Buddhist Psychology Can Help You Deal With Painful Feelings

Buddhist Psychology Can Help You Cope With Painful Feelings

Painful feelings are part of life. But we tend to close ourselves in on ourselves. We don’t know what to do or how to respond. In this area Buddhist psychology can be of great help.

When you are going through a difficult period, it is often the support of the people around you that keeps you going. They help you move on. But what do you do when you don’t have close friends or family or can’t count on their support? At that point you can look further to discover what Buddhist psychology can do for you.

Buddhist psychology wants to end human suffering

We often think that Buddhism is an important religion in the Eastern world. But 2,500 years ago, this movement originated as a philosophical and psychological system, not really as a religion. For according to the ascetic monk Sikddharta Gautama (known as the Buddha), Buddhism is a science of the mind.

The Buddha founded the school of thought with one purpose. He wanted to show people a way to eradicate our suffering. He uses hypotheses and a thinking structure that can be very useful in understanding and accepting your emotions.

Buddhist Psychology

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhist Psychology

Buddhist psychology is based on an idea that may seem pessimistic. But actually it’s an inspiring idea. According to Buddhism, suffering is the nature of human life. Based on this idea, he says that there are four noble values. Most of the lessons of Buddhist psychology are contained in these truths. They are also the basis of the Buddhist meditation system:

  • The first truth is that suffering exists.
  • Suffering has a cause.
  • And suffering can be ended if the cause is eradicated.
  • After all, to do that we must follow the eightfold path.

Destroying our suffering or “dukkha”

To deal with difficult situations and eradicate pain, Buddhist psychology says we must understand the root of suffering. Only when we have determined the cause will we be able to free ourselves from suffering. It is the only way we can see how futile our worries and discouragements are.

According to Buddhist psychology, we all have habits that have led us to deny the truth of life. In other words, we know nothing about the different processes and phases of life. And that is what causes our suffering.

Buddhist Psychology

Ideas for action

The last of the four noble truths mentions the eightfold path. This path is composed of eight branches or ideas for action. They help you to grow in harmony, balance and full consciousness. It is also represented in the form of the wheel of the dharma. Each spoke symbolizes an element of the path. We can divide these branches into three main categories:

  • Wisdom: the right vision and decision.
  • Moral behavior: the right attitude, speech and way of life.
  • Mind training: proper effort, concentration, and mindfulness or meditation.

These eight ideas should not be seen as straightforward steps. But instead you have to work on all the ideas at the same time. Do this as much as you can.

The misconception about being happy

We all want to be happy. But no one agrees on exactly what happiness is. Because everyone has a different idea of ​​what it is: getting higher at work, material possessions, leaving a legacy… Even when we have achieved all these goals that we have set for ourselves, we do not feel complete.

When one of our desires is fulfilled, there comes another and another. And little by little we end up caught in an endless cycle. We end up following the false hope of being happy.

The need to free ourselves from attachment

According to Buddhist psychology, these desires build up in our heads and are the main distraction. Because our desires lead to attachment (to people, material things, beliefs…). In fact, this is exactly what causes the greatest suffering.

Because when we get attached, we identify with other objects or people. So we lose our own identity. In other words, we forget who we are and what we really need as human beings.

Buddhism gives you the tools you can use to get through the attachment and come to understanding. Only when you have reached this point will you understand what other things you need (personal growth, harmony in your emotions). You will then lead your life in a more conscious way.

Buddhist Psychology

How do you make suffering stop?

Meditation is the Buddhist practice of self-reflection. His aim is to increase your understanding and your wisdom and to eradicate suffering. The specific meditation techniques differ between the schools and the traditions. But they all have the same end goal. The intention is that you come to a state of maximum awareness and tranquility.

These are the main movements in Buddhism. They can help you when you are in pain.

  • Theravada is analytical. It describes the different psychological or meditative states and structures you experience during meditation.
  • Zen focuses on the spontaneity and intuition of wisdom. The goal is that you find your natural harmony and avoid the dualism in understanding reality.
  • The Tibetan meditation is all about understanding reality deeply. It focuses on the unconscious and on the symbolic mechanisms of your mind. It is the most symbolic and mystical of all Buddhist traditions.
  • Pure Land Buddhism emphasizes devotion, humility, and gratitude. They are direct paths to spiritual fulfillment. It is a kind of pious meditation in which mantras are central.

Buddhism encourages you to openly connect with your emotions. It encourages you to be aware of, express and accept your feelings. They are part of your life. But like all things, they can change. So you don’t have to try to control them.

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