The Positive Psychology of Buddhism and Yoga: Paths to a Mature Happiness / Edition 2

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Overview

This book describes Buddhist-Yogic ideas in relation to those of contemporary Western psychology. The book begins with the Buddhist view of the human psyche and of the human condition. This leads to the question of what psychological changes need to be made to improve that condition. Similarities between Buddhism and Western Psychology include:

Both are concerned with alleviating inner pain, turmoil, affliction and suffering.

Both are humanistic and naturalistic in that they focus on the human condition and interpret it in natural terms.

Both view the human being as caught in a causal framework, in a matrix of forces such as cravings or drives which are produced by both our biology and our beliefs.

Both teach the appropriatenss of compassion, concern and unconditional positive regard towards others.

Both share the ideal of maturing or growth. In the East and the West, this is interpreted as greater self possession, diminished cravings and agitations, less impulsivity and deeper observations which permit us to monitor and change our thoughts and emotional states.

Buddhism, Yoga, and Western
Psychology, especially the recent emphasis on positive psychology, are concerned with the attainment of deep and lasting happiness. The thesis of all three is that self-transformation is the surest path to this happiness.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I have never read a clearer or more useful introduction to the positive psychological practices of Buddhism and Yoga. Each page is simply fascinating reading and appeals simultaneously to the lay reader and the seasoned scholar. The discussion of anger and how to overcome it is life-transforming. I would strongly recommend this book to undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals. One rarely finds a book that reaches right into one’s mind and soul with a powerful vision of human enhancement. This is one of them." - Stephen G. Post Director, Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics, Stony Brook University

"There are few books that can make a real difference in people’s lives…this is one of them. It is an intellectual tour-de-force. It is a "must read" for any psychologist interested in Eastern thought. Many hundreds of millions of people believe that Enlightenment is the ultimate goal in life. Levine’s new second edition could be the best first step toward becoming "enlightened" that any of us will take." - George Howard, Psychology Department, University of Notre Dame

"After decades of focusing on mental illness and what is wrong with human nature, psychological science has renewed its interest in the positive aspects of human existence. It is in this vein that Marvin Levine offers a blend of western science and eastern practices to help us become more peaceful and less anxious, a goal he calls mature happiness. Levine’s newest book has many ideas and techniques that just might help us become calmer and even happier and wiser." - Dr. Diane F Halpern, Professor of Psychology , Claremont McKenna College and Past President of APA

Reviews of the first edition:

"Marvin Levine tells a profound story in a style that engages while it informs us of new ways to view the world within ourselves and without. This book teaches us vital lessons about how these Eastern philosophical traditions can be integrated with Western psychological methods of understanding the mind….I think it has much value to novices as well as to professionals in these areas. As a psychologist, Marvin Levine is uniquely qualified to reveal the strands of overlap between these Eastern views of the human condition and those in Western psychological practices." - Philip Zimbardo, Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Past President of APA

"The book is lucid in its explanation of the principles of Buddhism and Yoga. I have never seen a clearer exposition of this kind. It makes a good case that many of these principles are compatible with those of modern, empirically-grounded Western psychology." - Donald Routh, University of Miami

"This book has promise of becoming an instant classic." - Suresh Srivastva, Case Western Reserve University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848728509
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/14/2009
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 0.60 (w) x 0.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Marvin Levine, a well-known researcher and theorist in cognitive-experimental psychology, received his M.A. at Harvard where he worked with B.F. Skinner and George Miller, and his Ph.D. with Harry Harlow at the University of Wisconsin. Since 1965 he has been a professor in the Department of Psychology at Stony Brook University.

His earliest work was on intellectual problem solving, research that served to counter the then popular conditioning view of human behavior. He later turned his attention to interpersonal problem solving, giving workshops on assertiveness training and anger management, and for several years helped resolve disputes as a volunteer mediator. He is also a published poet and a professional musician. As is revealed in this volume, all these activities have contributed to his understanding of human nature.

He also maintained a long-standing interest in Eastern philosophy. He gradually began to see similarities between the conceptions and methods of Buddhism and Yoga and those of Western psychotherapy. In this accessible book he discusses these three systems. The exotic and "mystical" trappings from Buddhism and Yoga are stripped away. The emphasis, instead, is on their aims and methods, and their relation to Western psychology. This approach provides a clear understanding of how to live a more useful, happier life. It is also an essential read for anyone interested in an enlarged framework for modern psychology.

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Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword. Introduction. Part I: Buddhism. King Ashoka's Question: What Is Your Secret? Maturity and Serenity. The Story of Siddhartha. The Hindu Context. The Core of the Buddha's Teachings. The Noble Truth of Dukkha (Suffering), Part 1: Suffering and Transitoriness. The Noble Truth of Dukkha, Part 2: Caught in the Causal Matrix. The Noble Truth of Tanha (Craving). The Noble Truth of Nirvana (Liberation), Part 1: Conquer the Beasts Within. The Noble Truth of Nirvana, Part 2: The Nature of Attachment. The Buddha: The Compassionate One. Supermaturity. Anatman Reconsidered: You Are Not Your Mind. The Noble Truth of Magga (The Path), Part 1: Wisdom and Ethics. The Noble Truth of Magga, Part 2: Mental Discipline. Poetry Interlude No. 1: Transcending. Part II: Yoga. Yoga and Buddhism. I Discover Hatha Yoga. Savarasana. The Yogic State, Part 1: Immersion. The Yogic State, Part 2: Transforming Judgment. The Yogic State, Part 3: Life Is Where You Find It. Yogic Theory: The Unenlightened Mind. The Eight Angas, Part 1: The Practices. The Eight Angas, Part 2: The Experiences. Yogic Theory: The Enlightened Mind. Poetry Interlude No. 2: Prelude. Part III: Extended Supplements. Buddhism, Yoga, and Western Psychology. Mindfulness and Right Thoughts. Problem Solving as Compassionate Action. Empathic Assertiveness as Right Speech. Poetry Interlude No. 3: The Bequest. Part IV: Handling Anger. The Nature of Anger. Anger: Assumptions and Levels of Expression. A Schematic, Physiological Model. General Methods for Decreasing Anger. Specific Methods, Part 1: Right Views of Others. Specific Methods, Part 2: Changing One's Own Attitudes. Specific Methods, Part 3: When Anger Occurs. Afterword.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 25, 2010

    A great resource in understanding our human condition

    Dr. Levine clearly presents a way to see what is actually going on in our lives and how to get past our automatic responses to problems. It is a gently psychological study, combining Western and Eastern thought. If one is willing to learn how to have a happier and more fulfilling life, this is one book to read and think about.

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