The Positive Psychology of Buddhism and Yoga: Paths to a Mature Happiness

By Marvin Levine | Go to book overview

Foreword

This book begins with questions: What is maturity? What do we mean when we say "He made a mature decision"? What is the relation between maturity and serenity? How do we attain these conditions? The principal thesis of this book is that Buddhism and Yoga provide answers to these questions. Essentially, the teachings first reveal the pitfalls in ordinary, unreflective living. They then provide guidelines and practices for transforming ourselves, for progressing to a new mode of living. This transformation is accomplished by taming the cravings (passions, fears, agitations) and by challenging conditioned beliefs (attitudes, habits of thought). When transformed, we are more than mature; we face the hurly-burly of the world with wisdom, hardiness, and confidence.

Within Western psychology a movement has appeared recently by the name positive psychology. It focuses on transforming ordinary living into a richer, more enhanced, more mature happiness. Buddhism and Yoga are the quintessential positive psychologies. Indeed, they provide the intellectual framework for such a psychology.

A secondary thesis of this book is that the outlook of Western psychology is congenial with that of Buddhism and Yoga. The aspects of Western psychology that are complementary to Buddhism and Yoga

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