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9640Re: [Buddhism_101] existential psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not)

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  • Tamara
    Aug 2, 2008
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      I'm a bit late on responding to this turn of the conversation, but I suffer from chronic depression and each time I've tried to shake myself free of the pharmaceuticals, I've had serious problems...ending up in a place so deep and dark that I can't reach myself through meditation.  To me, I either have to take pills and live or don't take them and die.  This may change at some point, but for now I admit I'm too scared to rely on my control of my mind--it is actually a physical problem in my brain.
       
      However, you are correct that in so many cases of mental illness it is indeed possible for us to aid or even cure some illnesses through meditation (understanding our minds).  As things progress and scientists understand our minds more and more, I can indeed see a day where most, if not all mental illnesses are cured or at least lessened by the "mind over matter" that a meditation practice can provide.
       
      It is all so interesting, this mind of ours !


       
      Tamara
       
      "It is a great and potent and dangerous thing we do,
      this loving of dogs."  --  Jack Voller



       

      --- On Fri, 7/11/08, ken <gebser@...> wrote:

      From: ken <gebser@...>
      Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] existential psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not)
      To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 5:12 PM







      Steve,

      You may be correct, given the current state of the art of talk therapy
      and other similar therapies along with our current understanding of
      consciousness. Unfortunately though, consciousness isn't understood
      very well yet and talk and other such therapies are really still in
      their infancy. Interesting research and practices are happening with
      the use of music and pets which, though yielding hopeful results, are
      not well understood. And too, counseling has shown success in helping
      people overcome multiple personality disorders, something which only a
      few years ago would have been thought to be inconceivable. And we
      certainly don't understand addictions, mostly, I believe, because much
      more money has been thrown into research on how to cause addiction than
      on how to cure it. If the mind is capable of only half of what
      Buddhists claim, we can fully expect great strides in non-pharmaceutical
      treatments of psychological disorders in the coming years. So we would
      be justified in believing in possibilities and making efforts towards
      them. It sounds like you're already doing some of that.

      On 07/11/2008 08:00 AM Steve Serfass wrote:
      > I think you're right maybe if the person with the problem has a
      > relatively healthy mind, but mental illness, I think the pills are a
      > huge advance in treatment. Try telling a schizophrenic not to believe
      > those voices are real, or an obsessive compulsive disorder victim to
      > just be rational, and don't allow yourself to do what you do, or even
      > an alcoholic or drug addict, when they've shot or drank the first
      > one, just say no.....
      >
      > But with a person with a "mild" case of some type of mental
      > illness...or neurosis.... me for instance.... I've seen huge progress
      > in my daily life just by meditating and practicing mindfullness, to
      > the puny extent I've been able to do it. I even like my job now.
      >
      > Makes me think about that thing where they say to meditate on how
      > fortunate we are to be born human. Steve
      >
      > --- On Fri, 7/11/08, ken <gebser@speakeasy. net> wrote:
      >
      > From: ken <gebser@speakeasy. net> Subject: [Buddhism_101] existential
      > psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not) To:
      > Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 3:41 AM
      >
      > Perceptive comment. Yeah, along with Erwin Straus, Sartre, Maurice
      > Merleau-Ponty, Nietzsche, and others, Frankl is an important
      > existential psychologist, the founder of what is called logotherapy,
      > a vastly more humane and human approach to "mental illness" than the
      > rats-and-pills schools of psychology. Some scholars have noted that,
      > within the context of Western cultural history, existentialism
      > indicates a turn to the East and the beginnings of an integration of
      > Western and Eastern thought. So, yes, we should expect to find
      > notions akin to Buddhism in existentialism. Just yesterday,
      > coincidentally, I was reading about tantra and dzogchen and
      > transforming passions into wisdom when it struck me that,
      > essentially, this is what (the Western existentialist concept of)
      > "talk therapy" is based on, i.e., that if a problem bears down on you
      > and makes you crazy, think about it and bring some (not pills, but
      > rather) wisdom to it and you'll find, in doing so, at the same time
      > that the problem is deflated of its control over your emotions...
      > plus, now you understand the problem. Although Buddhism came up with
      > this idea centuries earlier than the West, Westerners figured out a
      > way to bill it out by the hour. :)
      >
      > Wikipedia has a pretty good rundown of existential psychology:
      > <http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Existential_ psychology>.
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com, "Tamara" <savepawsfurever@ ...>
      > wrote:
      >> I just finished reading "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor
      > Frankl.
      >> It was written in the 40s after he was in the concentration camps
      >> during World War II. He was a psychiatrist and believed that man
      >> can overcome any type of suffering if there is meaning to that
      >> man's life.
      >
      >> It never once mentions Buddhism, yet it says so much about
      >> suffering and how it is meant to teach us and guide us.
      >>
      >> It is a beautiful, small book and it is one more way I can learn
      >> about how suffering is to be done, yet we can do it with love and
      >> grace. I highly recommend it for those of us (trying to find) or
      >> going down that middle path.
      >>
      >> Tamara

      --
      When fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag,
      carrying a cross."
      --Sinclair Lewis

















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