An Introduction to Buddhist Psychology by De Padmasiri Silva

By De Padmasiri Silva

An advent to Buddhist Psychology is a lucid, intelligible and actual advent to the principles of Buddhist psychology. It offers finished assurance of the fundamental thoughts and concerns within the psychology of Buddhism and hence it bargains with the character of mental inquiry, strategies of brain, realization and behavior, motivation, feelings, belief, and the healing constitution of Buddhist psychology. For the fourth variation, a brand new bankruptcy on 'emotional intelligence' and its dating with Buddhism has been added.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Buddhist Psychology

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I t has to be discussed against the background of Buddhist epistemology, which examines questions pertaining to the valid means of knowledge. In discussing the methodological issues in the last chapter we mentioned that reasoning and sense and extra-sensory experience are the means of knowledge, and also that there are certain limits to the use of reasoning as well as of sense-experience. However much these two instruments of knowledge are sharpened, they have limitations. Some limitations are logical limitations; for instance just by pure reason you cannot prove the existence of a material object, and appeal to the sensory data will always be probable.

Specific emotions are discussed in a variety of contexts, and the integration of the material on the psychology of emotions in the discourses of the Buddha is an important task. We shall deal with the nature of emotions in the next section. Vedanii as one ofthe five khandhas (groups) comprises five types of possible feelings: bodily agreeable feelings, bodily painful feelings, mentally agreeable feelings, mentally painful feelings and feelings of indifference. Though this is one of the most central classifications of feeling, the Buddha says that different types of classifications are possible depending on the context: there is a twofold classification in which the reference is to bodily and mental feelings; the threefold classification makes reference to pleasant, painful and neutral; the fivefold one makes reference to the five sense organs; and the sixfold one is based on sensory impingements by way of the doors of the senses.

Most of the significant theories of motivation are the result of a need to examine and explain a sense of puzzlement relating to some facet of human behaviour. The focus of the philosophical and psychological investigations of the Buddha being the predicament of human suffering (dukkha) , Buddhist psychology of motivation is directly concerned with the factors that lead to human unrest, tension, anxiety and suffering in general. The psychological analysis found in the discourses of the Buddha, especially in relation to motivation, is deeply embedded in the desire to uncover the roots of unrest and to depict a positive path towards happiness.

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