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postgraduate thesis: Conceptualising a bodhisattva-spirit-oriented counselling framework inspired by the Vimalakīrti nirdeśa sūtra

TitleConceptualising a bodhisattva-spirit-oriented counselling framework inspired by the Vimalakīrti nirdeśa sūtra
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Cheng, F. [鄭鳳姬]. (2014). Conceptualising a bodhisattva-spirit-oriented counselling framework inspired by the Vimalakīrti nirdeśa sūtra. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5317052
AbstractMental health has become a critical global issue over the last century, adversely impacting individual happiness, social costs and human capital, all of which devastate national competitiveness, urging government leaders to take immediate action to solve this problem. Caring professionals have studied medical and non-medicinal solutions, including counselling, which may interface with religion. The integration of Buddhist elements and therapies is increasingly prevalent, with positive effects. However, very few of these psychotherapeutic approaches adopt canonical evidence to support their theories, even though many are associated with Tibetan or early Buddhism. Focusing on first-hand data and employing interpretivism and plurality, this exploratory research interprets the ideas of bodhisattva and the four immeasurables within the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra, an influential Mahāyāna text, and translates them into a counselling framework from the Chinese Buddhist perspective, cross-referenced with qualitative fieldwork. Through purposive sampling, 38 participants were recruited through cold calls, social networks, and electronic mails, including helping practitioners, Buddhist masters, volunteers, and beneficiaries who have overcome life challenges through Buddhist wisdom. In addition to 44 semi-structured, in-depth individual as well as two focus group interviews analysed through interpretative phenomenological analysis, multiple resources were also utilised, such as participatory observations, expressive art, television programmes, and autobiographies. The ATLAS.ti 7 software package was used for both scriptural and interview data analyses. Triangulation was conducted to enhance rigour, involving expert consultation, member-checking, and a peer analysis that resulted in an inter-rater reliability of 92%, which reflects the credibility, dependability, confirmability, and transferability of this project. Results finalised two super-ordinate themes (philosophical concepts and propositions for counselling) from 14 emergent themes arising from 40 themes, proposing a bodhisattva-spirit-oriented counselling framework, highlighting the social dimension and illuminating constructs that are disregarded by the extant models. These outcomes correspond to research questions which achieve the research objective, and support the research assumption regarding the inherent therapeutic functionality of Buddhism. This mixed-method inter-disciplinary work not only supplies a direct Buddhist voice, which differs from available literature, but also provides theoretical underpinnings for researchers and practitioners to enrich their practice and expand the horizon of Buddhist-related interventions. This indicates the practicability of the bodhisattva path in the human service industry, as witnessed by the lived experience of the participants, implying the applicability of Mahāyāna wisdom, which has evolved over 2,000 years, to our modern society. In conceptualising this comprehensive counselling framework, this study opens up a doctrinal approach to substantiate Buddhist-informed interventions, revealing the significance of canonical data for such research and marking the originality and feature of this project. However, this proposed framework is being developed with little exploration of operational procedures. Future studies are suggested to develop non-medicinal and non-intrusive programmes based on this framework, and to explore other concepts of Chinese Buddhism for therapeutic purposes. In conclusion, this research, recapturing the Buddhist power of discourse in the caring field, sheds light on how the bodhisattva spirit can be put into practice via self-transcendence and a quest for well-being in contemporary cultures, through self-benefiting altruism.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectCounseling - Religious aspects
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206482

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorCheng, Fung-kei-
dc.contributor.author鄭鳳姬-
dc.date.accessioned2014-10-31T23:16:00Z-
dc.date.available2014-10-31T23:16:00Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationCheng, F. [鄭鳳姬]. (2014). Conceptualising a bodhisattva-spirit-oriented counselling framework inspired by the Vimalakīrti nirdeśa sūtra. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5317052-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206482-
dc.description.abstractMental health has become a critical global issue over the last century, adversely impacting individual happiness, social costs and human capital, all of which devastate national competitiveness, urging government leaders to take immediate action to solve this problem. Caring professionals have studied medical and non-medicinal solutions, including counselling, which may interface with religion. The integration of Buddhist elements and therapies is increasingly prevalent, with positive effects. However, very few of these psychotherapeutic approaches adopt canonical evidence to support their theories, even though many are associated with Tibetan or early Buddhism. Focusing on first-hand data and employing interpretivism and plurality, this exploratory research interprets the ideas of bodhisattva and the four immeasurables within the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra, an influential Mahāyāna text, and translates them into a counselling framework from the Chinese Buddhist perspective, cross-referenced with qualitative fieldwork. Through purposive sampling, 38 participants were recruited through cold calls, social networks, and electronic mails, including helping practitioners, Buddhist masters, volunteers, and beneficiaries who have overcome life challenges through Buddhist wisdom. In addition to 44 semi-structured, in-depth individual as well as two focus group interviews analysed through interpretative phenomenological analysis, multiple resources were also utilised, such as participatory observations, expressive art, television programmes, and autobiographies. The ATLAS.ti 7 software package was used for both scriptural and interview data analyses. Triangulation was conducted to enhance rigour, involving expert consultation, member-checking, and a peer analysis that resulted in an inter-rater reliability of 92%, which reflects the credibility, dependability, confirmability, and transferability of this project. Results finalised two super-ordinate themes (philosophical concepts and propositions for counselling) from 14 emergent themes arising from 40 themes, proposing a bodhisattva-spirit-oriented counselling framework, highlighting the social dimension and illuminating constructs that are disregarded by the extant models. These outcomes correspond to research questions which achieve the research objective, and support the research assumption regarding the inherent therapeutic functionality of Buddhism. This mixed-method inter-disciplinary work not only supplies a direct Buddhist voice, which differs from available literature, but also provides theoretical underpinnings for researchers and practitioners to enrich their practice and expand the horizon of Buddhist-related interventions. This indicates the practicability of the bodhisattva path in the human service industry, as witnessed by the lived experience of the participants, implying the applicability of Mahāyāna wisdom, which has evolved over 2,000 years, to our modern society. In conceptualising this comprehensive counselling framework, this study opens up a doctrinal approach to substantiate Buddhist-informed interventions, revealing the significance of canonical data for such research and marking the originality and feature of this project. However, this proposed framework is being developed with little exploration of operational procedures. Future studies are suggested to develop non-medicinal and non-intrusive programmes based on this framework, and to explore other concepts of Chinese Buddhism for therapeutic purposes. In conclusion, this research, recapturing the Buddhist power of discourse in the caring field, sheds light on how the bodhisattva spirit can be put into practice via self-transcendence and a quest for well-being in contemporary cultures, through self-benefiting altruism.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshCounseling - Religious aspects-
dc.titleConceptualising a bodhisattva-spirit-oriented counselling framework inspired by the Vimalakīrti nirdeśa sūtra-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5317052-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5317052-

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