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Suttas on personality types


#1

Hey y’all, I’ve been asked to find some suttas with interesting psychological material for different personality or character types. Things like, kinds of people and appropriate meditations and practices for them. And I’m too lazy to do the research, so anyone have any suggestions for me?


#2

A few off the top of my head, before signing off:

Greed type: DN 23 (simile of 2 men carrying hemp; trading lesser happiness for greater)

Judgmental type: MN 139 (focus on the behavior, not the person)

Anger type: MN 21 (simile of saw); AN 5.161 (5 ways to remove resentment); AN 5.162 (another 5 ways to remove resentment)

Reactive types: MN 62 (develop mind like earth…)


#3

one of my favourites: Vepacitti Sutta: Calm in the Face of Anger.

I like this one, and in essence has the solution to different defilements like craving, fear and attachment: SuttaCentral.


#4

MN 12

Furthermore, the Realized One truly understands the world with its many and diverse elements.

Puna caparaṃ, sāriputta, tathāgato anekadhātunānādhātulokaṃ yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti.

Furthermore, the Realized One truly understands the diverse attitudes of sentient beings.

Puna caparaṃ, sāriputta, tathāgato sattānaṃ nānādhimuttikataṃ yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti.

Furthermore, the Realized One truly understands the faculties of other sentient beings and other individuals after comprehending them with his mind.

Puna caparaṃ, sāriputta, tathāgato parasattānaṃ parapuggalānaṃ indriyaparopariyattaṃ yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti.

SN 14.15

Sentient beings come together and converge because of an element. Those who have a bad attitude come together and converge with those who have a bad attitude. Those who have a good attitude come together and converge with those who have a good attitude.

In the past, in the future, and also in the present, sentient beings come together and converge because of an element. Those who have a bad attitude come together and converge with those who have a bad attitude. Those who have a good attitude come together and converge with those who have a good attitude.

DN 31

A master should serve their bondservants and workers as the lower quarter in five ways: by organizing work according to ability

Parents served by the children in these five ways show compassion to them in five ways. They keep them from doing bad. They support them in doing good. They train them in a profession. They connect them with a suitable partner.


#5

Not a sutta, but there’s also this


#6

I see that the Wiki entry attributes the sixfold classification of caritas to Buddhaghosa, though actually it first appears in the account of the buddhacakkhu in the Mahā- and Cūḷaniddesa:

Jānāti bhagavā: “ayaṃ puggalo rāgacarito, ayaṃ dosacarito, ayaṃ mohacarito, ayaṃ vitakkacarito, ayaṃ saddhācarito, ayaṃ ñāṇacarito” ti.

  1. Rāgacaritassa bhagavā puggalassa asubhakathaṃ katheti.
  2. Dosacaritassa bhagavā puggalassa mettābhāvanaṃ ācikkhati.
  3. Mohacaritassa bhagavā puggalassa uddese paripucchāya kālena dhammassavane kālena dhammasākacchāya garusaṃvāse niveseti.
  4. Vitakkacaritassa bhagavā puggalassa ānāpānassatiṃ ācikkhati.
  5. Saddhācaritassa bhagavā puggalassa pasādanīyaṃ nimittaṃ ācikkhati buddhasubodhiṃ dhammasudhammataṃ saṅghasuppaṭipattiṃ sīlāni ca.
  6. Attano ñāṇacaritassa bhagavā puggalassa vipassanānimittaṃ ācikkhati aniccākāraṃ dukkhākāraṃ anattākāraṃ.

Tuvaṭakasuttaniddesa


#7

Thanks Bhante I have added this reference and changed the article accordingly.


#8

Thanks all for your help. Still looking, though!

Well, I did not know that!


#9

This thought came to me on this very interesting question.

There are personality types that are drawn to negative extremes and negative patterns of thinking. People with some personality disorders experience forms of “black and white thinking,” in that they tend to see people or situations in extremes. This kind of thinking leads to difficulties with relationships, and with dealing with the difficulties that life can present. For example, people with traits of a borderline personality disorder tend to see people (themselves included) and events in extremes, and adopt maladaptive behaviors to control feelings of anxiety, shame or abandonment.

DBT, or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, was developed initially to treat people with traits of BPD. It’s now being used in many other forms of CBT to treat other psychological traits and disorders.

As its name suggests, DBT is influenced by the philosophical perspective of dialectics: balancing opposites. The therapist consistently works with the individual to find ways to hold two seemingly opposite perspectives at once, promoting balance and avoiding black and white—the all-or-nothing styles of thinking. Dialectical Behavior Therapy | Psychology Today

This brought me to the wisdom of the Sona Sutta AN 6.55 :

“When your harp’s strings were tuned too tight, was it resonant and playable?”
“No, sir.”
“When your harp’s strings were tuned too slack, was it resonant and playable?”
“No, sir.”
“But when your harp’s strings were tuned neither too tight nor too slack, but fixed at an even tension, was it resonant and playable?”
“Yes, sir.”

“In the same way, Soṇa, when energy is too forceful it leads to restlessness. When energy is too slack it leads to laziness. So, Soṇa, you should apply yourself to energy and serenity, find a balance of the faculties, and learn the pattern of this situation.”


So, there you have it. DBT from 2500 years ago. Dhamma of the Buddha Therapy.