The Self-Pattern and Buddhist Psychology

Shaun Gallagher, Antonino Raffone, Aviva Berkovich-Ohana, Henk P. Barendregt, Prisca R. Bauer, Kirk Warren Brown, Fabio Giommi, Ivan Nyklíček, Brian D. Ostafin, Heleen Slagter, Fynn Mathis Trautwein, David R. Vago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we address core insights from Buddhist psychology about mind-body phenomena and the self, and we relate such insights to the notion of the self-pattern developed in the pattern theory of self. We emphasize the dynamic, temporal and enactive characteristics of the self-pattern, consistent with the core Buddhist notion of non-self. Although there is no one-to-one mapping of Buddhist psychological concepts onto the pattern theory of self, there are important similarities among such concepts and the various processes and dynamical relations that constitute a pragmatic self-pattern that can explain both experiences of self and non-self. Buddhist psychology and the notion of the self-pattern offer mutual insight into the processes, the dynamics, and the implications for questions about well-being and a flexibility that avoids anxiety and reduces attachment, craving, and suffering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-803
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • dynamical pattern
  • meditation
  • non-self
  • self
  • the five aggregates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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