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The Great Within

The Transformative Power and Psychology of the Spiritual Path
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Shambhala
 | 
May, 2019
ISBN:
9781611806816
In stock now: 
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Banyen's Description: 

Do we really understand what contemplative practices, such as mindfulness, actually do? What changes when we practice mindfulness or use images as the focus of our contemplative practice? How is our psychology—thoughts, beliefs, imagination, and emotions—both used and transformed along the spiritual path? Are there shared understandings of this transformative process across the spiritual traditions?

To answer these questions, Han de Wit takes us into the mind of the spiritual practitioner to show how contemplative practices work to transform our "ordinary" psychology dominated by confusion and self-interest to one open to wisdom and compassion. With Buddhism as the framing tradition, the result is a highly experience-based explanation of the development processes of spiritual transformation. Informed by a practitioner who experiences it and a psychologist steeped in Western psychology, a compelling case is made for a new "contemplative psychology" rooted in a deep appreciation for our "humanness"—our potential for flourishing—to which all contemplative practices are orientated. The Great Within is a helpful companion on the spiritual path, as well as a sourcebook to both psychologists and teachers of contemplative practices.

In a clear and comprehensive way, it explores the psychological insights that can be discovered in the spiritual traditions and that aim at cultivating the essence of our humanness.”—John Welwood, author of Love and Awakening

Publisher’s Description: 

A book for anyone who wants to understand the psychological nature of contemplative practice as a transformative process.

Do we really understand what contemplative practices, such as mindfulness, actually do? What changes when we practice mindfulness or use images as the focus of our contemplative practice? How is our psychology--thoughts, beliefs, imagination, and emotions--both used and transformed along the spiritual path? Are there shared understandings of this transformative process across the spiritual traditions? To answer these questions, Han F. de Wit takes us into the mind of the spiritual practitioner to show how contemplative practices work to transform our "ordinary" psychology dominated by confusion and self-interest to one open to wisdom and compassion. With Buddhism as the framing tradition, the result is a highly experience-based explanation of the development processes of spiritual transformation. Informed by a practitioner who experiences it and a psychologist steeped in Western psychology, a compelling case is made for a new "contemplative psychology" rooted in a deep appreciation for our "humanness"--our potential for flourishing--to which all contemplative practices are orientated. The Spiritual Path is a helpful companion on the spiritual path, as well as a sourcebook to both psychologists and teachers of contemplative practices.

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