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Buddhist Psychology — A Different View of Things

Among our circle of friends and society, we often hear the response to our problems ‘Just go, see a therapist!’ While this sentence is widely used among western societies, it is but unknown to many other civilizations around the East. To put it more clearly, it is more flipped around, understood in a deeper way and included within the every days of an individual in the eastern mindset.

In the practices of Buddhism, the focus narrows down more on the act, rather than on the perpetrator. The questions of what we do and how, become important and we find ourselves in the gateway of a new experience: to understand what it means to be selfless and ego-less.

One of the most fascinating practices of all is to observe our own consciousness. It means to put the emotion into the subject of inspection.

In this way of analyzing, we follow a route of different phases which based on we gain an understanding of where the thought or emotion has come from exactly and where it is heading. Within this philosophy, we seek the roots and the courses of things.

We learn to observe and understand phenomenons in their fullest, develop focus and concentration by making one step at a time on a high ladder. Discovering different perspectives will help us to gain a different level of wisdom over our lives which will improve the way of our existence.

Learning from misbeliefs and metaphorical teachings will make us think, which will eventually result in some sort of progress. Nevertheless, we will finally and permanently learn that for maintaining and developing the levels of consciousness one thing is indispensable: continuous practice.

The Buddha preferred to provide His teachings with metaphors:

There is no case where a man drowning in a swamp saves another from dying. Only that can save another who himself is not drowning.

Some might interpret the followings incorrectly, as it happens often to many aspects of Buddhism. By focusing on the universal course of humanity, which is suffering many believe that these practices are depressive.

Like in a great number of things, humanity couldn’t have been mistaken more. By assessing the elemental foundation of our suffering we will get closer to the truth.

First, we take suffering itself as a thing and observe it. Next, we inspect the origin of suffering. Where does it come from? Then we experience the cessation of suffering and lastly, we understand the path that has led to the end of suffering. This is called the Four Noble Truth. As we experience suffering and start to meditate on the four aspects of it, with time we might come to a deep understanding depending on the level of suffering.

Another fundamental element of this philosophy is mindfulness.

It could be explained by the words: being aware of our actions and everything that is around and within us.

It is not right to treat other’s suffering with impatience.

Rather than to see only our truth and feel our feelings, we can start to practice the understanding towards other being’s cause and course of suffering. If we think of suffering we naturally turn to its cause and start to assess where it had blossomed first. Another word and existence surfaces which is also a fundamental element to deal with: attachment.

Our nature dictates to be attached to certain things. Feelings, objects, emotions, people, beliefs or to life itself. Attachment is everywhere and it is running within our veins since our childhoods. We have seen the manifestation and the generality of attachment everywhere, continuously.

Which has the nature of genesis, it has the nature of disappearing as well.

By the above statement, the practices teaches us to understand that everything is fleeting, in a non-depressive way. Just simply as it is, as a fact or the bare truth of things.

The fire at dawn is not the same as the fire at midnight but still is it not different from it.

Buddhism talks in parables and metaphors, allowing one to understand the course of existence in a profound way.

Along a certain path, we can arrive to a mountain. But the mountain is not the result nor the consequence of the path.

Buddhism can be interpreted as a rebel practice since it is going straight against the ‘cogito ergo sum’ philosophy. It deals with the ego and the self in a very different way, and tries to light on the fact that some things are just not real nor existent. Many things are colored and layered by our minds and thus we are unable to see their ultimate truth.

The practice teaches to peel off the layers we have placed upon things throughout our lives so that we can see the Truth and to see things as they are in their true nature.

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Sára Szarka
Sára Szarka
Devoted to creating content daily using writing as a tool of self-expression, Sara had been fond of writing from a very young age. Embedded in twisted, psychological, and philosophical subjects, promoting the abstract allows her to find deep teachings in metaphorical creations. Currently living in Poland, she thrives on expanding her possibilities. Sara is a great fan of fantasy, sci-fi, and anything that comes with abstractness. Her daily routine consists of practicing mindfulness and daydreaming of a workplace where she can unleash the chains of creativity.

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2 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Sara. It’s clear to me from your article that I need to learn more about Buddhism. Your statement here made a lot of sense to me: “Many things are colored and layered by our minds and thus we are unable to see their ultimate truth.” Our experiences, biases, environment, friends, family… all influence the way we see the world as well as ourselves in that world. Often that view is skewed or distorted. Thank you for sharing this piece… it’s going to bounce around my head until I learn more!

  2. A fascinating subject Sara. Peeling away the layers of our ego enables us to look inward without judgement, but I don’t think most people are capable of doing so, nor are they genuinely interested in getting to the roots of their own problems. I personally believe that our ego is necessary for survival in a world of superficial needs and desires. It is like a protective shell that saves us from being too naive. Reaching zen is an ideal, but an unlikely endeavor until we have served our time in the flesh. We are still animals with impulses and no religious zeal or philosophy will ever completely cleanse us of our evolutionary tendencies…

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