Filmed during Mind & Life Institute’s “Mind & Life XXIII: Ecology, Ethics, and Interdependence” on October 20-21, 2011.
Topic Three – Ethics and Action
A Buddhist Perspective on the Psychology of Action and Behavior Change
SPEAKER: Thupten Jinpa
The idea of transformation or change lies at the very heart of Buddhism. Traditionally, this process, characterized as a “path,” is formulated within the framework of what is called the “threefold training”- morality, meditation and wisdom. How does one motivate someone to enter the path in the first place? Once motivated, how does one help translate that motivation into action thus leading to actual behavioral change? How does one continue to sustain the motivation so that one can remain committed to the path? Drawing primarily from the influential Buddhist thinkers Asanga and Vasubhandu (fourth century CE) as well as Shantideva (eighth century CE), a classical Indo Tibetan Buddhist perspective on the psychology of action and behavior change will be briefly outlined. On this understanding an intimate connection is recognized between an entire complex of internal mental processes – awareness, understanding, outlook, on the one hand, and our value system, aspiration and dedication towards a pursuit, on the other, with a particular emphasis on bringing mindfulness of one’s deeper aspirations into everyday life.
MODERATOR: Roshi Joan Halifax
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama