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Has anyone experimented with Eastern philosophy as a form of behavioral therapy?

I've been reading a lot of books on very early eastern philosophies and there is this concept that if the mind is ill, then the illness can be treated but if the mind itself is the illness, it cannot be treated! What do you all think?
Category: Treatments 4 years ago
alongcameashark
Asked 4 years ago

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I can't say I've read a lot of eastern philosophy, but I'm familiar with some of the ideas, like for instance wu wei. I think there's a lot to be said for studying eastern philosophy, as I think it carries some powerful and liberating ideas - again, like wu wei. I'm not familiar with the concept you speak of, but I would be cautious about it, as what would most certainly happen for me is that my mind would start obsessing about whether or not the struggles I face is due to a "mental illness", or if it is indeed the mind that is the illness itself (= not possible to escape the suffering). That would just contribute to anxiety by giving my mind something more to chew on and thus more to ruminate about.
worric
Answered 4 years ago
worric

I practiced Buddhism (Tibetan) for many years. In Buddhism there are the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Noble Path. The first Truth is often translated as "Life is suffering". That is a bit gloomy, and Buddhism isn't really that negative in my experience. Professor Robert Thurman prefers, "In life, we get stressed out". And, this, according to Buddhism, is because of views and attitudes that are unenlightened. In particular, attachment, aversion and ignorance. The Buddhist say that we often create a lot of trouble for ourselves because of these basic attitudes -- attachment to the thing we want, aversion for the things we do not want and ignorance of the true nature of ourselves and the world around us. In some of the literature the term "sick" or "ill" is used to describe unenlightened attitudes. There is also a technique used by some teachers where they emphasize that one must be fed up with unenlightened living and there is an emphasis on the negative aspects of life. Sorta old-school dharma, in my opinion. Buddhists teach that there is a remedy to sorrow or being stressed out and it is called the Eightfold Noble Path. But, I believe, in the simplest terms, that taking time to sit in meditation is, for me, a good de-stresser and reinforces positive attitudes like compassion, tolerance and patience. It was very important for me to seek out a qualified meditation instructor and ask questions about how to meditate effectively. Of course, these ideas about meditation being one of the keys to getting "unstuck" are not specific to Buddhism, but are a central part of Buddhist practice. There are some authors that I have read and and really like -- Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat-Zinn and The Dalai Lama. But the most enriching part of my experience was to meet with teachers through Buddhist centers near me. I hope that helps.
JustAndrew
Answered 4 years ago
JustAndrew

It sounds like if a person recognizes that they need to change their mind, there is help. But if someone has broken thinking/unhealthy thought patterns doesn’t see anything wrong with it, you may as well give up.
Annalea
Answered 2 years ago
Annalea

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