Monday, September 1, 2008
BPS1102- The Mind & Its Dynamics in Buddhist Psychotherapy
Mindfulness of the Mind
Subject- Diploma of Buddhist Psychotherapy
BPS1102- The Mind & Its Dynamics in Buddhist Psychotherapy
Mind as Source of Happiness or Suffering- Page-
Cultivating Mindfulness in Buddhist Practice- Page-
Exploring Mindfulness in My Own Life- Page-
Mindfulness as Psychotherapy – Page-
Mind as Source of Happiness and Suffering
“Mind precedes all unwholesome actions
Mind is their chief;
They are all mind-wrought.
If with an impure mind
A person speaks or acts
Misery follows him
Like the wheel the foot of the drawing ox.
Mind precedes all wholesome actions
Mind is their chief;
They are all mind-wrought.
If with a pure mind
A person speaks or acts,
Happiness follows him
Like his never-departing shadow.
That is we say Mind as source of happiness or suffering, our daily life actions or performances, good (Kusala) or bad (Akusala) either, with happiness or without. There is the discussion what the Buddhist psychology says about this.
(The diagram is not appearing, sorry about that).
The Mental Properties
“The innate world view that happiness and suffering come from external sources leads us to believe that if we could only make others and the world be what we wanted them to be, then we would be happy”, here the external sources is the mental properties of the Mind are called Cetasika (Mental factors or mental properties). They are 52, are of happiness or suffering, either or neither.
Cetasika is the phenomenon, which is associated with the mind or consciousness. There are 52 mental states or properties, The Cetasika –
1. Arise together with consciousness (Citta)
2. Perish together with it
3. Have an identical object with it and
4. Have a common basis with it.
There are seven common properties of a mind; in Pāli it is called ‘Sabba Citta Sādhāarana’. So called on account of being common to all classes of consciousness and they are present in all consciousness:
1. Contact (Phassa)
2. Feeling (Vedanā)
3. Perception (Saññā)
4. Volition (Cetanā)
5. One pointed-ness of the mind (Ekāggatā)
6. Psychic life (Jīvita)
7. Attention (Mānasikāra)
Six particulars, so called because they invariably enter into composition with consciousness,
1. Initial application (Vitakka)
2. Sustained application (Vicāra)
3. Effort (Vīriya)
4. Pleasurable interest (Pīti)
5. Desire to do (Chanda)
6. Deciding (Adhimokkha)
The above thirteen kinds of mental properties are also called mixtures or better consciousness properties.
Immoral Mental Properties
1. Greed (Lobha)
2. Hate (Dosa)
3. Delusion (Moha)
4. Error (Diṭṭhi)
5. Conceit (Māna)
6. Envy (Issa)
7. Selfishness (Macchariya)
8. Worry (Kukkucca)
9. Shamelessness (Ahirika)
10. Recklessness (Anottappa)
11. Distraction (Uddhacca)
12. Sloth (Thina)
13. Torpor (Middha)
14. Perplexity (Vicikicchā)
Moral Mental Properties
The rest are called moral mental properties. They should be cultivated:
1. Disinterestedness (Alobha)
2. Amity (Adosa)
3. Reason (Amoha)
4. Faith (Saddhā)
5. Mindfulness (Sati)
6. Modesty (Hīri)
7. Discretion (Ottāpa)
8. Balance of mind (Tatramajjhattata)
9. Composure of mental properties (Kāyapassaddhi)
10. Composure on mind (Cittapassaddhi)
11. Buoyancy of mental properties (Kāyalahūta)
12. Buoyancy of mind (Cittalahūa)
13. Pliancy of mental properties (Kāyamadua)
14. Pliancy of mind (Cittamadua)
15. Adaptability of mental properties (Kāyakammaññata)
16. Adaptability of mind (Cittakammaññata)
17. Proficiency of mental properties (kāyapaguññata)
18. Proficiency of mind (Cittapaguññata)
19. Rectitude of mental properties (Kāyujukata)
20. Rectitude of mind (Cittujukata)
21. Right speech (Sammavācā)
22. Right action (Sammakammanta)
23. Right livelihood (Sammājīva)
24. Pity (Compassion)(Karūṇā)
25. Appreciation (Mūditā)
They are as sources of happiness and suffering. In canonical texts they are called as wholesome (Kusala) and unwholesome (Akusala).
Mental Properties with Good or Bad
Among them, some mental properties associated with either good or bad (Happiness or suffering). They are number 1 to 7 and 1 to 6, altogether 13 mental properties (contact, feeling,. will).
Mental Properties of Feeling
The six kinds of (external) objects such as form or sight (Rūpārammana), sound and so on, each of these same six objects can be subdivided into 3 aspects-
1 Desirable objects (Itthārammana) - beautiful appearance, sweet sound, enticing smell, relishing taste, sensual touch, good names, excellent building, houses, car, and so on.
2 Undesirable objects (Anitthārammana) - ugly appearance, horrid sound, oppressive smell, and insipid taste, unwholesome touch, bad names and squalid building, and so on.
3 Moderately desirable objects (Itthamajjhatthārammana) - an object which is not included in good or bad, desirable or undesirable.
The term Vedanā is either of Happiness or suffering. There are five kinds of feeling-
1 Happiness (Sukha), the Vedanā that enjoys that good taste.
2 Suffering (Dukkha), the Vedanā that enjoys the bad taste.
3 Mental well-being (Somanassa), so called because people enjoy the good taste, they do so joyfully. It becomes prominent while enjoying sensual pleasures.
4 Mental suffering (Domanassa), it is just the opposite feeling of Sukha or Somanassa
5 Neutral feeling (Upekkhā), the tastes that are not evidently good or evidently bad, the Vedanā that enjoys that taste is called Upekkha Vedanā, neutral feeling. Because enjoying or experiencing the taste if this Vedanā is not evident, one may not be aware of it when one is enjoying or experiencing it. But while experiencing many objects when one is sitting, walking, going or coming many neutral feelings that are not evidently experiencing the taste of the objects, are arising.
The feeling (in general) experiences the taste of the objects that have to do with wholesome states as well as those that have to do with unwholesome states. Since it can experience the taste of both good or bad and bad objects, noticing that when someone says- “I enjoy sensual pleasures,” or “I enjoy the taste of the Dhamma,” This is happiness or unhappiness meant.
Recognition of the Mind (Saññā)
It is making marks or noting. This making mark is evident only in those who are unintelligent and not well-informed. When children are told, “This is your father, this is your mother,” they store in their memory “Papa” and “Mama”. When we visit a strange town we note everything that is strange to us. So, far everybody’s Saññā functions in diverse ways, happiness or suffering.
Saññā of the Mind affords two advantages; when a person comes to know an action is good or wholesome. At a later time too he remembers that this action as it is good. Saññā is difference from Paññā (wisdom or knowledge) which recognizes only what is correct. But Saññā makes notes of what is wrong and what is right, (what is happiness and suffering).
Saññā Mistaken As Sati
Recalling one’s virtuous performances is due to Mindfulness (Sati), as well as to good Saññā. But true mindfulness occurs only in the realm ok Kusala (good performances). However there are also false Saññā and unreal Sati, too. Remembering one’s first love for many years is unwholesome (Akusala), and it is not real mindfulness.
Volition is Action
“Cetanāhaṁ bhikkhave kammaṁ vadāmi”- Monks- I declare Volition is action, the Buddha said. Following this statement, note that when the volition is forceful, action is strong; when the volition is feeble, action is weak, either in good or bad sense. Suppose, good is happiness, and bad is suffering. Buddhist teaching is to do good, not to do bad, can say, enjoy the happiness and prevent the suffering.
On this circumstance, either of happiness or suffering, rehabilitation is that the developing and cultivating the mental factors that are wholesome and indifference. Ven. Teubten Chodron says there are patience and love to be cultivated to oppose anger, and so on. This is the four sublime states of the mind, also called BrahmaVihāra. The perfect rehabilitation of the mind, they are
1. Mettā- loving-kindness, keeping mind incessantly occupied with mettā, for all. Mettā must be developed so that the mind becomes enriched with loving kindness.
2. Karūṇā- loving compassion, for all beings suffering from misery, must be developed and cultivated.
3. Mūditā- Sympathetic joy, at the success, prosperity and achievement of others. It is the sincere wish to let others continue enjoying their wealth, position, progress, happiness, fame, and so on.
4. Upekkhā- indifference feeling or equanimity, which is viewing rightly and having no partiality, an unshaken mind in blames and praises, good or bad.
The wholesome mental properties should be developed; mind should be cultured and cultivated through them. Even though, in Buddhist ultimate sense Mind (and Matter or Nāma-rūpa) is suffering (saṅkittena Pañcuppādanakkhandha dukkha). As long as we do or develop our wholesome actions, we are happy in this very life.
Cultivating Mindfulness in Buddhist Practice
The word Bhāvanā we find often in Buddhist term which has various meanings. Generally in English is called Meditation. Literally it is meant ‘(something) calling into existence.’ But some traditional Buddhist scholars used to translate as ‘mental development’ or mental culturing. The word ‘meditation’ means many different things to many different people. And practicing meditation is not a ritual or a ceremony to be performed. It is no sense a mythical state. Meditation is a straightforward practice designed to cultivate awareness of the present moment. But in Buddhism, as the Buddha’s teaching, Buddhists give priority to practice meditation. The term Mindfulness which is called Sati, also has many different meanings as California Buddhist Vihāra society defines. The importance, cultivation, and all about the Mindfulness have explained in early Buddhist discourse which is called Discourse on Great Mindfulness (Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta).
This is The Only Way
(The cultivation of) Mindfulness, the Buddha said this is the only one way or direct way (Ekāyano maggo) for-
1. the Purification of beings (Mind)- (Sattānaṃ visuddhiyā)
2. for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation (Sokaparidevānaṃ samatikkamāya)
3. for the disappearance of pain and grief (Dukkhadomanassānaṃ atthaṅgamāya)
4. for reaching the noble path (ñāyassa adhigamāya)
5. for the realization of Nibbāna (Nibbānassa sacchikiriyāya)
And the way is four foundations of Mindfulness (Cattāro satipaṭṭhānā), they are
1. Mindfulness of the body in the body- (Kāyānupassanā)
2. Mindfulness of feelings –(Vedanānupassanā)
3. Mindfulness of consciousness –(Cittānupassanā)
4. Mindfulness of the nature (Dhamma)- Dhammānupassanā
Who is Mindful in Mindfulness?
As we have discussed that the human body is a psychophysical complex, nothing but only form, feeling, perception, formation, and consciousness. If it is asked who meditate then, answer is the consciousness (Viññāṇa) meditates depend on others or taking help from other aggregates.
So, when the consciousness conscious as desirable objects, or the negative emotions, anxiety, stress, depression, anger, guilt, shame, frustration, boredom, and so on, we suffer. So, our main purpose of the Buddhist Psychotherapy is to keep the Mind in possessive emotions, to make the Mind controlled, calm, and tranquil, to make it enable to be freed from suffering.
The intrinsic value of the method of cultivating Mindfulness is that, by making us more aware of ourselves, it can lead to an appreciation of our individual place in life with regards to the behaviors. We are able to face the vicissitudes of life peacefully, calmly and wisely. By following the method of Mind cultivating we will be able to live as neurosis-free beings, free from fear and worry. In our daily life, this alone is enough justification for the regular practice of this method or meditation. But it is also brings the further benefits of a greater understanding of life, leading to purity of behavior, speech, and thought, and a deep serenity born of seeing the world as it really is, not as we wish it to be. But in ultimate sense, as Buddhism prescribes that it is the way of making Mind enlightenment. Generally, our Minds are clouded by defilement, lust and ignorance, so, we are unable to see things in their proper nature. It is like looking through a veil or a piece of tinted glass. We do not see the things as we would like them to be. For instance, because we like to perceive our bodies as objects of beauty, we spend much time and efforts to decorate of beautify them with attractive clothes, cosmetics, and various perfumes. All of these establishments prevent us from seeing the real nature of the body, which in its true state is not so attractive. Buddhist meditation enables us to see the things as they really are, shorn of our preconceived ideas, our projections, our likes and dislikes. The elders say, ‘one who ever has not practiced meditation (Bhāvanā), can not claim that he or she is a real Buddhist.’ In this sense, according to Buddhist Psychotherapy point of view, we can say, who ever has not tried to cultivate the Mind or Mindfulness, he or she is the unable one to recognize that he or she is a human being.
In Buddhist practice there are two methods of Mind culturing, or two kinds of meditation.
1. Tranquility method (Samatha)
2. Insight method (Vipassanā)
Tranquility Method (Samatha)
Concentration is the indispensable foundation and precondition of insight by purifying the Mind from the five great internal hindrances.
It is the most effective method. The system of this method is taking one object through the Mind and being Mindful or contemplated on it time to time. When a meditator contemplates only one object time to time Mind becomes fully concentrated on the object. That time the unwholesome mental state can not arise on Mind, and continuous contemplation makes Mind peaceful and calm.
According to the Visuddhimagga commentary there are 40 kinds of Tranquility meditation or in 40 ways one can make Mind calm, tranquil, and one-pointed. They are following-
1. 10 device meditation (Kasina)
2. 10 Loathsome (Asubha)
3. 10 recollections (Anussati)
4. 4 Sublimes Abodes (Brahma-Vihāra)
5. 4 Immaterial Spheres (Arūpāyatana)
6. 1 Perception of the loathsomeness of food (Āhārepaṭikulasaññā)
7. 1 Analysis of the 4 elements (Catudhātuvavatthana).
It should be noticed that these 40 kinds of method are suitable to according to the persons’ temperaments. As we knew there are six kinds of person with different temperaments. For instance, those who are greedy rooted, all the time seeking for sensual pleasures; loathsome (Asubha) meditation is suitable for them. But the recollection (Anussati) meditation is suitable for as much as all kinds of tempered, especially the in breath and out breath meditation (Ānāpanassati).
Insight Method (Vipassanā)
Insight is the intuitive light flashing forth and exposing the truth of the impermanence, the suffering and the impersonal and unsubstantial nature of all corporeal and mental phenomena of existence. It is insight wisdom that is the decisive liberating factor in Buddhism, though it has to develop along with the two other trainings in morality and concentration.
The Buddha said this is the only way or (direct way) for the purification of the Mind. It trains us initially to see the Mind-body process as it occurs within ourselves, and then see the real nature of this external thing. We need to be aware of the Buddhist teaching with regard to the nature of the Mind and body which is said to consist of five portions. The meditator comes to see this individuality and as phenomena subjects to continues change.
The insight that we gain from this practice is unique because people do not usually look at their own experience in this way. In daily life, people often have distorted perceptions, views and opinions, which cloud their insight into reality. Therefore, this method of insight meditation is said to be direct way to purification.
There are some more modern explanation of this is found in the Book “Full Catastrophe Living” by Jon Kabit-Zinn. Some definitions also found in the lecture of California Buddhist Vihāra society in details. A 18 days of Mindfulness exercise quotes that this is such a pure Vipassanā meditation that we can apply in daily life. But it is true that it is not easy to see the reality unless the Mind is calmed, concentrated, and pure, unless the sense faculties are controlled.
In Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna, which is explained as the Mindfulness with clear Comprehension (Sampajānapabbaṃ)
The Postures of the Body
There are five kinds of body postures marked in this method. They are-
5. Body is in any disposed.
Being fully aware of his body posture is the method of this meditation. Such as, when he goes somewhere he knows, that I ‘m going, when he stands, he knows that I’m standing.
Mindfulness with Clear Comprehension
This is the method that fully comprehended in the every movement of the body. Such as one in going forward and in going back, applies clear comprehension. In looking straight on and in looking away from the front, applies clear comprehension. In bending his limbs and in stretching his limbs, applies clear comprehension. Eating, drinking, touching the thing, wearing cloths, whenever, applies the clear comprehension.
Samatha and Vipassanā Together!
Especially in Burma (Myanmar) some popular meditation centers notice about this argument whether it is Samatha or Vipassanā, or either. Because the Ānāpanassati Bhāvanā found in both methods. For a beginner the first stage of in Vipassanā meditation practice can be called a learning stage. Even though he or she is not the beginner but to start especially in sitting meditation should take breathing as primary object. Or the rise and fall of the abdomen or even something else which is physical. But a very meaningful and reliable explanation in this argument has found in the interview of Venerable Nyānaraṃsi in Eastern Horizon the Buddhist Magazine published in Malaysia. He says, “You can combine both methods. He recommends the Vipassanā method as a start and later one can learn Samatha. Samatha meditation functions as a support for the Vipassanā practice. As we say Samatha is the method which makes Mind calm, and without calm Mind one can not practice Vipassanā properly. Venerable Nyānaraṃsi recommends that a session of mettā meditation can be used to reduce restlessness in our Mind before switching back to Vipassanā. And mettā meditation is one of the Samatha meditations. When a person has gone through a long and intensive Vipassanā retreat, he is advice to take a period of rest for about two or three weeks to do mettā meditation. Very interesting to mention that he was the Conductor of the Meditation Center since I was practicing meditation in Burma.
There are 8 kinds of sphere of Mind mastery that we find in Buddhist texts. It is also like the practicing the right Mindfulness.
1. When, personally conscious of body, any one sees forms exterior to himself whether limited, lovely and ugly, he is thus conscious. ‘Having mastered them, I know, I see them’. This is the first sphere of mastery.
2. When, personally conscious of body, any one sees forms exterior to himself, whether boundless, lovely or ugly, he is thus conscious. ‘Having mastered them, I know, I see them’. This is the second sphere of mastery.
3. When, personally unconscious of body, any one sees forms exterior to himself, whether limited, lovely or ugly, he is thus conscious. ‘Having mastered them, I know, I see them’. This is the third sphere of mastery.
4. When, personally unconscious of body, any one sees forms exterior to himself, whether boundless, lovely or ugly, he is thus conscious’. ‘Having mastered them, I know, I see them’. This is the fourth sphere of mastery.
5. When, personally unconscious of body, any one sees the forms exterior to himself, blue, blue in color, blue in appearance, reflecting blue, he is thus conscious. ‘Having mastered them, I know, I see them.’ This is the fifth sphere of mastery.
6. When, personally unconscious of body, any one sees the forms exterior to himself, yellow, yellow in color, yellow in appearance, reflecting yellow, he is thus conscious. ‘Having mastered them, I know, I see them.’ This is the fifth sphere of mastery.
7. When, personally unconscious of body, any one sees the forms exterior to himself, red, red in color, red in appearance, reflecting red, he is thus conscious. ‘Having mastered them, I know, I see them.’ This is the fifth sphere of mastery.
8. When, personally unconscious of body, any one sees the forms exterior to himself, white, white in color, white in appearance, reflecting white, he is thus conscious. ‘Having mastered them, I know, I see them.’ This is the fifth sphere of mastery.
It is important to cultivate Mindfulness, and for this Buddhist practice is unique. Jon Kabit-Zinn uses Mindfulness as Medicine. There is a saying in canon, ‘the world is leading by Mind’ (Cittena niyate loke). Lust, hate, love, compassion, violence etc are arising time to time though Mind. To overcome them we must cultivate Mindfulness or train the Mind. The Mind does this by following a threefold training; morality (Sīla, concentration (Samādhi) and discernment or wisdom (Paññā). Morality provides the joy & freedom from remorse that are essential for concentration. Concentration provides an internal basis of pleasure, rapture, equanimity, & singleness of Mind that is not dependent on sensual objects, so that discernment can have the strength to cut through the Mind’s clinging. Discernment functions by viewing these clinging as part of a chain; seeing their origin, their passing away, their allure, the drawbacks of their results, finally, emancipation from them, to be said Mindfulness is cultivated.
Exploring Mindfulness in My Own Life
By the year 1999, for first time I had participated a 10 days meditation course since I was a 5th month novice (Samaṇera). But true that I could not enjoy the course, finally I found the reason that at that time I did not know why we should meditate. Even though I could not enjoy the meditation at that time but the habit of meditation as it was a schedule for meditation was strong with me and later on often I was keeping in practicing. At least once or twice or more a day I was practicing, and I discussed about the meditation course to friends that the teacher said so and so.
From my novice-hood I had a dream to visit Burma and practice there meditation. After the 10 days course the desire became stronger. Fortunately, in 2002 I got a scholarship from Burma Government to study in International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, Yangon. We started to attend the classes. The curriculums were from original Tipiṭaka, finally I came to know this curriculum is pure Buddhist teaching and derived from original texts.
Most important thing was the meditation classes, both practical and theory. We had been taught how to practice both Samatha and Vipassanā meditation, in daily life, and how to be mindful in every movement of the movements.
We had vacation twice in an academic year. That time mostly students used to go meditation centers, for that the authority takes care of them. I was undertaking meditation seriously. Day by day everything came into balance. Because there was only meditation, while eating, walking, bathing, every where. In sitting meditation I was recommended by the teacher that should start with in breathing and out breathing meditation or rising and falling movement of abdomen. This method helped to be interested and long times mindfulness.
This background is my present foundation of daily life mindfulness. For firstly I could not enjoy the course because I did not know about why should we meditate. Its like one who gets sick and then takes medicine. But in meditation center I was so delighted and encouraged because I knew that time why we should meditate. Because I had been taught that this or that is suffering, and the method which leads to the end of suffering. I realized Mindfulness is the best thing in our daily life.
What is the Felt Experience of Mindfulness?
Since that time, as I said I was suffering from loneliness, stress, and sleepless. When I came to undertaking mindfulness meditation, regular, time to time, I got a big change of my experience. I forgot all aloneness, kept balance in stress, and had good sleep later on. Still I do the same when ever I face such negative emotions. It helps me to be happy in my daily life.
How Has Mindfulness Helped Me Negotiate the Challenge in My Life?
Everybody has dreams in life. Me too, but it’s quite different than others as I m a Buddhist monk. Even though a Buddhist monk, as I’m said to be a Puthujjana (Worldly or the ordinary person). That this we are heard often from the text. That is I remember all the time that good and bad both is possible for me. Through my knowledge and my struggle may be I could gain some good but what we know the thing that all are impermanence (Anicca), suffering (Dukkha), non-self (Anatta). Such kind of mindfulness helped me to negotiate the challenge in my life.
Before practicing mindfulness and later the dreams have changed, with the balance. We feel sorry when we are lost; we lament, cry, or get angry. When we are in success, we are happy, become greedier, we look for more, proud, conceit, arrogance. When some one blames us we feel shame and sorry, when some one praises us we feel proud. Both are not good. That’s why the Buddha said one who is unshaken in either blame or praise; he or she is the perfect wise one. That the thing I remember in such situation, and it helps me to be balanced.
As I came to know the Buddha’s teachings, it reminds me that association with dislike one is suffering, disassociate from beloved one is suffering, not getting what one wants is suffering. Practicing equanimity (Upekkhā) is the best for this situation that I realized. If I do good, it will bring me good result; if I do bad it will bring me bad result. It is what the Buddha said the teaching of Kamma and Kammaivipāka, and Paṭiccasamuppāda.
Usually I start my day with good thing, such as I practice Ānāpanassati early in the bed. Wish all good to all; I control my verbal, bodily, and mental actions as much as I can. As a monk I show my loving kindness even to an insect in the street seeing it is in suffering. Knowingly I don’t hurt even an ant crossing the street. These things make me humble, and polite.
I would like to say mindfulness is a protection from all dangers, as medicine for recovering suffering, a key to mental happiness.
A very interesting verse always comes through my mind that-
“Mindfulness is the path to the deathless,
Mindful-less-ness is the path to death.
Mindful one does not die,
One who is not mindful,
Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
The Attitudinal Foundation of Mindfulness Practice
The judgment of good makes us feel good or happy. And the judgment of bad makes us feel bad or suffering. Jon Kabit-Zinn recommends that not to judge, just let it be and see how long it does, says, when you find the mind judging, you don’t have to stop it from doing that. All that is required is to be aware of it happening. No need to judge the judging and make matters even more complicated for yourself. Patience is a form of wisdom, in such situation we should be patience with the mind and its functions. The beginner’s mind, need to be cultivated first which is willing to see everything as if for the first time. In this case a particular technique might be use, either sitting meditation or Yoga (Samatha). It is just an experience for the further development of the beginner’s mind.
Thrust attitude and basic wisdom of individual is very important in all aspects of the meditation practice. Not in the reputation of teacher and authority, we must honor our own feeling and intuition, with us, here and now. However, a purpose can be a real obstacle this is because meditation is different from all other human activities. It has only one goal that is only to be with the mind. Accept that u have a headache, if you don’t, a conflict might arise between mind and its feelings. Accept when it should be. Often our minds get us caught in very much the same way in spite of all our intelligence. For this reason, cultivating the attitude of letting go, or non-attachment, is fundamental to the practice of mindfulness. The experience, letting go is a way of letting thing be, of accepting things as they are.
Therapy and Meditation
These both are a path to wholeness as it has distinct by the Author, with his case studies and his own experiences. The nature of meditation and therapy is the same, and a path to wholeness. He says if we really want to live a full life, both the ancient tradition of Buddhism and the modern one of psychotherapy tell us that we must recover the capacity to feel. Avoiding emotions will only wall us off from our true selves, infect there can be no wholeness without an integration of feelings. Both traditions have discovered that the way to plumb the full depths of our emotional being is by letting ourselves go, by surrounding to who we really are. And both traditions understand that we need a state of reverie in order to know our emotions. Whether that reverie comes through meditation or the quiet holding space of therapy, it is always necessary. The author further says that meditation seeks to create an inner holding environment for the raw material of emotional experience through non-judgmental awareness. Same way meditation acts like a stealth bomber, sneaking through all the defenses and illuminating the central fortress of the heart. Buddhism teaches us again and again that uncovering and experiencing difficult feelings does not make them go away, but does enable us to practice tolerance and understanding wit the entirety of our being. He comments that western therapy can learn to make use of the Buddhist emphasis on acceptance of feelings rather than talking and analyzing. The therapist and patient can create a situation in which these unacknowledged emotions are finally given breathing space.
Buddhism as Psychotherapy
In psychotherapeutic aspect of Buddhism is entirely psychotherapy. There are many references to refer this argument found in Canonical texts. Especially in Aṅguttara Nikāya it is mention that “there are two kinds of disease, Physical and mental. There are
People who enjoy freedom from physical disease for one year, two years,…….. even for a hundred year or more than. But rare in this world are that who enjoy freedom from mental disease even for a one moment, except the Arahant or a perfected disciple of the Buddha it is recognized by the Buddhist scholars that the ultimate aim of the Buddha, according to the Pāli Nikāyas, is to produce Arahant. Arahantship was the culmination of the original Buddhist practice. If the Arahant only is the person with perfect mental health, the aim of the Buddha was to produce mentally healthy personalities. This means that Buddhism as a psychotherapy or rather than ultimate psychotherapy.
The Buddha himself claimed in many occasions that he is not only the Buddha but also the “Unsurpassable physician and surgeon (anuttaro bhisakko sallakatto) and also the “Unsurpassable trainer of persons” (anuttaro purisadammo sārathi). In modern psychological language may be called as the “Super Psychiatrist” and the “Super Personality Trainer”.
There are many therapeutic technique of the Buddha. In Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta of Saṃyutta Nikāya is it mentioned that there are two extreme modes of living to be avoided. One is the pursuit of sensual pleasure which is bi-polarized as seeking sensual pleasure and avoiding sensual pains. The other extreme is self mortification and asceticism. Avoiding both, the Buddha teaches a third intermediate way called Majjhimapatipadā, which consists of an awareness of reality and is accompanied by thinking, speaking, acting and living in harmony with it.
The Freudian concept of ID, or Ego or Super Ego, what the Buddha said about 2550 years ago that is Taṇhā, thirst, is threefold, thirst for pleasure, the thirst for existence, and the thirst for non-existence. There are many other remarkable teaching of the Buddha which is related to this point, such as the teaching of self or non-self, the three universal characteristics, the dependent originations, Kamma and its results. Having seen all the therapeutic techniques of the Buddha we can say that Buddhism as psychotherapy.
The Essence of Buddha Abhidhamma
The Abhidhamma Piṭaka, which is the third and great collection of the Buddhist Teachings. The subject matter of Abhidhamma is the four ultimate realities and the causal relations between them. The treatment of the subject-matter is highly technical and remarkably systematic making use of purely philosophical terms true in the absolute sense.
If one can patiently study the treaties on Abhidhamma, one can not but admires the profound wisdom and the penetrative insight of the Buddha. But it is not easy to study one’s own effort. But there is well known treatise called Abhidhammattha Saṅgha, written by Ven. Anuruddha in India. The subject matter of this book is the essential facts of Abhidhamma.
There are two kinds of realities.
1 Paññatti Sacca- the conceptional or conventional truth or the name. Such as man, car, chair, table, and so on.
2 Paramāttha Sacca- the ultimate realities
From the point of scientific view, man, house or all living and non-living things are not ultimate realities since they are composed of electrons, protons, neutrons and energy. Furthermore, since all the sub atomic particles may be regarded as bundles of energy, only may be taken as the ultimate reality in science. Likewise, in Abhidhamma, all the ultimate realities have been analyzed.
There are four Paramāttha or ultimate realities in Abhidhamma
1 Citta- consciousness of the sense or awareness of an object, generally called the mind.
2 Cetasika- mental factors or mental concomitants. What we called the mind is actually a combination Citta and Cetasika. Cetasikas are 52 kinds.
3 Rūpa- corporeality or material quality. They are changeable. There are 28 kinds of Rūpa.
4 Nibbāna- extension of defilements and suffering, perfect liberation.
Citta and Cetasika collectively called Nāma (Mind). A person is made up of Rūpa, Citta and Cetasika, shortly called Nāma-rūpa- (Mind-matter). Nibbāna, the principal of cessation of suffering and lasting peace which always existing in nature. It can be realized only by the wisdom eye accompanied by the path and its fruition (Magga-phala Nana).
The study of Abhidhamma furnishes one with the right view that “I” or the Atta does not exist and what really exist in man are these four ultimate realities i.e. Citta, Cetasika, Rūpa. Understanding the mental states can help one to control one’s temperament. And to avoid unwholesome mental states, thus reducing mental suffering and curing many mental states.
Abhidhamma is really the golden knowledge which will help one to discard wrong views and to acquire the right view for one’s total liberation from all miseries.
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