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Int Rev Psychiatry. 2006 Jun;18(3):281-7.

The tsunami and its aftermath in Sri Lanka: explorations of a Buddhist perspective.

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Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, University of London, UK.


This paper discusses the tsunami disaster in Sri Lanka with special reference to Buddhism, which is the majority religion in the island. The role of religious beliefs and of religion in general in strengthening coping skills is well known. Buddhism, with its specific views on the human condition and its use of psychological strategies, is almost unique among world religions. The Buddhist responses to the tsunami have been discussed widely, if largely informally, in Sri Lanka, and many concepts and practices have been highlighted and focused on. This paper provides an overview of the relationship between culture and traumatic experiences, with a brief discussion of the role of religion in mental health. It then goes on to explore some relevant Buddhist concepts and practices which can be used in clinical settings.

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