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Buddhist and Western Concepts Study Group

April 10, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

Please join us at Gar Drolma for the continuing study group; Buddhist and Western Concepts Study Group.  The group will meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. 

The discussions will include reflecting on Buddhist and Western philosophical thinking about the mind, reviewing neurophysiological evidence concerning the body and mind, and discussing recent theories and ideas from physics. We will provide web links each month that provide relevant background information on the topics to be discussed to make it easier for everyone to participate in the discussion.

The principal focus of the group is to attempt to reconcile Buddhist ideas and concepts about the body, mind, and universe with Western knowledge.  Discussion topics for the meetings are provided below. 

What is a klesha?     

Photo Credit: Elephant Journal

Kleshas are mental states that cloud the mind and manifest as unwholesome thoughts and actions. Classical Buddhist kleshas include attachment, aversion, pride, ignorance, and jealously. Modern lists of kleshas can include additional states such as anxiety, fear, anger and depression.

We all know kleshas are something that we have to get rid of, or overcome, but how do they operate in our minds? Suppose kleshas are habitual patterns of thought, or habitual ways or reacting to the world.  We seem to go through the day telling ourselves stories in which we interpret events in terms of our own beliefs and values. This may be the process through which kleshas act: Our interpretations generate thoughts that in turn produce habitual responses to the situations we encounter.

We also seem to consume music, TV, movies, etc. that support our preferred stories and thought processes (see Eli Pariser “filter bubbles” link below).  Are we strengthening kleshas when we listen to “our” music, or watch “our” TV shows?  If so, advancing on the path might require cutting through these stories and transmuting the energy associated with them into mindful awareness.

In some Western psychological approaches, the mind is perceived as consisting of complexes that are emotionally toned patterns of reactions centered around interconnected memories, emotions, perceptions, and desires. These patterns are formed by an individual’s reactions to experiences. Complexes become active when situations are encountered that are similar to the situations that initially created the complex. Complexes manifest as habitual thought and behavioral patterns of activity. In this way, they seem very similar to kleshas.

In the next meeting we will discuss kleshas and complexes. We will compare their similarities and differences, and examine ways to overcome them.

Background material:

Filter bubbles

Kleshas (Buddhism)

Complex Theory

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April 10, 2018
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
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Gar Drolma Buddhist Center
1329 Creighton Ave.
Dayton, OH 45420 United States
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(937) 252-2220


Gar Drolma
(937) 252-2220