Sunday, October 6 • 13:30 - 15:00
Exploring the nature of mind and experience - Han de Wit

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Limited Capacity seats available

Exploring the nature of mind and experience (through contemplative psychology)

Do we really understand what spiritual practices, such as mindfulness, yoga, prayer, visualizations actually do to our mind and experience? What changes when we practice these disciplines? How are our thoughts, beliefs, imagination, and emotions both used and transformed along the spiritual path? To answer these questions, based on his recently published book The Great Within. The transformative power and psychology of the spiritual path (Shambhala Publ. 2019).

Dr. Han de Wit, one of the internationally leading psychologists in the field will give an introduction and a workshop on what is perhaps the oldest and most interesting psychology ever developed: the psychology of the contemplative life. As De Wit points out, this contemplative psychology has not been developed by practitioners of academic disciplines, but rather by intelligent and sensitive practitioners of the contemplative and spiritual traditions themselves. As such, it contains its own psychological understanding of contemplative and spiritual growth, and it has created its own methods of acquiring knowledge and insight into the nature of the human mind and experience.

This psychology, often embedded in – if not hidden by – religious language is in fact the oldest one that we have. We will explore its psychological insights and its methods and address the fundamental issue of how our unenlightened mode of experience comes about, what its nature is, why we hold onto it as real, and how it carries over into our words and deeds.

Moreover, this psychology examines why and how the profane mode of experience can be transformed into the spiritual experience of reality and inner peace through the practice of contemplative disciplines. We will see how this age old contemplative psychology has been and still functions as a support on any spiritual path and how it is different in a very fundamental and enriching way from the self-help psychology that we are nowadays familiar with in our western culture.

With Buddhism as the framing tradition, Han de Wit will introduce its view and practice in dialogue with our common psychology, psychotherapy, science and the mindfulness movement.

avatar for Han de Wit

Han de Wit

Meet Han de Wit: a psychologist with a deep interest in psychology, philosophy and religion. As a trained Buddhist teacher, he has a playful way of presenting spirituality and Buddhism in our culture and time.

Sunday October 6, 2019 13:30 - 15:00
4. Zuiderkerk 4. Zuiderkerkhof 72, Amsterdam