One of the many convergences occurring in our time is between the field of behavioral psychology and nondual wisdom. The “third wave of behaviorism” integrates mindfulness and acceptance techniques with behavioral activation and cognitive change technologies from the first and second wave to create treatments like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy(DBT). These treatments are “evidence based”, meaning that research trials have proven their effectiveness in reducing the suffering caused by many kinds of psychological problems. In this article I want to explore the foundations of a fourth wave of behaviorism in which the techniques and principles of the first three are utilized in the service of awakening and liberation as described by the nondual wisdom tradition that includes Zen Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Contemplative Christianity, Sufism and the mystical traditions at the core of all religions. Onepotential is to offer an avenue to awakening free of the spiritual and religious trappings that characterize more traditional approaches. The behaviors and conceptual understanding of third wave behavioral therapists will be compared and contrasted with those of nondual teachers like Adyashanti, Gangaji, Isaac Shapiro and Dorothy Hunt in order to investigate what these fields may be able to learn from one another in freeing people from suffering.
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