1 NEW232December1,2010-2

1 NEW232December1,2010-2 - NEW232 Buddhism and Psychology...

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1 NEW232: Buddhism and Psychology Tony Toneatto, PhD. C.Psych. Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario December 1, 2010 [email protected]
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2 Mindfulness Meditation This aspect of Buddhist psychology most popular aspect One of major techniques Studied scientifically Applications for a variety of mental and physical disorders Popularized most recently by Jon Kabat-Zinn
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3 Mindfulness, as Buddha discussed it, vs. mindfulness as currently taught and popularized in the West, are quite different Buddha discusses mindfulness throughout the sutras and identifies it as one of the main ways in which to realize truth (i.e., nature of self, phenomena, others) Bypasses rational, logical or conceptual approaches to truth Right Mindfulness one of 8 Paths
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4 What is Mindfulness The term ‘Mindfulness’ is a translation of the Pali term ‘sati’ or Sanskrit ‘smrti’ Basic meaning is to remember or to recollect or recall- what is happening, right now recollection of the present moment and abiding within it without distraction
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5 detached observation of what we are experiencing in the present moment: broad, quiet, alert, attentive judgments/ interpretations are suspended being in the ‘present’ is difficult we live in a ‘mental mirage’ (often unconscious) of our own creation
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6 How Our Mind Normally Behaves Sensory (which includes mental) stimuli, which are very brief and almost subliminal, trigger an endless series of interpretive cognitive processes (prapanca) Prapanca = elaboration, embellishment, conceptual proliferation, self-reflexive, reification, falsification, distortion, or exaggeration of an initial sensation/ perception Most of our thinking is prapanca (infused and carried by emotional responses, biases, conditioning, habits, preferences etc
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7 We can only know objects that we sense/ perceive at a ‘distance’, never directly since prapanca will veil/ disguise what we perceive we tend to project prapance outwardly and take them as real which become the basis of our actions In other words, we naturally believe our own mental constructions, consider them true and may act on them for better or worse Since we have shown how much of our prananca is affected by our (unconscious) samskaras and underlying obsessions (anusayas) we are not really behaving in a ‘free’ way
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8 The influence of this process can be corrected to do it one needs direct access to the process Mindfulness brings us into contact with the process of prapanca Observe the process of construction of cognitive
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1 NEW232December1,2010-2 - NEW232 Buddhism and Psychology...

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