Buddhist Wisdom for Everyone: How to Walk Easily Over Rough Ground

Douglas Gentile
Douglas Gentile
Iowa State University

Douglas Gentile, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at Iowa State University.  An award-winning educator, research scientist, and author, he was named one of America’s “Top 300 Professors” by the Princeton Review and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. With decades of scientific research and training in several styles of Buddhism, he has a dual expertise in Western psychological science and Eastern philosophy. The author or editor of several books and well over 100 peer-reviewed scientific studies, Dr. Gentile’s work has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, the BBC, CNN, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and in The New York Times.



June 22, 2022, 4:00 pm

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Buddhism is a philosophy and set of practices designed to help us achieve inner peace and balance. It is a practical approach to working with our own habits of mind. Nonetheless, many of its core ideas seem mystical or inconceivable. In this talk, Dr. Douglas Gentile aligns core Buddhist concepts such as karma, non-duality, and Nirvana with modern psychological science, making them easy to understand and use in our own lives.

Rather than prescribing a belief system, Buddhism points out that fixed beliefs often get in the way of seeing the world clearly. Buddha himself said not to believe anything he said, but instead to put it into practice for yourself and see how it works for you. Through Buddhism, we can learn to cultivate more positive habits of mind and emotion. This allows us to be happier, kinder, more open, and more available to those around us, and to weather the storm when things aren’t going our way.


Recommended Reading:

Finding the Freedom to Get Unstuck and Be Happier, by Douglas Gentile

The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Road Home, by Ethan Nichtern


Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you or have you had a meditation practice?  What was your experience?
  2. What truly makes us more content?  Is it getting more of what we like?
  3. How much do you feel you need to try to control events and people around you?  Does this lead to more stress or less?




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