Here is an extraordinarily lucid and intelligent self-help book, inspired by the Abhidamma, an ethical-psychological teaching presented in the body of ancient Buddhist scriptures of the same name. Based on various techniques of Buddhist mind training, the Abhidamma represents the systematic knowledge of the Dharma, or "good teaching"—that is, the liberating, happiness-promoting way of life. Dr. Frýba has designed a complete workbook of Dharma strategies for self-transformation, including some thirty detailed exercises that help readers feel at home in their bodies, protect well-being through mindfulness, and perceive reality with clarity and wisdom. These exercises show how to deal skillfully with painful events and negative emotions, and also offer direct ways of promoting positive emotions such as cheerfulness, sympathetic joy, and compassion. By relating these experiences to specific situations encountered in his work with friends, students, patients, and workshop participants, the author makes these ancient techniques genuinely applicable to familiar contemporary settings whether in everyday life, in meditation practice, or in the context of psychotherapy. At the same time, his faithfulness to his Buddhist sources will be appreciated by traditional-minded spiritual practitioners.
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"This book is a widely ranging exploration of the principles of Buddhist psychology and one of the first to make abhidharma psychology understandable to the West. Dr. Frýba's commentary and reflections show how these principles can bring understanding and be applied in modern life. I recommend it."—Jack Kornfield