Category: The Eightfold Path
By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
We live in a time of paradox. On the one hand, wars and conflicts of all sorts rage all around us. The Earth is buckling under the effect of them. We also live in a time where there are opportunities for innovative solutions to our situation. We could focus on different types of innovations – technology, new ways of doing business, and more. But here, I would like to focus on the new spiritual and healing possibilities that are emerging to address this crisis. These approaches to addressing the difficulties of the current time can help us explore consciousness in ways that might not be accessible in less tumultuous times.
By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
Ethics is generally defined as a process of determining right and wrong conduct or as the study of morality. In many traditions, both sacred and secular, there is an effort to come up with a set of principles to govern behavior. In many traditions, there is an emphasis on “what bad thing will happen if you don’t do the right thing.” The motivator to good behavior is fear. This is an effective method of crowd control when the luxury of understanding personal motivation and intention cannot be understood on a case-by-case basis. But it falls short in creating conditions under which people can learn how to truly trust their motivation and intention in making decisions regarding their conduct.
By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. and Laura Chandler
The idea that there is a connection between Buddhism, in particular mindfulness practice that is derived from the principles of the Eightfold Path, and psychology, is not new. There are numerous books, research studies, and even college courses on the subject.
Many prominent psychologists, theorists, and scholars have cited the relevance of Buddhism. Leading Buddhist scholar and professor at Columbia University, Robert Thurman, in his book Infinite Life, suggests that Buddhism is the original psychology. Most recently, cognitive psychology has given the most attention to the study of Buddhism, mindfulness practice, and meditation. Yet, interest in these subjects dates back to the origins of the field.
The path of the bodhisattva is, among other things, designed to break down the illusion of separation between self and other. When we talk about the Two Truths in Buddhism, ultimate reality and relative reality, in relative reality there is a separation. Ultimately, there is no separation. By serving others you wind up serving yourself. In this excerpt from a 2008 Applied Buddhist Psychology course, Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. discusses what one has to attend to within oneself in order to liberate oneself and be of service to others on the path of the bodhisattva.