Buddhism And Western Psychology Essay

2185 words - 9 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

Our internal world governs our happiness, not conditions put upon us from our external environment or conditions we place on ourselves. To put it another way, our search for happiness is the very reason we’re unhappy (McLeod, 2007). Psychology considers happiness an emotion or mental state and a predictor of how well one’s life is going. Some say that happiness is a choice, and therefore a behavior that one chooses. Happiness is a way of interpreting the world, since while it may be difficult to change the world, it is always possible to change the way we look at it (McLeod, 2007).
Positive Psychology
Positive psychology, which has emerged recently, is the scientific study of human thriving. Psychology traditionally focuses on dysfunction—on people with mental illness or other psychological problems and how to treat them. Positive psychology, by contrast, is a relatively new field that examines how ordinary people can become happier and more fulfilled. In his 1998 APA presidential address, Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, argued that psychology had become too focused on curing mental illness according to a disease model, and that, for all intents and purposes, it had become a “victimology” (Seligman, 1998). What was needed, he averred, was a new “science of human strengths,” a positive psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). The field of Positive Psychology was founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play for authentic happiness. Martin Seligman created the acronym PERMA (Pleasure, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishments) to summarize Positive Psychology. Studies have shown that PERMA has given people the mental and emotional state of being happy. However, these factors are subjective and cannot bring long-term happiness for most people. If these conditions are changed unfavorably in any way, the emotional state of happiness is lost.
Basics of Buddhism
Buddhism is over 2500 hundred years old, and consists of dharma, (Buddha’s teachings). Many people believe that Buddhism is a religion, though it does not worship a supernatural power and God is absent from all Buddhist teachings. There is no belief system but it does contain some fundamental principles. Buddhism is non-dogmatic in its teachings. It encourages one to adopt an attitude that is the opposite of belief or blind faith and to use one’s intelligence instead. Buddhism encourages one to use the entire range of their mental, emotional, and spiritual abilities.
The basis of the majority of Buddha’s teachings is The Four Noble Truths. Buddha, understanding that the mind is the creator of all experience, discovered The Four Noble truths after he became enlightened. He came to the realization that human suffering is enivitable and by acknowledging what causes human suffering, one can start down the...

Other Papers Like Buddhism And Western Psychology

Ass N Titties Essay

1326 words - 6 pages There is almost no doubt that there is a relationship between psychology and philosophy. Indeed, many people actually considering that the philosophies related to and concerned with the mind and thought are the precursor to modern psychology. Of course, most of these philosophies were decidedly western, or popular in the west. However, the problem with our western views of consciousness in philosophy and psychology is that often times the way

Outline of Buddhism and Hinduism

538 words - 3 pages starting to disagree with the Caste system and certain areas are banning it. E. Buddhism and Hinduism both differ from Christianity and Islamic Faiths. 1) Buddhism is an adaptive religion unlike Christianity and Islam. 2)Hinduism doesn't have a single founder, specific theological system, single system of morality, or central religous organization also unlike Christianity and other Western religions. V. Through all there differences, Buddhism and Hinduism are to very different cultures that influence each others religions. A. They are both still strongly practiced and changing. B.

What Is Psychology

973 words - 4 pages unchanging soul. Divergent Hindu doctrines, and Buddhism, have challenged this hierarchy of selves, but have all emphasized the importance of reaching higher awareness. Yoga is a range of techniques used in pursuit of this goal. Much of the Sanskrit corpus was suppressed under the British East India Company followed by the British Raj in the 1800s. However, Indian doctrines influenced Western thinking via the Theosophical Society, a New Age group which

Buddhist Worldview

789 words - 4 pages The Umbrella of Buddhism The never-ending debate amongst scholars on whether Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy is not a debate on Buddhism – it is an artificial debate on our biases and heuristics regarding religion and philosophy. The fastidious dichotomy between religion and philosophy that we insist on today did not exist in western civilization until the around the eighteenth century, and there never existed such a dichotomy in

Hinduism Vs. Buddhism

1165 words - 5 pages Civilizations. Thomson Learning Inc., 2008. Australia, The Buddhist Society of Western. What Is Buddhism? n.d. Buddhism vs. Hinduism-Difference and Comparison. n.d. . Curry, Tim. Sociology. United States: Pearson Education Inc., 2004. Dictionary, Business. Principles. n.d. . Flood, Gavin. An introduction to Hinduism. United Kingdom: Cambridge University, 1996. ThinkQuest. Think Quest- Hinduism and Buddhism in India. n.d.

Comparitive Religions- Purely My View, No Offense Intended : )

1742 words - 7 pages will look at Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, which are religions diverse in their beliefs and practices. Of these three believe that Buddhism has the most to offer those of us living in a Western culture. Buddhism is not so much a religion but a way of life. It offers practices and beliefs to live by, but Buddhists don’t worship gods or prophets. They practice training the mind to reach enlightenment, true happiness and an end of suffering

World Religions Report Assignment

2273 words - 10 pages followers. Today, according to John Schulz, Buddhism is still a well-known religion. It is practiced all over the world. It is probably the major religion throughout the Orient. In the last century, Buddhism has emphatically arrived in the West and up to one million westerners have become Buddhists. One would think that Buddhism in the western world would only be in larger cities, but that is not the case. Through John Schulz's experience, Buddhism

Hum 130 Final

1220 words - 5 pages men and woman in western society and the goal of this center is to bring Buddhism to mainstream America in such a way they the working class can effectively lean and enjoy the practices associated with the religion. I must say that my initial thought was that I would be stepping in to a traditional monastery with monks everywhere; I quickly came to find out that most members of the center were just like me. After our opening conversation I soon

No Paper Now

1684 words - 7 pages arose from Hinduism in Nepal, India about 536 B. C. E. There as a blowout of Buddhism from east India to the northern and western parts of the country, upwards in Asia, eastwards down the Silk Road and the south to nearby Islands. Christianity sprang up from Judea upwards to the Mediterranean Sea, and then became the world’s dominant religion, both religion are alive and powerful today. The world still ponders at “what is the best religion

The Basis Od Buddhism

2092 words - 9 pages non-Asian background. The Japanese are said to have a direct approach towards Buddhism. They look as Buddha as a God, while Taiwanese and Vietnamese see Buddha as a leader. These different outlooks don’t affect the goal of Buddhism, which is nirvana. Buddhists from the west believe in peace, and mindfulness for all living creatures. These Western Buddhist believe that all things should be looked after: the earth, plants, birds, insects and

Hinduism And Buddhism

1016 words - 5 pages asanas. The term covers a wide array of practices, embodied in eight “limbs,” which range from ethical and moral guidelines to meditation on the Ultimate Reality. First, that which is practiced as “Hatha Yoga” - a form of Raja Yoga - in much of the Western world is but merely a focus on a single limb of Yoga: asana (posture). The Buddha's life and His Teachings inspire individuals who practice Buddhism to develop self-reliance, moral

Related Essays

Contemporary Issues In Buddhism Essay

2334 words - 10 pages Mongolia and Cambodia. Beyond the appeal of Christianity's religious message, its status in the eyes of many Asians as modern, Western, and progressive will present a serious challenge in places where Buddhism is associated with traditional elites, superstition, or cultural stagnation” (Challenges and Opportunities: Speculations on a Buddhist Future). Buddhism is rapidly spreading around the world. It appeals to the modern world because the

Interactions Of Buddhism In The Modern World

658 words - 3 pages Christian iconography sitting alongside modern based structures of both architecture and practices. The progress of Christianity has been so slow that it almost seemed very natural in the modern Western perspective. Today Buddhism seems quite foreign just as Christianity did at one time. Buddhism is facing qualifications necessary for cultural authenticity in a way that over comes its Eastern appearance. Western Buddhist teachers are moving into

Religion And Ethnic Diversity Essay

1558 words - 7 pages ). Despite the difficult road, Buddhism has managed to flourish. Most associate Buddhism with Asian cultures and they are not incorrect in doing so. Buddhism is widespread across northern, southern and eastern Asia, but the religion has found our western shores welcoming. Buddhism has become much more mainstream these days, with Buddhist study centers all over the United States and Europe (Material Religion, 2008). Buddhism and the culture associated

Zen Buddhism Research Paper

1306 words - 6 pages them. As a result, Zen Buddhism is one of the most well known schools of Buddhism in America and has been very influential on the western society. There are about 9.6 million Zen Buddhists in Japan today, and numerous Zen groups have developed in North America and Europe within the last century. (Zen) Work Cited Augarde, A. J. The Oxford Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1981. Print. Bose, Kurethara S. “The Theoretical Foundations of Zen