(2 credits)  This course will examine the cultivation of patience as an antidote to anger, and joyous effort as an antidote to apathy from both traditional Indo-Tibetan Buddhist and western psychological perspectives. Specific attention will be focused on the analytic thoughts and meditations, worldviews, research, and secular techniques said to reduce anger and apathy and increase patience and joyful effort in daily living.

The Buddhist perspective will be examined through a close reading of two chapters from the sixth century Indian mater Shantideva’s timeless classic, the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, a beloved text in all the Tibetan Buddhist tradition’s lineages and often praised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a peerless text on the cultivation of compassion. Shantideva’s text offers techniques and inspiration to avoid major psychological pitfalls on the path to developing a deep altruism for others and oneself.

Western clinical and social psychology specializes in the observation, description and development of humans as social beings, illuminating the best and worst of behavior. The Western psychological perspective will be examined through readings on theories of emotion, motivation, and social behavior. 

A combination of philosophical study, discussion, reflection, and meditation training will be utilized in the exploration of these topics and the interstices and convergences between Buddhist and western psychology.