04.01.2011 - Buddhism & Psychology

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    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello :)
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Gaya
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Pila Mulligan: greetings
    Mickorod Renard: hi Pila
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Ags
    Wol: hello everyone
    Aggers: Hello Mick, Brucie, Pila, Gaya :)
    Mickorod Renard: nice trousers Ags
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Wol
    Aggers: Thank you :)
    Pila Mulligan: greetings everyone
    Aggers: 'Salem' from Avid
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Mitsu
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello all those arrived :)
    Aggers: Hello Mitsu
    Mitsu Ishii: hello all
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Dao
    Aggers: Hello Dao
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Dao :)
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Pila Mulligan: hi Dao
    boxy: meep!
    boxy: hi :)
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Alfie
    Aggers: Meep Meep   ;P :p:P :p :P
    Pila Mulligan: hi Alfy-san
    boxy: great topic today
    Aggers: What kept you?
    Dao Yheng: Hi Pila, Alf!
    boxy: clown's nose, aga :)
    Pila Mulligan: yes, it is a great topic today
    Aggers: Oh right
    boxy: hi, bunny :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Alfred :)
    boxy: um... to the topic's question, my answer is yes :)
    Gaya Ethaniel listens.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    boxy: in fact it's how i approach buddhism and its practices
    Dao Yheng: Say more, Alf?
    boxy: it makes me less stressful and more aware of myself and things around me
    Mickorod Renard: Hi JS
    Aggers: Hello JS
    JS Saltwater: hi Mick, Agatha, all
    Pila Mulligan: to me the highest common ground of contemplative practice and religion is healing, and psychology in its best sense is a healing art
    boxy: i feel like it makes me see more goodness than there is for an average eye
    Mickorod Renard: thats a good thing to find Alf in these stressful days
    boxy: pila, well said :)
    boxy: except, i wouldn't say "healing"
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    boxy: it's more of... seeing
    JS Saltwater: nice distinction
    boxy: continuation without "fixing"
    Pila Mulligan: how about healing/seeing karma?
    boxy: um..
    boxy: i'm not sure how karma is applicable
    Pila Mulligan: suppose we say karma is a continuation without "fixing"
    Mickorod Renard: healing works for me insomuch as life can have an eroding effect on the self and I find that some Buddhist practice has a rejuvenating effect, like healing
    Gaya Ethaniel: karma literally means action btw ...
    boxy: i see it as a measure of general "goodness" :)
    boxy: ah, thank you, gaya :)
    boxy: maybe the meaning was lost in the translation
    Gaya Ethaniel: Contemplative traditions as I understand offers ways of seeing what we are up to and consequences of our actions.
    Violet: Eroding...as in we wear ourselves into ruts, Mick?
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Atar, yes maybe so
    Violet: ( Hi Mick, everyone :) )
    Aggers: Hello Atari
    JS Saltwater: I like the metaphor of eroding the soul, Mick
    Wol: hello violet
    Violet: I like the image, too
    Mickorod Renard: perhaps through some form of selfishness we forget to see the wider picture too, this can also have detrimental effects
    Mickorod Renard: I didnt know whether its eroding the soul or the spirit,,he he
    Pila Mulligan: as in desire leads to suffering?
    boxy: pila, i was never comfortable with this notion :)
    Mickorod Renard: yes Pila, I am surprised at how much I fall into desire
    Violet: Hi Zen :)
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Zen
    Aggers: Hello Zen
    Pila Mulligan: hi Zen
    JS Saltwater: it took me some time to get comfortable with that idea, desire -> suffering, but I think I get it now
    Pila Mulligan: would you like to elaborate, boxie?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Zen, I will make a notecard.
    JS Saltwater: I had to quit desiring to get it :)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    boxy: in fact, a monk practicing one of the earliest form of buddhism told me there are not a single word on life as suffering in the scriptures :)
    Zen: Hi all
    boxy: zen-san :)
    Pila Mulligan: well, I can see how that might affect your view
    Wol: hello zen
    Mickorod Renard: contemplates Alfs words
    Gaya Ethaniel: Some would actually say dukkha in fact includes suffering as well as uneasiness etc. ...
    Mickorod Renard: is that suggesting Life is the opposite of suffering?
    boxy: pila, schools diversity is another point that i love in buddhism. it avoids centralized doctrine.
    Aggers: What is dukkha exactly?
    JS Saltwater: If you meet the doctrine on the road...
    Violet: School it? :p
    JS Saltwater: lol
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think it's one of those untranslatable words ... like a perfect one to one match.
    Gaya Ethaniel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dukkha
    JS Saltwater: synonyms?
    Aggers: Ok Gaya, thanks
    Zen: kind of dissatisfaction
    boxy: gaya, but perfection is utopia :)
    Zen: things not right
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think contemplative traditions talk about being complete not being perfect ...
    boxy: yes, i like that, gaya
    Zen: suffering is supposed to be good for us
    JS Saltwater: or if not complete/perfect, reducing error
    Zen: im most traditions ?
    JS Saltwater: so Victor Frank would say
    JS Saltwater: (necessity of suffering)
    Aggers: Interesting
    Mickorod Renard: I think there are various forms of suffering, some of which can be accepted in a different form
     Gaya Ethaniel: Please say more Mick?
    Mickorod Renard: erk
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sorry ... was curious ... :P
    Mickorod Renard: well, some suffering can be washed away by seeing it as a different aspect of life
    JS Saltwater: nods
    Mickorod Renard: like for example, putting yourself through some hardship for a good cause
    Pila Mulligan: if not getting what is wanted is dukkha then being led to examine our wants is helpful
    Zen: Buddhism heals suffering. Psychology heals suffering. Do the use the same means?
    JS Saltwater: I would say not
    Violet: I don't think so, Zen
    Pila Mulligan: they have similar aims at least Zen
    JS Saltwater: (to Zen)
    Pila Mulligan: but the psychology, like Buddhism, is not a monolith
    Gaya Ethaniel: What kind of differences do you see Atari and JS?
    Gaya Ethaniel: monolith?
    Zen: though psychology, or psychotherapy borrows from Busshism
    Pila Mulligan: there are diverse schools
    Pila Mulligan: different
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok yes I see.
    Mitsu Ishii: Zen/Buddhism has many levels
    Zen: meditation is widely used by psychotherapists nowadays
    Violet: I think psychology....broadly, seeks more to understand human thought and behavior, while Buddhism...( broadly :) ) is more interested in determining what makes life "work"
    Zen: what is the difference between psychology and psychotherapy?
    Wol excuses herself and slips quietly away. Good night all, sorry I can't stay.
    Mitsu Ishii: at a certain level, it's dealing with a way of being which goes beyond ordinary notions of time, of personal history, and so on. I'm not sure if psychology ever attempts to address that aspect of life
    Mickorod Renard: I would think there are some forms of psychological practice that only addresses current life norms and may not be as morally correct(if I may use that term) as perhaps other forms of practice such as Buddhist
    Mickorod Renard: By Wol
    Violet: Take care, Wol :)
    Gaya Ethaniel likes the broadliness :)
    Zen: bye Wol
    Mitsu Ishii: but in some ways some Buddhist teachings can have overlap, it seems to me, with psychology.
    Aggers: C ya Wol, take care
    JS Saltwater: yeah I would differentiate psych the science from psychotherapy
    Violet: Yes, I think there is overlap
    Mickorod Renard: I agree Mitsu
    Zen: so psychotherapy is more like Buddhism?
    JS Saltwater: hm
    Mitsu Ishii: dzogchen and zen address paradoxical aspects of the fundamental nature of being in the world, which I think psychology probably doesn't directly address. yet there can be overlap, still.
    Zen: more about healing suffering
    Violet: I think it can be. Some therapeutic practices adopt things like meditation and mindfulness.
    JS Saltwater: I would say some buddhist practices can have results or even look like psychotherapy
    Mitsu Ishii: being in a sense which is beyond ordinary notions of progress and so on. changes the whole problematic.
    Zen: CBT and other techniques borrow heavily from Buddhism?
    JS Saltwater: yeah I dont think either form of psych is concerned with existence per se
    Zen: Budhism is really philosophy of mind too?
    Zen: we examine our own minds
    Mickorod Renard: I personally would prefer a time grounded practice like Buddhism rather than a new regurgitated form prescribed by some health system that is perceptible to quirks
    Zen: yeh Mick
    Zen: try to make shortcuts
    JS Saltwater: ie psychotherapy, Mick?
    Zen: substitute years of practice
    Mickorod Renard: I did say quirks didnt I?
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Violet: Mm. Well. I think either approach can be beneficial...it depends on what a person wants to get out of them, too.
    JS Saltwater: agreed
    Mickorod Renard: true
    Zen: what do we want to get out of Buddhism?
    Zen: (is in questioning mood )
    JS Saltwater: to not want anything ? :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mickorod Renard: I would also prefer to understand from the heart rather than be told and expected to follow
    Zen: someone asked my why I am going to do a retreat
    Zen: don't know the answer
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Zen: what would any of you say?
    JS Saltwater: good answer :)
    Mickorod Renard: the same Zen
    Aggers: Why climb a mountain?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think I usually say because I want to ...
    boxy: i think there could be a distinction that buddhism may be seen as "a way of life" compared to episodical sessions with a shrink
    Zen: good point boxy
    Mickorod Renard: to get away from the wife
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think a lot of us are drawn into spiritual things ... entering from various angles.
    Mickorod Renard: joking
    JS Saltwater: rofl
    boxy: in this sense it's more natural
    Aggers: Yeah, that works
    Zen: am amazed how many of my friends visit psychotherapists
    Zen: expensive too
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes a way of life sounds good :)
    boxy: zen :)
    JS Saltwater: in earlier times they probably went to the priest
    Mickorod Renard: priests are free too
    JS Saltwater: rather than the shrink
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm sure Buddhism isn't for everyone like other approaches ...
    JS Saltwater: well sorta Mick
    Zen: but does Buddhist practice go far enough?
    Zen: it might not
    Zen: if you have deep problems
    Gaya Ethaniel: Up to us maybe?
    boxy: zen, people just forget how to talk to each other
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    JS Saltwater: it helped Robert Persig fix his motorcycle, so I think it can go as far as you need it to
    [14:38] Zen: so why not supplement with psychotherapy?
    Mickorod Renard: a friend clinical psychologist told me once 'basically you tell them what they want to hear',,thats his technique
    JS Saltwater: but yeah he also needed wrenches
    boxy: they go to a shrink to turn their assumptions and fears into something solid and comprehensible
    Zen: he had deep mental health problems as far as I remember JS?
    Violet: I think it's fine to...maybe especially if they overlap
    JS Saltwater: shh Zen you're blowing my example
    boxy: mick :)
    Zen: sorry :)
    JS Saltwater: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Zen: Zen can be a bit macho, cold and austere
    JS Saltwater: the practice or you?
    Zen: (not me , the practice ) :)
    JS Saltwater: lol
    JS Saltwater: sorry , taking goofy hat off now
    Zen: np
    boxy: this duality keeps him out of trouble :)
    Zen: likes goofy hats
    Gaya Ethaniel: I came to see that as a stylistic difference rather than differences in main messages between Zen and other Buddhist traditions.
    JS Saltwater: interesting, Gaya
    Zen: many Zen priests got into trouble with alcohol and women
    Zen: it happened in other traditions too though
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well practice can be difficult ... :)
    boxy: good to know they're humans too :)
    JS Saltwater: so I have heard
    Aggers: So it's not just Catholics then?
    JS Saltwater: lol
    Zen: Chogyam Trungpa
    Violet: ha :p
    Zen: :)
    boxy: they don't eat little children though
    JS Saltwater: not gonna touch that one
    Zen: well that's good I guess :)
    Violet: Hi Cal :)
     Zen: Hi Cal :)
    Aggers waves to Calvino
    JS Saltwater: hi Cal
    Mickorod Renard: there is no escaping trouble with women, alchohol is optional
    JS Saltwater: not touching that one either
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Violet: :p
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Cl
    Aggers: Very wise JS
    Zen: scared to agree
    Calvino Rabeni: Good afternoon
    JS Saltwater: yup
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think this topic is sensitive to psychologists, those who see Buddhism as religion in the usual sense.
    JS Saltwater: explain?
    Zen: yes Gaya?
    boxy: it's sensitive to any religious person :)
    Mickorod Renard: I think many see Buddhism as a religion, as such may prefer alternative psychology
    Gaya Ethaniel: Apparently when Dalai Lama was invited to open a neuroscience conference, there was a relatively large group of people petitioning against it.
    boxy: heh
    Mickorod Renard: say more Gaya?
    JS Saltwater: ah that's the rhetoric of science at work
    Mickorod Renard: why#/
    Gaya Ethaniel: Kind of what does he know or have to say about science.
    Mickorod Renard: I see
    JS Saltwater: yes science likes to think it has no underlying belief system
    JS Saltwater: "the perspective of 'No Perspective'" as Donna Haraway says
    boxy: well, i guess he's not too versed in neuroscience :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Zen: though he is quite well versed in many areas of science
    Dao Yheng: apologies -- rl is calling!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye Dao :)
    boxy: cu dao
    JS Saltwater: see ya Dao
    Dao Yheng: bye!
    Violet: Take care, Dao :)
    Mickorod Renard: what I find more reassuring is that in Buddhism the cards are on the table for all to see
    Mickorod Renard: Bye Dao
    Zen: bye Dao
    Pila Mulligan: bye Dao
    Calvino Rabeni: Buddhism and neuroscience do overlap in the sense that they both "tease out" distinctions in the structure of consciousness.
    JS Saltwater: good point
    Gaya Ethaniel: Say more Mick?
    Mickorod Renard: well, typical psyco stuff is subjective
    Zen: there's a lot of that in Yogacara philosophy
    Mickorod Renard: does that make sense?
    Gaya Ethaniel: You mean Buddhism talks about life in general?
    Mickorod Renard: I know budhism can seem vague, but its teachings are well versed and so forth
    Zen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_Consciousnesses
    Zen: like early psychology
    Zen: or philosophy of mind
    Mickorod Renard: but to many psychotherapy can seem a hidden world and could lead to diverse repercussions
    Gaya Ethaniel: thanks Zen :)
    JS Saltwater: gtg folks, as always, ends too quick - see you laters
    Zen: bye JS
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye JS :)
    Mickorod Renard: Bye Js
    Violet: Take care, JS :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: But I think consciousness is a topic both scientists and Buddhists avoid talking together about.
    Calvino Rabeni: Is it accurate or a western interpretation to say buddhism is primarily a first-person perspective on consciousness, with the purpose of applying it to practice?
    Calvino Rabeni: Whereas neuroscience has few direct applications at this point to first-person practice
    Zen: yeh it seems that way to me Cal
    Mickorod Renard: I think what you mean Cal is that you are in the hands of a second person in neuroscience?
    Zen: Buddhism tries to understand the mind from the inside
    Mickorod Renard: thats how I see it Zen
    boxy: zen, from outside as well
    Zen: how boxy?
    Zen: seems more like scientists work from outside
    boxy: it constantly interacts with objects around us. you can't rule it out.
    Zen: brain scan stuff
    Mickorod Renard: I fancy its advantages are that, one never knows what is going on inside a persons head, as such, Buddhism must have advantages
    Zen: ok but meditation is the main tool?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I guess one difference is that mind is based on brain/body in science.
    Mitsu Ishii: another big difference is in Zen and Dzogchen, the notion is that one is trying to find that which is already the case before any process has occurred. Whereas psychology tends to focus more on trying to make things better, fix things, and so on.
    Gaya Ethaniel: wb
    Zen: wb Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: ty :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes interesting Mitsu
    Zen: yes Mitsu
    boxy: zen, i see them not as opposing sides but complementary
    Zen: can we do without religion and just depend on psychology then?
    Mitsu Ishii: there is a kind of "getting better" in Zen but it is more like, getting better at recognizing the way things are already okay in some deep sense.
    Mitsu Ishii: it's sort of paradoxical.
    Calvino Rabeni: No we can't do without religion unless psychology expands its purview beyond individualism
    boxy: zen, not any time soon
    Mitsu Ishii: well, it depends on what you mean by religion
    Zen: was reading about a 'Transcendent Imperative' that makes us seek religions
    Mitsu Ishii: if religion = dogma, then we can do without that I think
    Zen: The religious historian Karen Armstrong writes that, when traditions cease to address adequately a society's spiritual needs, people will find “new ways of being religious.” It is in our nature to pursue and, just as important, confer meaning upon the transcendent imperative."
    boxy: mitsu, i agree
    Mickorod Renard: I think it will always be 'horses for courses'..but that the options should be open for all and without discrimination
    Violet: I think religion handles that deeper "whatever is" better than psychology (which doesn't really address things like Being or reality at all)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Transcendent Imperative ... some people are really good at making phrases ... I'm so impressed.
    Violet: :)
    Zen: yes Violet
    Zen: :)
    Pila Mulligan must slip away, bye for now
    boxy: pila... :(
    Mitsu Ishii: but buddhism and other spiritual traditions can be viewed in a non-dogmatic way, yet still address transcendent and existential issues in ways that psychology doesn't attempt to.
    Zen: bye PIla
    Mickorod Renard: Bye Pila
    Violet: Take care, Pila :)
    Mitsu Ishii: bye pila
    Violet: Yes, Mitsu
    Zen: http://www.tricycle.com/feature/tran...ative?page=0,0
    Gaya Ethaniel: I wonder whether transcendent is the closest word to describe that.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ty
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes it's almost time :) Any suggestions for next week?
    Mitsu Ishii: yeah the problem with "transcendent" is it implies going beyond the ordinary, but the ordinary is itself already transcendent
    Calvino Rabeni: How about "narrative" as a Way of Knowing?
    Mitsu Ishii: if you really appreciate it fully
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Violet: I like that
    Zen: maybe we could discuss that next week?
    Violet: And I like that too, Mitsu :)
    Zen: that's a good article I think
    Mitsu Ishii: okay I have to head off, nice to see you all again
    Mickorod Renard: bye Mitsu
    Zen: bye Mitsu
    Gaya Ethaniel: So have a read at the article and discuss various ideas from it, including transcendent.
    Violet: I'll peek. Thanks, Zen :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks everyone :)
    Aggers: C ya Mitsu
    Mickorod Renard: thankyou all
    boxy: thank you, gaya the bunny :)
    Aggers: Bye everybody
    Mickorod Renard: I will sneak away now,,bye bye
    Violet: Take care everyone :)
    boxy: meep!
    Zen: bye Vi

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