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Psycho Buddhas – meet Tue March 15 — 5 Comments

  1. Great stuff by Thanissaro :

    ….he might find a Dharma teacher who would counsel the prince to find happiness in life’s little miraculous pleasures — a cup of tea, a walk in the woods, social activism, easing another person’s pain. Never mind that these forms of happiness would still be cut short by aging, illness, and death, he would be told. The present moment is all we have, so we should try to appreciate the bittersweet opportunity of relishing but not holding on to brief joys as they pass.

    Quite so. I got in trouble a few years ago for dismissing just such a view as not being enlightenment, but just another form of Dukkha. People were most vigorous defending their ‘spirituality’ of a beautiful waterfall’.
    But are these two terms enough for people not familiar with them to discuss? Perhaps something more substantive, like the first chapter of the classis ‘Varieties of Religious Experience’ which is freely available : http://hudevbooks.com/library/william_james_var.htm This author, and this book in particular was one of the world’s turning points. James was considered to be the Grandfather of psychology, but in the above lectures he really is concentrating on the ‘Religious Experience’

  2. Venerable Pandit,

    I’ve taken a look at the book link, specifically Chapter (Lecture) One. I am unclear to what you were referring when you said “something more ‘substantive….” Were you meaning in terms of Dhamma, the practice and how it related to the areas of psychology? Maybe you can suggest focus points/questions that we might consider as a basis for discussion of the recommended passage?

    • Sorry David – I should not have dissed your idea. Actually as I think about it, samvega/pasada is a great topic – as it speaks of the fundamental difference between psy and Buddhism – the goal of both lineages is very different. It also speaks to how Buddhism is being ‘Therapised’ these days with emphasis on mental/physical health benefits of meditation, rather than the quite extreme and fundamental goal of Nibbana. The only question is if that short peice by Thanissaro is enough to fuel a meeting. You are there more than I so should have a better idea on that. I like the W. James book. It would be nice to do each chapter. We could send the chapter out as ‘required’ reading and see what reflections/ideas ensue.

  3. I will try to make it there but just in case I miss it, save a copy of the book The Buddha’s Doctrine of Anatta for me. Thanks