A British veterinary study reported in the New York Times finds that dogs who have separation anxiety can demonstrate what the researchers call “pessimism” — a more enduring state of negative emotion.
Martin Seligman is one of the biggest names in the field of psychology. He did the original research ont he concept of learned helplessness and has now helped to found the field of positive psychology with concepts like learned optimism. He, and the field, have come full circle from a view of humanity that has shifted from “what is wrong with you” to “what is right with you.” Humorous and enlightening, this talk provides an historical overview of the field.
A recent Tricycle Daily Dharma (click here to receive these daily emails with brief excerpts of writing from Tricycle Magazine) the great Thai teacher Ajahn Chah gave the metaphor of plowing your own field.
When people genuinely meet the dharma, they realize it directly within themselves. So the Buddha said that he is merely the one who shows the way. In teaching us, he is not accomplishing the way for us. It is not so easy as that. It’s like someone who sells us a plow to till the fields. He isn’t going to do the plowing for us. We have to do that ourselves. Don’t wait for the salesman to do it. Once he’s made the sale, he takes the money and splits. That’s his part.That’s how it is in practice. The Buddha shows the way. He’s not the one who does it for us. Don’t expect the salesman to till your field. If we understand the path in this way, it’s a little more comfortable for us, and we will do it ourselves. Then there will be fruition.