Saturday, December 27, 2008
The Positive Psychology of Buddhism and Yoga: Paths to A Mature Happiness
In a manner never before published, this book presents both Buddhism and Yoga and relates them to contemporary Western psychology. Although existing books begin with advanced concepts, such as emptiness or egolessness, The Positive Psychology of Buddhism and Yoga begins with very basic concepts and avoids the exotic and so called "mystical" notions. Levine emphasizes the goals of Buddhism and Yoga and the methods they employ to achieve those goals.
This book is divided into four sections. The first deals with Buddhism, the second with Yoga, and the third describes aims and practices in Western clinical psychology. The fourth section is a workshop on handling anger. The central lesson of the first three sections is that one can improve one's life by changing one's self. This fourth section applies this lesson and the methods of the three preceding sections to handling one's own anger. Overall the book is rich with Eastern tales and illustrative anecdotes. These concrete examples vividly illuminate the general conceptual presentation.
Levine shows not only the basic concerns of Buddhism and Yoga and how intensely practical their methods are but how these concerns and methods relate to those of modern Western psychology. Application to daily living is emphasized throughout.