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18175Re: [Meditation Society of America] Question about the Eightfold Path and "catharsis"

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  • walto
    Feb 23, 2012
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      Thanks, Aideen.

      One of the things I was wondering about was the apparently very large gulf between giving something "bare attention" and really living/working through it (perhaps for purposes 'abreaction' or 'sublimation'). I mean, is there a Buddhist notion of catharsis?

      W

      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Aideen Mckenna" <aideenmck@...> wrote:
      >
      > The way I understand Buddhism, there is never repression. The Buddha
      > understood how the human mind worked. Driving an unwelcome emotion deeper
      > into the unconscious only results in giving the troublesome thing more
      > strength. When practicing Vipassana (insight meditation), one observes the
      > thought, giving it "bare attention"(i.e. touching the mind as lightly as a
      > bubble on the observed thought), then moving on. There's never any pushing
      > away - that only empowers the thought. Bhante Henepola Gunaratana's classic
      > Mindfulness in Plain English is helpful here.
      >
      > As for the concept of dependent origination - can one agree with it without
      > accepting all of the Eightfold Path? I don't think so - at least not from
      > the point of view of Theravada Buddhism. If I were asking that question,
      > I'd go to the excellent Barbara O'Brien - she can be contacted here:
      >
      >
      >
      > http://buddhism.about.com/bio/Barbara-O-Brien-38125.htm
      >
      >
      >
      > With metta,
      >
      > Aideen
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > From: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of walto
      > Sent: February-23-12 7:17 AM
      > To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Question about the Eightfold Path
      > and "catharsis"
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Hi, folks.
      >
      > I was wondering if any of the mavens here would be willing to provide their
      > thoughts on whether they think there's any conflict between the "Right
      > Thinking/Right Action/Right Speech" portions of the Eightfold Path and
      > conventional views according to which it is healthy for unconscious thoughts
      > (even angry or mean ones) to be brought to consciousness and perhaps even
      > expressed. If some anger is being repressed, can it be conducive to
      > well-being to "keep it bottled up"? (I take it a Primal Scream isn't Right
      > Speech.)
      >
      > Also, is this an empirical question, do you think, so that the best way of
      > answering it is to see what works (or what has been shown to work in
      > properly designed studies), or do you take it rather to be something that is
      > deducible from one's view of the mind? For example, do you think that the
      > benefits of following the Eightfold Path are simply deducible from the
      > concept of dependent origination? That is, can one agree with the latter
      > without accepting all of the former?
      >
      > Any thoughts on these matters are welcome. Thanks!
      >
      > Best,
      >
      > W
      >
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