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The Sanity We are Born with: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology Paperback – 1 Feb 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; 1st Edition edition (1 Feb. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590300904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590300909
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 1.7 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 611,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bit text-book but does the job
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa0faeb10) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x976106a8) out of 5 stars Uneven postumous collection but with some fine quotes 16 Dec. 2005
By Neal J. Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a posthumous collection of Trungpa's articles & talks on Buddhist psychology--one previously published in his fine "Shambhala" & another in Nathan Katz' anthology "Buddhist and Western Psychology" (0877737584). Thus, it is somewhat uneven. Much of it is very basic & not extremely engaging IMHO, but some chapters are extraordinarily interesting & educational. Of note, Trungpa Rinpoche established the Maitri therapeutic community, with Maitri Space Awareness technique, in 1972 (but found they were inadequately trained to treat serious mental illness), Naropa Institute in 1974 where "Contemplative Psychology" was taught, & Windhorse Community Services where people with severe mental problems were treated using "therapeutic households." Major topics of interest include similarities & differences to Western psychology: p. 8: "Coming from a tradition that stresses human goodness, it was something of a shock for me to encounter the Western tradition of original sin," p. 138: "There is not much difference, really. If you work in the Buddhist style, it is just common sense. If you work in the Western style, it is common sense, too" & p. 146: "According to the Buddhist teachings, although we acknowledge that people's problems may have been caused by their past upbringing, we feel that the way to undo problems is to cultivate that person's Maitri on the spot. This is done by working with the person's immediate environment rather than by delving into his or her past. Buddhism does not use the Western analytical approach of tracing back to the roots of neurosis in a person's past." He also explains why the ego is important (p. 77: "The only material we have is ego. There is no other way to spirituality), how meditation relates to therapy (pp. 176-7: "When you meditate properly, the notion of cure doesn't come into the picture. If it does, then meditation becomes psychotherapy), the relation of the 5 Buddha families & the 6 Realms to psychology (Buddhist Typology), & the relation between enlightenment & neuroses (p. 177: "When enlightenment is attained, the neuroses are still there, but they have become immense energy. Energy is the euphemism for neurosis from that point of view). Notably, he states that p. 143: "The interaction between Buddhism & Western psychology has provided fertile ground for the establishment of Buddhism in the West." Overall, this is a useful book, but it's not up to the high standards of his "Meditation in Action" (1570622027) or "Shambhala-The Sacred Path of the Warrior" (0877732647).
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x976106fc) out of 5 stars Some shortcomings, but a nice cross section of work.... 21 Nov. 2006
By Patrick D. Goonan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Chogyam Trungpa is a controversial figure, however, he was certainly an excellent teacher and had a gift for explaining complex topics. His ability to explain the nature of mind and relate it to Western psychological thought comes across in lucid fashion. While this book does not represent a complete or comprehensive treatment, it certainly has a lot of value and it a good introduction to Buddhist psychology for anyone. It is like a buffet where you can sample and try on a lot of different ideas. If you develop an in-depth interest, there are other more detailed books by this author and many others.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9647ef30) out of 5 stars a very helpful assortment of writings 18 Jun. 2007
By Stalwart Kreinblaster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
this is probably not the best introduction of Trungpa's writing, but it has wet my appetite for his ideas and style.. Other reviewers say the book is uneven.. which is probably true.. but that does not take away the significance of this collection which i found to show some aspects of buddhism that i have never considered..
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97610984) out of 5 stars So refreshing 28 Dec. 2012
By Margaret S. Kass - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been a student of Trungpa, Rinpoche sine the early 70s and have read most of his books but somehow I missed this one until I recently took a Shambhala training class ant it was on the reading list.

I love the clarity and insight in this book. Although these are characteristic of Rinpoche's Teachings, this book is particularly clear, and somehow comforting. Along with the appreciation that we are born with Basic Goodness (Buddha Nature), the recognition that we also have Basic Sanity supports our attempts to become more grounded in compassion (bodhichitta). I recommend this for people who are struggling in their lives,and frankly human existence is filled with strugggles large and small.

I ordered additional copies for Christmas presents for friends--one is a sangh buddy, the other a doctoral student in christian counseling at a Presbyterian seminary.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97610924) out of 5 stars Stellar Trungpa 3 Oct. 2014
By realkaren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stunningly penetrating and precise. For me this was not a fast read because the depth is so rich I wanted to steep myself in all the considerations it called forth. Great wisdom.
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