Today’s Book Of The Day is The Buddhist Psychology of Awakening, written by Steven D. Goodman and published in 2020 by Shambala.
The author is the Program Director of Asian Philosophies and Cultures at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco.
He received his Ph.D. in Far Eastern studies from the University of Saskatchewan, and he has lectured and taught Buddhist philosophy and comparative religion at the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara, Rice University, the Graduate Theological Union, the Nyingma Institute, and Naropa University.
This book is, as the cover itself says, an in-depth guide to Abhidharma.
Abhidharma (in Sanskrit: 𑀅𑀪𑀺𑀥𑀭𑁆𑀫 ) are 3rd century BCE and later Buddhist texts which contain detailed presentations of the rich doctrinal points found in the sutras. It also refers to both the scholastic method to read the sutra as well as the field of knowledge that this method studies.
Abhidharma then represents a holistic, comprehensive, detailed series of tools and practices so that each practitioner can set him/herself free from all the limiting, negative, and useless patterns, mindsets, behaviors, and attitudes that make us suffer.
In a certain way, this system represents a psychological tool to evaluate, understand, and then act on our way to interact with the world around us. This millenary tradition of a psychology of the self is an indispensable tool for progressing through meditation, awareness, and awakening.
Professor Steven D. Goodman has taught Abhidharma for all his career, and in this book, he presents us with a practical and usable overview of the Buddhist system. The book, from this point of view, represents a sort of step-by-step guide to an analysis of the self that can highlight where we get lost in our suffering.
The book gives valuable tools on how the practitioner could free him/herself from emotional pain by becoming aware, then understanding why we do things the way we do them.
Goodman uses self-observation, reflection, and understanding as the steps of a ladder that brings the reader into a deeper knowledge of the mechanisms that occur in our minds when we start to meditate.
This book is the definitive reference for anyone interested in Buddhist psychology and in a scientific approach to the mental processes occurring when we study and observe ourselves.
I absolutely recommend this book!!