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Self-immolation, suicide and self-harm in Buddhist and Western traditions.

Authors
  • Kelly, Brendan D
Type
Published Article
Journal
Transcultural psychiatry
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2011
Volume
48
Issue
3
Pages
299–317
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1363461511402869
PMID: 21742954
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

There are significant points of similarity between considerations of self-harm and suicide in Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions, including qualified acceptance of certain forms of self-harm, altruism as a motivation for suicide, and self-immolation as a form of political protest. Differences include specific contexts in which certain forms of self-harm are accepted and the predominant frameworks used to interpret such acts. The integration of Buddhist concepts of dukkha (unsatisfactoriness or suffering) and sati (mindfulness) into Western psychotherapeutic paradigms represents a significant point of convergence between the two traditions, and suggests the possibility of greater dialogue and therapeutic benefit in the future.

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