Fearlessness and intrepidity (the strength to carry on in spite of danger) feature quite prominently in Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist psychology. In fact, fearlessness is an oft-mentioned result of mental clarity, emotional equanimity and wakeful, embodied awareness. This talk fleshes out a few prominent teachings on intrepidity and how to apply them in daily life. Free download links to hear this talk are below.
My recent talk on how to apply the Dharma in difficult or challenging relationships is now available for download. The sangha members at Insight Meditation South Bay generated insightful questions and interesting dialogue. I hope you enjoy these teachings.
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You can now download for free on Academia.edu The Ultimate Rx: Cutting through the delusion of self-cherishing, the chapter I authored for the newly published Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement.
Western and Buddhist psychologies acknowledge the significant role distorted self-narratives play in poor mental health. But these two disciplines hold divergent views on the utility of ‘cherishing the self’. Western psychology claims high self-esteem is a requirement for self-confidence, happiness, and success. Buddhist psychology asserts wisdom and compassion are the forerunners of genuine confidence and sustainable personal and collective well-being. It further states that endemic self-cherishing—the habitual reification of distorted hyper-egoic self-narratives—is a primary source of mental and emotional affliction. Yet, Buddhist psychology also affirms the innate capacity of all human beings to end the mental suffering of self-cherishing. This chapter explicates Western and Buddhist psychological models of self, Buddhist theories of not-self and conventional and ultimate self-cherishing, and outlines a somatopsychotherapeutic clinical approach for helping individuals struggling with depressive, anxious, trauma-related symptoms and addictions, to recognize self-cherishing mentation and lessen its deleterious effects.
Listen to two dharma talks I recently delivered on Delusion and Non-delusion.
Delusion and Deluded Mind
This first talk covers the Buddhist psychological description of how delusion manifests in human perception and its effects on collective and personal human suffering.
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Non-delusion and Undeluded Mind
This second talk covers the Buddhist psychological description of how non-delusion manifests in human perception and practical steps for cultivating non-delusion in daily life.
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The Atlas of Emotions is a fantastic new interactive online resource for understanding the human inner emotional landscape. The Dalai Lama reached out to Paul Ekman and other affective researchers to create a user-friendly, visual map of the knowledge psychology and neuroscience have accrued over decades of research about emotional states and their behavioral manifestations. Take a look at the site. It is a great resource for mental health professionals and their patients.
Psychologist Guy Macpherson interviewed me for the Trauma Therapist Project Podcast. We had a very rich conversation during which I shared experiences from my time in Kosovo shortly after the war ended in 2000 working with traumatized Albanian Kosovar children, and also the clinical integration of Buddhist psychology and and Somatic Experiencing Therapy that I currently offer patients. Enjoy!