by John Hopton
FEBRUARY 22, 2016
To many non-believers, Buddhism is the "good" kind of religion, one that doesn't start wars and has powerful things to say on the mindfulness and mental self control we all seek by one method or another.
RedOrbit spoke to Dr. Rick Hanson, psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author, to discuss the science of what was going on inside Buddha's brain, and how we might just be able to attain a little of his enlightenment for ourselves.
Dr. Hanson begins by stressing that the word "enlightenment" has to be defined carefully.
"The word enlightenment has two kinds of meaning," he says. "One is in an entirely secular frame. In the Buddhist tradition, it's very psychological operationalized as a mind, a nervous system, that's no longer capable of any kind of sustained greed, hatred or delusion."
Pleasant things can still be experienced, he expands, but enlightenment means we don't get attached to the experience. At the same time, we are aware of unpleasantness, but it doesn't result in anger or hatred. more...
10/02/2016 - Gratitude is the New Black: Hacking into Positive Psychology to Live a Happy, Positive Life
By: Sohana Farhin/SHEC
FEB 10, 2016
An experiment conducted at the University of Pennsylvania concluded that the single biggest contribution to leading a happy life is showing gratitude to yourself and others in life. Being present in your experiences, taking in all the moments and pausing to show thanks is a significant factor in what makes life worth living. Keeping a gratitude journal to write down what you are thankful for each day is one of the ways in which you can show what you appreciate in life. This finding reflects many of the principles of positive psychology, which is a way of controlling your outlooks, perspectives, reactions and expectations in order to achieve happiness.
Buddhism has greatly inspired the field of positive psychology in western countries, including Canada. Central to Buddhism and positive psychology is the Eightfold Path, also referred to as the Middle Way or the Middle Path. It is an approach that proposes that nothing should be deprived, or taken in excess, but rather that we should strive to maintain a middle ground. Maintaining this “golden mean” is said to be the root of all happiness. more...