A Holistic Perspective on Emotion Theory and Therapy in Early Buddhism

  • Padmasiri de Silva
Part of the Library of Philosophy and Religion book series (LPR)


The Buddha’s strategies for managing emotions are directed towards the goal of reducing human pain and tribulation, as well as a complete liberation from the basic human predicament of unsatisfactoriness (dukkha). Today, noteworthy research influenced by Buddhist techniques of meditation in the domains of psychology, medicine and neuroscience have opened up the question can the mind heal the body? According to the hypothesis of ‘neuroplasticity’ developed by Richard Davidson the brain continually changes as a result of experience (Goleman, 2003, 21–3). This hypothesis has opened up new vistas for research on meditation. The claim that the brain, immune system and the emotions are interconnected point towards the emergence of new insights into health and emotional well being. Against the backdrop of the current interface of Buddhism and science on emotion studies, this presentation is designed first to attempt a clarification of the intricate relationship between the body and mind in emotional experience. In the light of these new developments, a viable conceptual map of the mind-body relation in Buddhism would be very relevant. Why is this task important? As I have mentioned in a previous study, the Buddha has discouraged people from pushing the logic of the body-mind relationship into extreme limits and getting entangled in metaphysical debates.


Mindfulness Practice Holistic Perspective Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy Emotion Concept Loving Kindness 
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Copyright information

© M.W. Padmasiri de Silva 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Padmasiri de Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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