Sunday, 24 August 2014

Rupert Gethin on "Concentration and mindfulness in Buddhist Psychology"

Rupert Gethin on "Concentration and mindfulness in Buddhist Psychology"

Published on Aug 24, 2014
Buddhist psychological theory provides an analysis of the way the mind pays attention to objects, distinguishing between situations where the mind is more or less casually aware of objects and those where attention is more deliberately applied and sustained (as in meditation, but also in other mental tasks). In this context Abhidharma identifies a number of specific mental functions, some of which ('mindfulness' and 'attention') have begun to be discussed beyond specialist publications in Buddhist theory. Others (such as 'thinking about' and 'examination') have been less widely discussed, although they are crucial to the way Buddhist theory presents the development of sustained attention culminating in a phenomenologically distinct level of attention termed 'dhyana' or 'samadhi'.

Suggested readings: Cousins, LS, 'Buddhist Jhāna: Its Nature and Attainment According to the Pāli Sources', Religion, 3 (1973), 115–31; Lancaster, BL, 'On the Stages of Perception: Towards a Synthesis of Cognitive Neuroscience and the Buddhist Abhidhamma Tradition', Journal of Consciousness Studies, 4 (1997), 122–42.

Rupert Gethin was educated at the University of Manchester, completing a BA in Comparative Religion (1980) an MA in Buddhist Studies (1982) and a PhD focused on the theory of meditation in the Pali Nikayas and Abhidhamma (1987). In 1987 he was also appointed Lecturer in Indian Religions at the University of Bristol. In 2008 he was Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley and, in 2009, was appointed Professor of Buddhist Studies, University of Bristol. In 2009 he also took part in Mind and Life XVIII in Dharamsala, a dialogue with the 14th Dalai Lama on the theme of "Attention, Memory and the Mind: A Synergy of Psychological, Neuroscientific, and Contemplative Perspectives" (see YouTube). His books include Sayings of the Buddha: New translations by Rupert Gethin from the Pali Nikāyas, 2008, Summary of the Topics of Abhidhamma and Exposition of the Topics of Abhidhamma (2002) and The Foundations of Buddhism,1998). He is currently working on a book on Abhidharma (funded by Leverhulme) provisionally titled "Mapping the Mind: a comparative study of Theravāda and Sarvāstivāda Buddhist Thought". See

No comments:

Post a Comment