The Authority of Experience
Readings on Buddhism and Psychology
This collection of writings presents contemporary views on the integration of Buddhism in the West. Over the past few decades Buddhism has deepened its presence in the West and as a result teachings and practices are becoming integrated with those of Western psychology in a more productive way. The decline of mechanism and positivism offers new opportunities to bring together Western Buddhist views of the mind and its relationship to its surroundings.
Written by psychologists and scholars, the essays discuss many of the difficult questions raised by Buddhism’s increased presence. In particular the issue of the balance between authenticity and accessibility is examined. Buddhist traditions are often perceived as inaccessible and too firmly fixed to a cultural framework with some people, especially women, left feeling alienated and undervalued. However, by responding to this by attempting to synthesise Buddhism with the values of contemporary culture can lead to doubts about authenticity and dilution. Examining these issues and many more, the contributors seek to bring Buddhism into a realistic and informed relationship with contemporary Western thought.
'A very good book which includes many excellent chapters. Those in psychology who are interested, or are potentially interested, in what Buddhist theory and practice can offer to present day psychology, will find this a very rewarding book to read.' - Olwen McGregor