Friday, 9 March 2007

A reader writes...

In our 4 Jan Elsewhere post, we flagged up a Guardian article concerning what might be the first account of successful psychotherapy in European prose literature.

This prompted reader Anu de Monterice to write in:

The Buddha (around 500 BCE) treated King Pasenadi, who was prone to
overeating. I first came across this story in the paperback book, "Beyond
Therapy", edited by Guy Claxton (Prism Press, UK, 1996), in the chapter
"Buddhism and Behaviour Change: Implications for Therapy," by Padmal de Silva (p 217- 231).

The reference de Silva quotes is "Dhammapada Commentary", HC
Norman, ed, Pali Text Society, London. The story is also freely available on the
internet. For example, the account by Andrew Olendzki, which points up the cognitive component, the Dhammapada verse, which specifies the behavioral therapy component, and a commentary, on the account from the Samyutta Nikaya (The Connected Discourses of the Buddha), by a Maylasian monk.

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