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“The Roots of Buddhist Psychology” by Jack Kornfield (Audiobook Recommendation)

I recently completed that audiobook The Roots of Buddhist Psychology by Dr. Jack Kornfield, who is a Buddhist psychologist. Dr. Kornfield is highly regarded author and lecturer who has been a Buddhist practioner since the late 1960s. He has lived and studied in Thailand, Burma, and India throughout various times of his life, so you can tell that he has a deep understanding of Buddhist concepts and “practices what he preaches.” Although I’m not a Buddhist myself, I find that many of the deep teachings of Buddhism overlap with findings from Western psychology. In particular, there has been a virtual explosion in the field of psychology on the benefits of mindfulness, which has its origins in Eastern and Buddhist meditation practices. Also, cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) bears a striking resemblance to many of the teachings found in Buddhist psychology.

This audiobook is a lecture presented to an audience at a workshop by Dr. Kornfield. So, it is not even available in a traditional book format. His style is engaging and very accessible. He doesn’t really get into the “religion” of Buddhism. As the name implies, he focuses on the psychological teachings within Buddhism that can be used to find greater peace and equanimity by everyone, regardless of one’s religious background. He uses many Buddhist and personal stories, anecdotes, and quotations to convey these important and useful teachings. Also, Dr. Kornfield demonstrates a warm, self-effacing sense of humor, which makes his presentation both engaging and entertaining. I have seen Dr. Kornfield present in person and look forward to reading (or listening to) more of his work.

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