Buddhist Psychology - Module Three Overview

Module Three
Unit Nine: Flexible Mind

  • Section One: The Nature of the Person. In this section we will consider broadly what Buddhism teaches about the nature of the person and of human experience. We will look at the concepts of non-self, Buddha nature (tathagatagabha) and dependent origination.
  • Section Two: The Nine Vijñana Model of the Mind. This section introduces the nine-vijñana model of the mind. This model explains consciousness in relation to the Buddha nature
  • Section Three: Transformation of the Mind Cycle. This section expands the teaching of the mind cycle of skandhas and omnipresent factors and discusses their transformation into rare factors

Unit Ten: A Truth for Noble Ones

  • Section One: The Skandhas, Working with Ritual and Symbols. This section discusses the way that the use of ritual and symbol can be understood in terms of the skandha cycle. It outlines theoretical perspectives, expanding material previously presented, and suggests practical ways of working.
  • Section Two: A Traditional Interpretation - The Four Noble Truths. This section and the one that follows present two interpretations of the teaching of the Four Noble Truths; that given in many commentaries, and one based on an etymological understanding of the four elements in this teaching.
  • Section Three: In this section we will look at the traditional understanding of this teaching and some of the difficulties associated with it. The next section will explore the interpretation offered by David Brazier in his book The Feeling Buddha.

Unit Eleven: A Truth for Noble Ones, Pt 2

  • Section One: The Noble Truths as a Theory of Grief and Loss. In this section, we look at the teaching of the Four Truths for Noble Ones as a theory of grief and loss. The section compares the stages represented by this teaching with the ideas of Western theorists on the grieving process
  • Section Two: A The Four Noble Truths: Some Further Aspects. In this section we will offer further understanding of the terms used in the Four Truths for Noble Ones, based on the Chinese and pali texts. We then explore some further implications of the teaching.
  • Section Three: The Four Noble Truths as a Theory of Sublimation (a supplement). This section is a supplement and introduces the psychodynamic idea of the sublimation of the sexual instinct. In covering this material the lesson compares Freuds ideas with those contained in the Buddha's teaching of the Four Truths 

Unit Twelve: Aspects of Non-self

This unit takes the form of a mini-conference, with a series of papers which address the theme of self and non-self. As will have been clear from other unit material the issue of self, or rather of non-self is central to an understanding of Buddhist psychology. This understanding is fundamental both in the sense that other understandings are built upon it, and in the sense that it may require a deeper understanding and a greater shift of perspective for Westerners.This unit concludes Module Three.