psychology

  • Self-Help for the Affluent Paid Member

    Positive psychology gurus and coaches give lots of advice about how we should lead our lives. Their threat is that if we don’t follow their advice, we will not only be unhappy, we risk sickness and death. When Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America was published outside of the United States, the book was retitled Smile or Die. The publisher was concerned that non-native English speakers might not understand the play on words in the original title. I think the retitling is actually more apt in capturing the message of positive psychology: buy our advice, buy our books, attend our workshops or die. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Dharma & Psychology, Buddhists on Twitter, and Simpler Friendships Paid Member

    Sweeping Zen recently posted a great interview with David Loy, a Buddhist philosopher and frequent Tricycle contributor, and among the topics discussed was the relationship between Buddhism and Psychology. We've found that this topic is surprisingly controversial, as reflected by the lengthy ongoing debate at "Human Nature, Buddha Nature," an interview with psychologist John Welwood from our Spring 2011 issue. What does Loy have to say about the relationship, similarities, and potential benefits of a cross-fertilization of Buddhism and psychology? He explains: More »
  • Don't Go It Alone Paid Member

    Today’s Daily Dharma: Aristotle said that in order for people to become virtuous, we need role models—others who have developed their capacities for courage, self-control, wisdom, and justice. We may emphasize different sets of virtues or ideas about what makes a proper role model, but Buddhism also asserts that, as we are all connected and interdependent, none of us can do it all on our own. Acknowledging this dependency is the first step of real emotional work within relationships. Our ambivalence about our own needs and dependency gets stirred up in all kinds of relationships. We cannot escape our feelings and needs and desires if we are going to be in relationships with others. To be in relationships is to feel our vulnerability in relation to other people who are unpredictable, and in circumstances that are intrinsically uncontrollable and unreliable. More »
  • Buddhist meditation boosts concentration skills Paid Member

    According to a recent study published in the July 2010 issue of Psychological Science Buddhist meditation can boost concentration skills. The study, conducted by psychologist Katherine A. MacLean, PhD, and associate researchers from the University of California, Davis, focused on a group of 60 participants with an average age of 49. The participants were sent on three-month retreats where they studied meditation techniques with Buddhist scholar and co-researcher Alan Wallace, PhD, of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. All the participants had been on meditation retreats before, but this time they were taught to concentrate and asked to complete concentration tests. From WebMD: More »
  • "Buddhism & Psychology: The Art of Counseling" sponsored by Naropa University and FACES. Paid Member

    The Inaugural Boulder Institute on Mindfulness "Buddhism & Psychology: The Art of Counseling" will take place July 28-31 at the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder, Colorado. Speakers will include Daniel J. Siegel, MD; Jack KornField, PhD; and Karen Kissel Wegela, PhD. This conference highlights an emerging trend in the field of psychotherapy: the inclusion of mindfulness in counseling. National conversation in the field shows that mindfulness awareness has already been proven to enhance psychotherapy. Current research shows that the benefits of mindfulness can help us explore aspects of ourselves that are not ordinarily noticed, experiences that occur below our level of consciousness. For more information, visit Naropa’s site. More »
  • Meditators have more brains Paid Member

    Psychology Today reports on a study that indicates that meditators have more gray matter where it counts: A study published in NeuroImage presents findings by a group of researchers at UCLA who used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of meditators. The researchers report having found differences between the scans, showing that certain brain areas of the long-term meditator group were larger than those of the non-meditating control group. More »