Greg interviews Phra Pandit, the resident Bangkok Podcast expert on all things Buddhism, about negative emotions such as anxiety and anger and how Buddhism deals with them. Displaying his deep knowledge of Western psychology, Phra Pandit begins first by discussing the Freudian approach to anxiety, which separates out reasonable negative emotions from neuroticism, which is defined as anxiety that is irrational or inappropriate given the context. 

Greg brings up the sometimes casual attitude that Thais seem to have towards death, and Phra Pandit explains that the Buddha taught his followers to contemplate death and even encouraged monks to meditate in cemeteries and in close proximity to corpses. By addressing the issue of our physical death so directly, Buddhism aims to give us perspective on day to day annoyances, such as getting coffee that’s lukewarm instead of hot. 🙂

The old friends continue with a wide ranging discussion of the differences between how westerners and Thais deal with traumatic events and negative emotions, and Phra Pandit weaves his general knowledge of human psychology in with his very deep and specific knowledge of Thai culture and Buddhism.

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