Practice of Mind. . .
When I am pressed to discuss my thoughts and beliefs about The Buddha and Buddhism I always sum it up like this – The Buddha was a human man with great knowledge and insights In a time when education was limited his ideas and teachings were very similar to a modern day positive psychologist.
Positive psychology is a branch of psychology focused on the character strengths and behaviors that allow individuals to build a life of meaning and purpose—to move beyond surviving to flourishing. Theorists and researchers in the field have sought to identify the elements of a good life. They have also proposed and tested practices for improving life satisfaction and well-being.
Positive psychology emphasizes meaning and deep satisfaction, not just on fleeting happiness. Martin Seligman, often regarded as the father of positive psychology, has described multiple visions of what it means to live happily, including the Pleasant Life (Hollywood’s view of happiness), the Good Life (focused on personal strengths and engagement), and the Meaningful Life. Positive psychologists have explored a range of experiences and behaviors involved in different versions of positive living, including specific positive emotions, “flow” states, and sense of meaning or purpose.
Practices associated with positive psychology such as gratitude interventions can boost social and emotional well-being, studies suggest. Positive psychology has also led to explorations of how developing certain character strengths, positive emotions like awe, and other qualities, such as a sense of meaning and purpose in life, might contribute to positive life outcomes.
Although the focus of positive psychology is on happiness and fulfillment, it is important to understand that this does not mean people are advised to push away their negative emotions altogether. People who are flourishing make room in their lives for the many states of mind we shall each have. Looking into them, understanding them – that is the root of all practices and all positive efforts.
Peace and Love, Jim
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