreciation in India, have no exact counterparts in English . Likewise, Tibetan has no word for the English term emotion. Although it is central to the Tibetan concept of well-being, the concept of equanimity is not included as a major emotional state in English. Emotions are experienced through the lens of culture. Padmasiri de Silva says, that a research study in Sri Lanka showed that there was no Sinhala word for guilt, where as shame was a prominent emotion…….

The framing question of this discussion on emotion is whether historical and cultural conditions might give rise to new emotions or their expression. The case in this point is self-esteem, the Dalai Lama is astounded to hear that many westerners suffer from feelings of low self-esteem, for the reason that of ‘a lack of compassion for oneself, according to Dalai Lama. And he recommends that ‘along with the cultivation of loving kindness toward oneself’, should be developed , (Not in sense of selfishness, I suppose).

Dalai Lama questions Francisco Varela with an opinion, “There is always a relationship in a universal sense. I related to that person as a human being. I understand that at some point in the past, 1 or 2 million years ago, the human brain was smaller that it is now. In the evolution of the human brain, was there also a change in size of the front and back parts of the brain relative to each other?” Yes, answers Francisco Varela.

Emotional Development during Childhood

Ira de Reuver (42), was living with her boy friend (So called husband) for 16 years, no longer it did go fine, separated, and started to traveling life until now about 7 years. In her long journey met or meeting many people, as she wants. Since I asked her that this is the time for your settled down, she was complaining that this is not completely my responsibility, my psychologist said most of bed influences from my father as well as (her parents) to my life. There are a lots of stories I think no need to mention all likewise this.

From the dialogues of Dalai Lama, Daniel Brown, and Francisco Varela, indicates that there are some emotions going different ways in East and West. Dr. K Sri Dhammananda also concerns about in his book “Human Life and Problems”. There is a gorgeous figure of childhood that should be carried out, it also can be said Buddhist Social Science is found in Singalavāda Sutta .

Five Kinds of Duty for Parents

1. Parents must prevent their sons and daughters from any kind of misconduct.
2. They must show their children they way of good conduct.
3. They must make their sons and daughters learn arts and science, or every suitable career.
4. They must give then in marriage to suitable persons, in suitable time.
5. They must give them their inheritance at the proper time.

Five Kinds of Duty of Children

1. Sons and daughters must attend closely to their parents in order to provide them with all the requisites in life.
2. They must carry out the social affairs of the business matters of their parents.
3. They must maintain their parents’ properties, their parents nationalities, religious duties, and try to straighten their parents’ religious views if they have a wrong view. They must also maintain the good name of their parents and their lineage.
4. They must obey their parents and make themselves worthy of the parents’ heritage.
5. On their parents’ death they should do good deeds in dedication to them and share the merits with them.

Children learn from their parents, their growing, emotions, also grow from the experience at. We can say the parents are much more responsible for this. Padmasiri de Silva says this is the way, cultivating the Heart.

Method for Managing Low Self-Esteem

Jon Kabat Zinn recommends that one should be able to make things happen. Jon has talked about using meditation to handle this work. Here it is very essential to proper understanding of self-love, self-identity, self responsibility, but not in negative sense of selfishness. Jon says that- ‘When people start to pay attention in the moment to their bodies, they very often discover that underneath the surface dislike, they accept their bodies. But the surface thoughts going on all the time are very strongly negative, so it prevents them from getting in touch with the deeper feeling of wholeness. If everybody, on the planet, has this connected ness, this love and clarity under the surface, then the key question is, particularly for those who have very strong problems with this, how to get in touch with that peace and love inside oneself most effectively and reliably, and in a way that leads to long-lasting profound understanding’ . Alan Wallace says that the purity of one of body (Kāya), speech (Vaca), and mind (Mano), should be apprehensive.


They all agree that the loving kindness meditation (Mettā Bhāvanā) is effective. Language does create some difficulties, but Holiness Dalai Lama says this is such a universal language.

Section 2

Working with Emotions


Working with emotions means to be with emotions, accepting the emotions, letting them be, being patient with them, tolerating them, being aware with them, finally Buddhist teaching says to meditate with them. One is emotional because of different feelings or sensations (Vedanā). This entire thing happens when it is out of craving (Taṇhā). Buddhism obviously distinguishes between feeling or sensation and (Vedanā), and craving (Taṇhā). Pleasant (Sukha) or agreeable sensations do occur in all human beings whose sense faculties are functioning properly, whether it be an ordinary unenlightened person or an enlightened one. They are absent only in a person who has attained the state of cessation, when all sensory activities are cut off, hence described as the ‘state of cessation of perception and the felt’ (Saññā-vedayita-nirodha). In that state a person is not cognitive at all, and the different between such a person and a dead one was the subject to discussion in early Buddhism . Though, emerging from that state, a person is said to experience bodily calm and relaxation.

Working with Emotion

To work with the emotions we need to know them, there associations, arising, functions, and disappearing. To make this understandable easily we would see now how and what are they, as the evidences are clearly given in Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta. In section 1 we have an account of the feelings and emotions. Here we would see how to meditate with them, so called working with emotions.

According to Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta, there are16 kinds of emotional minds are found, and to work with the, to be observed, to be dwelt in contemplating with them. It is need to be noticed that the Buddha recommends the meditation or who works with the emotions thus, the meditator should do contemplate with the emotion or his meditation objects ardently, clearly comprehending and mindfully, and he could remove the covetousness and grief in the world (Viharati ātāpi sampajano satima, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ) .

Working With the 16 Emotional Consciousness

1. Mind with lust (Sarāga)
2. Mind freed from lust (Vitarāga)
3. Mind with hate (Sadosa)
4. Mind without hate (Vitadosa)
5. Mind with delusion (Samoha)
6. Mind without delusion (Vitamoha)
7. Mind as it is contracted (Sankhitta)
8. Mind as it is scattered (Vikkhita)
9. Mind became great (Mahāggata)
10. Mind has not become great (Amahāggata)
11. Mind as surpass-able (Sauttara)
12. Mind as unsurpassable (Anuttara)
13. Mind as concentrated (Samāhita)
14. Mind as un-concentrated (Asamāhita)
15. Mind as freed (Vimutta)
16. Mind as un-freed (Avimutta)

To work with them or to meditate on them one should take a suitable place such as forest, to the foot of a tree, a secluded or quiet place (araññagato vā rukkhamūlagato vā suññāgaragato). Vipassanā meditation tradition recommends that for Cittānupassanā meditation one can meditate every where as long as his mind works, but quiet place is most suitable for every meditation. Then he starts meditating with his mind, thus-

“When his mind is desiring (with lust), he is aware, ‘My mind is desiring’, when his mind is not desiring, he is aware, my mind is not desiring. When his mind is hating some thing, he is aware, my mind is hating, when his mind is not hating, he is aware that my mind is not hating………………….,,,,,, …..When his mind is free, he is aware, my mind is freed, when his mind is not freed, he is aware, my mind is not freed.”

Working With the 9 Feeling Consciousness

Here now we would see again the nature of feeling, if one is emotional with emotions from that by the mind, it is clearly prescribed in Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta. In section 1 we find there are 3/5 kinds of feeling. But in Vipassanā Tradition we find there are 9 kinds of feeling, more scientific, more cognitional, and so called the insight. It is that the meditator is aware in every emotional moments and he loves them, lives with them, be happy with then.

1. Experience a pleasant feeling (Sukha vedanā)
2. Experience a painful feeling (Dukkha vedanā)
3. Experience a neutral feeling (Adukkhamāsukha vedanā)
4. Experience a pleasant worldly feeling (Sāmisa sukha vedanā)
5. Experience a pleasant non-worldly feeling (Niramisa sukha vedanā)
6. Experience a painful worldly feeling (Sāmisa Dukkha vedanā)
7. Experience a painful non-worldly feeling (Nirāmisa dukkha vedanā)
8. Experience a neutral worldly feeling (Sāmisa adukkhamāsukha vedanā)
9. Experience a neutral non-worldly feeling (Nirāmisa adukkhamāsukha vedanā)

About this very shortly to say that this is the method or examine the person who is very quick in emotion. He is able to deal the bad or negative emotions. If he is more advanced on it with the neutral feeling (Upekkā), he is able to deal all kinds of emotional situations.
Seeing the Roots of Felling

‘When one experiences a pleasant feeling based in the body, he is aware, I am experience a pleasant feeling based on my body based in the body, when he experiences a pleasant feeling based in the mind, he is aware, I am experiencing the pleasant feeling based in the mind, …………………………………… .’

The author further says in this article, thus- “Our feelings-pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral- can have a physical, psychological, physiological root. When we mindfully observe our feelings has a physiological root. Nevertheless, to be able to identify the roots of your feeling manifest and to understand their true substance. To know a feeling is not just to see its roots but also to see its flowering and its fruits.”

Discursive Meditations

Douglas M. Burns says it is discursive meditation, which the Theravada Buddhists often recite, and they meditate on this loving kindness meditation (Mettā Bhāvanā) .

“My mind is temporarily pure, free from all impurities free from lust hatred and ignorance. Free from all evil thoughts.
My mind is pure and clean. Like a polished mirror is my stainless mind.
As a clean empty vessel is filled with pure water I now fill my clean heart and pure mind with peaceful and sublime thoughts of boundless love, overflowing compassion, sympathetic joy, and perfect equanimity.
I have now washed my mind and heart of anger, ill will, cruelty, violence, jealousy, envy, passion, and aversion.
May I be well and happy!
May I be free from suffering, diseases, grief, worry, and anger!
May I be strong, self-confident, healthy, and peaceful!
Now I charge every particle of my system. From head to foot, with thoughts of boundless love and compassion. I am the embodiment of love and compassion. My whole body is saturated with love and compassion. I am a stronghold, a fortress of love and compassion.
I have gained I now give unto others.

The Management of Negative Emotions
Cultivating the Heart

The experiences from Vedanānupassanā and Cuttānupassanā, or any other meditation methods which have been prescribe in Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta, if one do practice, ardently, clearly comprehending and mindfully must have psychological changes. Such changes are very essential. In experimental studies done on meditation, it has been observed that the harmony of the mind leads to the harmony of the body. The rhythms of breathing become very even respiration is calm, and there are positive changes in the body chemistry. Particularly, the practice of the meditation on cultivating good-will or loving kindness (Mettā) generates a healthy contact on both body and mind. These are so called Brahmavihāra, the four divine abodes of loving kindness (Mettā), compassion (Karuṇā), sympathetic joy and equanimity are emotions, and we can see a strong relation between contemplative intelligence and emotional intelligence. This meditation is considered as one that helps the cultivation of the heart and teaches patience and tolerance. The negative emotion, such as anger, resentment, envy, ego, conceit also can be managed. Such meditation helps the practitioners to develop a friendly and caring attitude to one self and others.

Emotional Intelligence & Cognitive Sciences
Thinking and Feeling

A very deep and scientific description of emotional & cognitive intelligence has shown by Padmasiri de Silva in his article. In conclusion of following topic says that, ‘it may be said that by using the Buddhist contemplative approach, understanding emotions is certainly a path way for discovering important insights. In fact the most powerful method for controlling, regulating or transforming emotions is to understand their nature. Thus when understanding emotions reveal features of it may be said emotional intelligence in the Buddhist context has epistemic (Knowledge-related) qualities . To make it in easy comprehensible next I would like to talk about how to deal the emotions with the nature, so called universal natures, as it is found in Buddhist canonical texts.

The Three Universal Natures

In Buddhist term it is called ‘Tilakkhaṇa’ means the three natures (of the universal). This is an important part of the teaching of the Buddha. This are-
1. Impermanence (Anicca)
2. Suffering (Dukkha)
3. Non-self (Anatta)

Before going to discussion on them concerning our body as well as the five aggregates, here now we will have a general knowledge concerning in our daily life understandings. The three characteristics of existence that we have in mind are impermanence, suffering, and non-self. These three characteristics are always present in or connected with existence. They remind us about the nature of existence. They help us to know what to do with existence. As a result of understanding them, we learn to develop renunciation, or detachment, and fearlessness of death.

We see that our bodies are impermanence and subject to constant change. We grow thin, old, and gray. Our teeth and hair fall out. At one moment we are happy, another moment we are sad. Our relations with other people are subject to change, impermanence. Friends become enemies, enemies become friends our possessions are also impermanence. All the things that we love, our homes, cars, friends, are all impermanence.

Understanding impermanence is the great benefit, here and now. Its directly effects to the attachment, craving, ill-will, or other desirable things as well.
Impermanent also is an occasion of suffering. And whatever is impermanence and suffering is also non-self. Similarly, we fail to recognize the impermanent nature of possessions, power, and dignities, so we are crave and cling to them. When they end impermanence is appeared as an occasion of suffering. We suffer time to time from bodily pain, hunger, thirsty, illnesses, unsuccessful, broken heart, and so on. They are the sufferings, and this is the nature of universe.

The third characteristic of universe is of non-self. This is one of the distinct features of the Buddhist philosophy. Still in this present world today there are many arguments from different philosophers that this teaching of non-self is really or not. Because this teaching of non-self is a cause of confusion because people wonder how one can deny the self! Since we do say ‘I’m talking, or I’m busy, I’m father, I’m mother, he is my father, he is a scholar, so and so. But the Buddha assuredly claimed the ultimately there is no self, or no personality. There are many similes and parables in the texts concerning this teaching showing how there is no self.

One of the beautiful similes of a chariot, here and now. The Buddha explained that the term ‘chariot’ is simply convenient name for a collection of parts that are assembled in a particular way. The wheel is not the chariot, nor is the axle, nor is the carriage, and so on. Like as, the term ‘chariot’ is just a convenient name for a collection of parts. So also the concept of ‘I’ is also the collection of five aggregates.


Concerning Buddhist psychotherapy, as the Buddha was a great psychotherapist, we will see now how the Buddha was healing his followers with regards to these three universal characteristics, as the five aggregate point of view

Section 3

Working with Chronic Pain

Thinking Patterns
(Psychological Exercises by Dr. Dale Martin)

In this section having read the topics from section 3 exercise 1 that have specified I express my estimation.

1. Filtering

The chronic pain (Mental) that I had a struggle in of my family is certainly negative that is an uncertain future. Times were passing their own ways, until now, they are going. But I did not forget that time would change. Yes, it is, but still there is something unstable, may be it is like this.

2. Polarized Thinking

Things are black or white, good or bad. Thinking polarized or un-polarized, every body claims that I’m perfect. I also, but may be some time failed.

3. Overgeneralization

Very few of perfect men in this world that I can say positively . One can come to a conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evident when he or she is well trained in particular profession, he receives, observes, and then decides. I do the same, most of the time.

4. Mind Reading

There are some people who could read others minds when he is supernatural one; some people are trying to be. What should we might consider since there are some blind and deaf become extraordinary!!! People should be pleasant with his speech, it can help.

5. Catastrophising

It is like the Tsunami, not come very often, only one better resolution is warning system, getting secure place. If a mother saw her lone one child swallowing by tsunami before mother she would run then. If the wave runs faster than her, no way to escape, she could say ‘Okay, also take me where you took my lovely child’. I also do the same when I’m unable to work.

6. Personalization

We wash our bodies because the dust, sweats, bad smell, with very expensive cosmetics. Then become fresh and enjoying everything. It also can be said one kind of personalization. But it is may be very low example. Thing is we don’t reflect our body that is subject to be disgusted, and it is until life last. So, washing the body does mean it is negative? Answer is, nothing to do, it is universal.

7. Control Fallacies

To control fallacies, if I’m beginner would ask my parents or my grandparents. If I’m not, suppose, some one asking me, die for God, I would not.

8. Fallacy of Fairness

Fair or unfair, when a bad man who always doing bad never think it is unfair. The concept. Wine glasses in front of you, your son and daughter playing near by. Or your friend called you go night club have an overnight there since your wife is waiting for you.

9. Blaming

“It’s my entire fault that this happened to me” is a common consolation. If some one does wrong out of curiosity, mindful-less, anger…he also takes take the responsibility of this. There is a stanza is Dhammapada ‘one who is not conceit in praising, not disappoint in blaming, is perfect wise man.’

10. Should/Must

Even a President has limited power, rules and regulations. We should/Must respect such thing. As for me, in Vinaya (Rules and regulation of monk) even I smile or laugh loudly, I should/Must be blamed. I feel a shame if a senior monk says you should not do this.

11. Reasoning

True that I get passionate whenever I see some good, nice and beautiful thing. I can not close my eyes since they are good. Really I let my feelings rule reasoning abilities. Some times before feeling stupid or boring I ask myself don’t be stupid. I believe myself this is only external beauty-ness not real.

12. Global Labeling

Global labeling is, I suppose, this is the discrimination of human being, such as black-white, east-west. At once to say human beings should know that they are human beings, and should respect their humanities.

13. Being Right

What has specified for this theme is, I suppose that is to be confident, one can be confident or positive when he or she is mastered on specific matter. I also try my best to be confident in my word and work.

14. Heaven’s Reward Fallacy

May be an expectation, no matter how much I sacrifice, there is a limitation, I should be prepared to here “No” since I expecting “Yes”! Low confident! Doesn’t matter, some time its also not work.

Exercise 2 by Dr Dale Martin

Loss and Grief

This exercise also was developed by Dr Dale Marin, a professional psychological with patient of Chronic pain. To summarize this I would like to say that this is can be called self reflection therapy .

Before enter to particular explanation on this it is to be notice that we are all in chronic pain, which is called Samsāra, the place of continuation of rebirth (Jāti), aging (Jarā), dying (Maraṇa).

In this exercise he points out some points that reflect ones own life continuation. Likewise-

1. What is Grief?
2. How do you know if you are grieving?
3. What are your losses because of your chronic pain?
4. How do you deny the reality of chronic pain?
5. Has your chronic pain made you angry? About what?
6. How have you bargained?
7. How have you begun to let it go?
8. How have you accepted your chronic pain?

He gives an account of them which really makes one self-aware, and to reflect oneself.

In the teaching of Paṭiccasamuppāda (Cause and Effect) is mentioned as the cause of grief is rebirth (Jāti) as I have told beginning. Through rebirth is conditioned aging, death (sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair) arise. (jāti paccayā jarāmaraṇa-dukkha-domanassa-upāyasa).

What is grief (Domanassa)?

The mental pain and mental unpleasantness, the painful and unpleasant feeling produced by mental contact. This is called grief. This is in short what has found in canonical texts. Which also refers to that explanation what Dr Dale Martin gives such as relationship changes life change, health change, job/School related change, any other changes .

It is, so called the chronic pain, it would continue until one attained the perfect liberation (Nibbāna) what the Buddhism says. In this very life, to work with them is necessary to develop our wisdom or knowledge or insight (Paññā), to develop morality (Sīla), and mental concentration (Samādhi). A life with the ultimate reality.

Section 4

Can East Really Meet West?


For this section the words were imitated 2000. I would like to answer in one word “Yes”. May be for this answer would be less for marking. I remember one of the interesting moments from Myanmar, one of our teachers was teaching Vipassanā subject. Before exam we were asking him about the question type. The he explained that there are 5 questions would be, 20 marks for each. One question was only “Is Vipassanā meditation difficult to practice? And further said if the answer is Yes, mark is 5, if answer is No, mark is 5, if both there also marking is 5. If it is explained why it is yes or not, or either, neither, with satisfaction, would be considered for more marks. Here, in this section, I have to.
In which sense the discuss is, I am not clear, suppose, it is about technical and scientific approaching between these two. I just want to say that the age of modern psychology few centuries ago, a big revolution was by Sigmund Freud with his Psycho-Analysis, in 1856 . The East that which indicates to Buddhist Teachings that the Buddha was teaching about 2550. Here I want to ask in liberal way that the topic should be like, “Can West Really Meet East”. Absolute truth is that in Buddhist Teachings there are some lack scientific approaches. Buddhist teaching is not for industry, for the realization of perfect mental happiness (Nibbāna). Such a way there are some criticisms between came out as I have found in website, and I carefully welcome them.

The Nature of Instincts; Buddhism, Schopenhauer, and Freud
In my first assignment of Unit 1 have discussed about the nature on instinct that according to Buddhism it is Taṇhā (Craving), according to Schopenhauer is will to live, according to Freud is ID .
Jungian Therapy and Buddhism
Carl Jung who showed humans in a positive sense and believe they are inherently predisposed to make their individual mark in the world. There are the similarities between the Buddhist Law of causalities and Jungian concept of synchronicity, the Buddhist law of Kamma and Jungian archetype, the Buddhist ninth level of consciousness and Jungian collective unconscious, and finally between Buddhist and Jungian concepts of spirit, matter, and time. Jung believed that the psyche is composed of interdependent systems comprised of the conscious (Nāma and Rūpa) which provide consistency and direction and handles perceptions, memories, thought, and feelings. The personal unconscious which contains forgotten or repressed material that has been lost to conscious thought but is still retrievable. The collective unconscious which is the transpersonal or non-personal conscious that is not concerned with any personal experience .
East or West: Only One Breath
Patricia Sherwood-Manne says, only one breath. In the article by Joy Mannè mostly there are comparing about the Buddhist Breathing meditation (Ānāpanassati) with Western psychological analysis, and also many others Eastern Buddhist traditions . This section also has referred for the East West meeting. Here I would like to re-mention about the relative (cognitive) therapies of contemporary and Buddhist Ānāpanassati meditation.

Contemporary Theory Buddhist Breathing Meditation
Breathing Therapy:
Minnicott (Freudian), Reich (Reichian), Bioenergeties (Lowen), Rebirthing (Orr, Ray, Leonard, Laut, Morningstar), Conscious Breathing Techniques ( Hendricks, Manne, etc) 1. As he breathes in a long breath he recognizes that he is breathing in along breath; as he breathes out….
2. ….as a short breath
Body Therapies
e.g. Reich, Lowen, Rebirthing, autogenic Training, Gentling, focusing, the new field of Somatic 3. he trains himself to breathe in and out experiencing his whole body
4. …calming bodily activities…
Positive emotions
All contemporary therapies and positive thinking techniques, etc. 5. ..Experiencing joy…
6. experiencing well-being..
All forms of analysis and psychotherapy; all the new methods of personal growth and spiritual development, all the body therapies. 7. …experiencing mental processes
8. calming mental processes
9. experiencing (his) mind
Peak experiences
Humanistic and transpersonal psychology, Reichian, Bioenergetics, rebirthing, conscious breathing technique. 10. in pleasing the mind
11. concentrating the mind
12. releasing the mind
(not only according to the Buddhist definition)
Transpersonal psychology, Peak experiences, Satori 13. observing impermanence
14. ..observing freedom from passion
15. observing cessation
16. observing renunciation

If we see carefully, my opinion is East and West can meet! However, in this section mostly emphasized the cognitive therapy. We will see now how contemporary psychologists meet with Buddhist meditation (East).
Buddhist-style (Eastern) meditation could be combined with cognitive therapy to help prevent depression in people with a history of depression it is the summary of the dialogue between Norman Swan and Mark Williams. For the cognitive therapy beside of the breathing meditation Prof. Mark Williams was talking about another kind of meditation is Eating meditation, recommends that even one raisin eating also could be used as for cognitive therapy. But do it mindfully, do it slowly, just focus on that one thing. They both agree that is a mind focusing technique.

Mindfulness with Clear Comprehension

Not only the raisin about, the Buddha was giving therapy to his follower in very deep but easy way called mindfulness with clear comprehension (Saṃpajāna), so called the cognitive therapy.
“Monks! a monk in going forward and in going back, applies clear comprehension. in looking straight on and in looking away from the front (he) applies clear comprehension. in bending his limbs and in stretching his limbs he also applies clear comprehension. in wearing the double robe and other robes, and in carrying the bowl, applies clear comprehension. In eating, drinking, chewing, and savoring, he applies clear comprehension. in obeying the calls of nature, he applies clear comprehension. in walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking, speaking, keeping silent, he applies clear comprehension. thus he dwells contemplating on the body in the body, externally, internally.”

Problems of East and West

Psychologists do not know Buddhism, Buddhists do not understand psychology: the "between-group" problem

Mainstream psychologists have only minimal understanding of Buddhism, which they typically perceive, often disparagingly and with a degree of mistrust, as an exotic, esoteric and alien religion or a New Age cult. In general, in most academic and training programs or at professional conferences, psychology of religion, occupies only a peripheral place relatively to its more hard-core experimental/cognitive or clinical counterparts. Buddhists terms (i.e. "meditation",”enlightenment", "nirvana", "satori" etc.) are often used with no or little understanding of their actual meaning. Many psychologists and psychiatrists, even if involved with Buddhism in some form, have only limited understanding of differences between various schools (e.g. Mahāyāna vs. Theravada vs. Pure Land Buddhism, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, etc.) or stages and/or types of training. There are only a few legitimately licensed psychologists (or psychiatrists) who have become authenticated Buddhist teachers. Even those, however, struggle with some of the difficulties listed below which often limits their ability to practice and teach both Buddhism and psychology.

Correspondingly, even though Buddhism has developed its own "psychology" (Abbhidharma), most Buddhist teachers have only rudimentary understanding of modern Western psychology and its epistemology and often, unknowingly, become entrapped in the psycho-bubble of "pop psychology" culture. Psychological terms (i.e. "Unconscious", "self", "therapy", "psychoanalysis", "ego", etc) are used indiscriminately, with little understanding of their intended meaning. Many authentic Buddhist teachers, in their sincere effort to communicate their insights to others, tend to "psychologize" their teachings, unaware that without proper training, they not only bastardize the original terms but also alienate more psychologically-minded audience. In addition, most of the Buddhist teachers have very limited knowledge or appreciation of the momentous influence science, technology and post-modern developments in contemporary culture, art and philosophy have had on our society, which alienates them from the zeitgeist of the new Millennium lived by so many of their students.

Many psychologists do not understand psychology; many Buddhists do not know Buddhism: the "within-group" problem.

There are psychologists and psychologists, and there are Buddhists and Buddhists. As in any area of any expertise, there is a great variation of competence, within their respective groups, among psychologists and Buddhist teachers. As not every artist is Picasso nor every musician Bach, there are great, mediocre and unremarkable psychologists as well as Buddhist teachers.
Many licensed psychologists have developed only very basic, practical skills necessary to get licensed and to practice the profession. They have no interest or the capacity to venture into more challenging territories. Others became experts in a narrow area, as the demands for specialization within psychology and psychiatry preclude devoting more time to other interests. Only a selected few have actually explored the nuances of cognitive science of consciousness, psychoanalysis, (de)constructivism and philosophy of the mind which, in their totality, construct a level of understanding not only completely different from the mainstream psychology, but also surprisingly similar to the direct yet subtle and profound teaching of more complex Madyamika or Yogācāra systems of late Mahāyana Buddhism (i.e. Zen, Vajrayāna, Tibetan Buddhism).

Similarly, most of the Buddhist teachers have received mainly a narrow, sectarian training in only one tradition of Buddhism. Often, being the first generation of Western Buddhists, they, as their teachers did, lack the vocabulary or the language necessary to articulate the teaching in a way acceptable to the Western mind. In a commendable yet somewhat pressured effort to proselytize, quality is often compromised, and "teaching authorizations" are imparted based on the candidate's loyalty and devotion to the teacher (or an institution) rather than predicated on actual realization / actualization. The limitations in handling the complexities and nuances of Buddhism as a whole, the Dharma, are particularly apparent among the pre-Mahāyāna schools of early Buddhism. In spite of great moral virtue, because of the above limitations, the pre-Mahāyana traditions have difficulties in connecting with more sophisticated, post-modern ideas in psychology and contemporary culture. Some of the Mahāyāna teachers, on the other hand, often lack the intellectual discipline or training necessary for a more rigorous and thorough investigation of the human mind and psyche demanded by modern (cognitive) science and psychology.
As a result, because of the "within-group" and the "between-group" problems, the quality of the dialogue between Buddhism and psychology is often compromised by the lack of insight, knowledge or language necessary for successful communication.

The table below illustrates different ways of how Buddhists and psychologists tend to cope with their differences:

Coping styles/mechanisms What psychologists do What Buddhists do
Style: Negate/dismiss

Mechanism: ignorance & arrogance Dismiss Buddhism as irrelevant or dangerous New Age or foreign cult Dismiss psychology as a theory irrelevant or detrimental to Buddhist teaching and practice
Style: Tolerate

Mechanism: incomplete exposure Accept Buddhism as an exotic albeit alien curiosity, Buddhism seen as New Age "healing" Embrace pop-psychology in teaching Buddhism, psychology seen as Buddhist Abbhidarma
Style: Explore

Mechanism: partial understanding "Spiritual" turn - use of basic/popular Buddhist concepts in personal life and in practice with patients /students "Psychologize" - use of quasi - psychological terms in teaching Buddhism
Style: Study

Mechanism: intellectual acceptance Become a Buddhist scholar, develop a good understanding of selected Buddhist concepts Develop a good grasp of selected psychological terms and interventions
Style: Practice

Mechanism: assimilation Become a formal student of an authentic Buddhist teacher, psychology becomes a part of Buddhist " practice" Enroll in a formal training at an approved psychological /medical training institution, Buddhism is used in the practice of psychology
Style: Mastery

Mechanism: integration Become an authenticated Buddhist instructor / teacher Become a licensed, Ph.D.-level psychologist or M.D. psychiatrist
Style: Transcendence

Mechanism: Embodiment Competent, compassionate & inter-disciplinary, non-sectarian use of language and action to help, educate & heal others, as needed, according to the circumstances, "Buddhism" and "psychology" transcended

This is the proper time to solve these problems, because the monks are not often living in the forest, the people in west getting impatience of unbound livelihood. East says every thing possible, west says I am moderate.


The problems are obvious. Need to be solved. Language and culture also big problem. The main problem is the concept of the concept of Buddhism. Which one should be taken first? Buddhism is psychology or is the teaching of the realization of Nibbāna (The Perfect Happiness).


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