Updated: Oct 25
This series of blogs is from an article I wrote in 2023, "Contemplative Creative Therapy (CCT):
A Novel Approach to Train the Embodied Mind"- Not published yet. I didn't know it would be so complex to publish as an independent scholar... I published the full article on Academia for anyone interested in researching and learning more about CCT and contemplative science and psychotherapy.
If you want to read the full article, Academia.ca
The Buddha (Siddharta Gautama was his birth name), also called Sakya-muni Buddha, was a prince from the Sakya clan. As a young adult, he had a deep calling to search and explore the meaning and experience of suffering, sickness, and death. To do so, he left his family, embraced an ascetic existence, and embarked on a personal meditation journey, leading him to uncover the Dharma path. Eventually, he evolved into a revered teacher, imparting his wisdom to others. In the 6th or 5th century BCE, he wandered as a wandering ascetic throughout South Asia, and his followers identified themselves as Sakyan-s or Sakya-sons in ancient India (Cohen, 1999; Rhys Davids, 1928).
Siddharta received the title of the Buddha, meaning "the Awakened One” (Bud in Skt.), "one who has awakened from the deep sleep of ignorance and opened his consciousness to encompass all objects of knowledge” (Monier-Williams et al., 2007; Buswell & Lopez, 2014). His teachings revolved around ethical training and meditative practices, aiming to liberate oneself from suffering. The term "Buddhism," coined in the West during the 20th century, is commonly used as a translation for the Dharma of the Buddha, Buddhadharma, in Sanskrit (Lopez, 2017).
The Dharma teachings initially spread throughout Asia and underwent adaptation and transformation to align with the cultural contexts of each country. The Industrial Revolution precipitated the East-West encounter, and technological advancements increased travel opportunities, colonization, and scientific explorations by the privileged Western intelligentsia (military and academic). Despite the inherent inequality, this exchange initially shed light on Indian and Buddhist contemplative traditions and meditation practices focused on mental training (Hallisey, 1995; McMahan, 2012). Furthermore, it facilitated the journey of Asian Buddhist teachers to Europe and America, fostering a cross-cultural interchange. T
his exposure, which began in the early 1920s, brought about a significant shift in Western philosophy and psychology, paving the way for the exchange and collaboration between Buddhism and science. In the twentieth century, North America witnessed the emergence of new organizations such as the Mind and Life Institute, which aimed to explore how contemplative science and practices could contribute to a better understanding of the mind and create positive change in the world (Mind and Life Institute, 2023). This integration between the Western scientific tradition and Buddhist psychology subsequently led to groundbreaking explorations and advancements in psychology, pedagogy, neuroscience, and mental health.
Keywords: Contemplative Creative Therapy, Contemplative Creative Science, Contemplative Science, Contemplative Psychotherapy, Buddhist Psychology, Embodied Mind, Embodied Creativity, Psychotherapy, Meditations.
To be continued...