Write a 2 pages paper on buddhist theories. The Buddhist Theories Buddhist Theories Buddhist Theories and Personality in Relevance to the Biography of the Dalai Lama In chapter 16 of Susan Cloninger’s book on “Theories of Personality-Understanding Persons,” the author focuses on eastern culture which has a different perception concerning personalities. From the biography of the Dalai Lama, it becomes evident that the Buddhists view the personality theories differently. This means that, the concepts discussed in previous chapters about personality do have a universal application to the Buddhists. Notably, the Buddhists seek to identify similarities between individuals and highlight that the differences only result depending on the level of consciousness (Cloninger, 2012). However, they place their emphasis on the developmental progression that a similar path for many individuals. The Buddhists all believe that individuals can adopt and adjust to suffering eventually following a certain path that is believed to bring happiness. Further, they associate cognitive processes, especially negative thinking as a principle cause of suffering (Heine & Wright, 2008).
Meditation is a critical aspect in their view of personalities as it has the capacity of controlling emotions and improving cognitive processes. From the biography of the Dalai Lama, it is evident that he engages in active meditation in accordance to Buddhism. Moreover, the Dalai Lama, who is a leader of the Tibetan people in exile, observes other cultural aspects that define his personality. He believes in a continuous process of growth that has been ongoing during his life cycle. Some of the Buddhists insights such as meditation have been applied by the western audience as a remedy for depression and other disorders. The Dalai Lama is committed to Buddhist beliefs and practices, but is tolerant of other religions (Heine & Wright, 2008). Notably, he believes that any individual can undergo spiritual meditation even if they are not Buddhists.
The Four Noble Truths
Buddhists believe in the four noble truths which will be highlighted in this essay. The first one is the truth of suffering which denotes the fact that everything in life including the self is only temporary because eventually, its end comes. Therefore, this makes Buddhists believe that, “Life is suffering.” The second truth regards the cause of suffering which attributed to craving or thirst. Since human beings want more, then satisfaction is never achieved. The third truth regards the end of suffering which highlights that a certain practice can bring an end to human desires.
The fourth truth reveals the path that can free human beings from the suffering described above (Heine & Wright, 2008). This path has been named “The Eightfold Path.” This path, as the names suggest has eight steps that Buddhists follow in a bid to alleviate suffering. The Buddhists believe that an individual has five distinct components which are viewed as the “Aggregates of Existence.” These include form, sensation, perception, mental formation, and consciousness (Cloninger, 2012). These five aggregates are used to define the nature of the self. Buddhist ideas have become popular in therapy because of the scientific evidence as well as the testimonials that prove the efficiency of meditation in different therapies.
Metaphors of Personality Theory
Some of the common metaphors used by the Buddhist include person, the self and “I” (Heine & Wright, 2008). In my opinion, the metaphor of the self represents ones personality as it represents five different aggregates viewed by the Buddhists as determinants of the “Nature of The Self.” Other metaphors used by Buddhists include, inner life and the divided person which are used in reference to different personality theories (Cloninger, 2012).
The unified theory refers to several paths observed by Buddhists which are followed in a bid to achieve a higher level of peace and happiness. It brings into perspective an individual’s feelings, thoughts and believes and seeks to transform the whole self. In my opinion, this theory is still relevant as it has been applied in different psychology fields (Cloninger, 2012).
What I have learned
This assignment has helped me understand different aspects of Buddhism. Moreover, it has made me familiar with other views held by Buddhists that are commonly used in therapy in modern day.
Cloninger, S. C. (2012). Theories of personality: Understanding persons. S.l.: Prentice Hall.
Heine, S., & Wright, D. S. (2008). Zen ritual: Studies of Zen Buddhist theory in practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.