Western psychology has been dominated by the “logical positivism” propounded by Auguste Compte, and tends to confine its range of application to that which is observable, measurable and repeatable. This empirical approach has its undoubted value but so has the much more ancient approach based on the Wisdom Traditions of the Orient. For example, Western psychologists typically tend to operate “from the head” and, as with cognitive therapy, use reason and logic to solve emotional problems.
The Eastern traditions, as in Zen, Yoga and Aikido for example, place considerable value on working from the body, and are less likely to use a rational “talking cure” approach. In fact, in meditation the role of language is entirely side-stepped and silence is seen as playing a central role in emotional healing and growth. These and other issues will be elaborated in the very stimulating papers in this book.
This book contains the proceedings of two professional meetings organized by “The Transnational Network for the Study of Physical, Psychological and Spiritual Well-being”. Both meetings took place in Canada in August 1996.