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Buddhist psychology has two therapeutic goals: the healthy and virtuous life of a householder (samacariya, "harmonious living") and the ultimate goal of nirvana, the total cessation of dissatisfaction and suffering (dukkha).

The contact between these bases leads to a perceptual event as explained in Buddhist texts: "when the eye that is internal is intact and external visible forms come within its range, and when there is an appropriate act of attention on the part of the mind, there is the emergence of perceptual consciousness." The usual process of sense cognition is entangled with what the Buddha terms "papañca" (conceptual proliferation), a distortion and elaboration in the cognitive process of the raw sensation or feeling (vedana).

The psychologist Daniel Goleman states: The notion of an "empty self" posits that there is no "CEO of the mind," but rather something like committees constantly vying for power.

In this view, the "self" is not a stable, enduring entity in control, but rather a mirage of the mind—not actually real, but merely seemingly so.

The suttas also enumerate three "unwholesome roots" (akusala mulas) of suffering, negative emotions and behavior: raga (passion or lust); dosa (hatred or malice); and moha (delusion, or false belief).


These are opposed by three wholesome roots: liberality, kindness and wisdom.

kensho) the potential for transformation, healing and finding existential meaning.



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