Buddhism and psychology overlap in theory and in practice. Over the last century, four strands of interplay have evolved:
- Descriptive phenomenology: Western and Buddhist scholars have found in Buddhist teachings a detailed introspective phenomenological psychology (particularly in the Abhidhamma).
- Psychotherapeutic meaning: Humanistic psychotherapists have found in Buddhism's non-dualistic approach and enlightenment experiences (such as in Zen kensho) the potential for transformation, healing and finding existential meaning.
- Clinical utility: Contemporary mental-health practitioners increasingly find ancient Buddhist practices (such as the development of mindfulness) of empirically proven therapeutic value.
- Popular psychology c.q. spirituality: Psychology has been popularized, and has become blended with spirituality to form modern spirituality. Buddhist notions form an importantant ingredient of this modern blend.
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