Awakening Interview: Prof. Giulio Cesare Giacobbe

Ian Paul Marshall —  December 7, 2009 — 4 Comments

buddha-stoneHow To Become A Buddha In 5 Weeks

Today, I spoke to Prof. Giulio Cesare Giacobbe, who is author of How to Become a Buddha in 5 Weeks: The Simple Way to Self-Realization.  In this interview, Prof. Giacobbe talks about the Buddha, how the Buddha’s teachings have been hidden in mysticism, that the Buddha was a shrewd psychologist and more…

There’s tons of Buddhist books out there. What’s different about How To Become A Buddha In 5 Weeks?
All the Buddhist books out there are about the Buddhist tradition created by other people after the Buddha’s death. My book is about Buddha’s teachings.

What is a Buddha?
A person which has conquered the 5 Powers:

  1. Control of the Mind
  2. Presence In Reality
  3. Consciousness of Impermanence
  4. Non-Attachment
  5. Universal Love

The title of your book is “How To Become A Buddha In 5 Weeks” so are you saying that most people think that enlightenment is a complicated process and really it’s not?
Yes. The Buddha’s teaching is a psychological process which is not that difficult to do. Buddhist traditions have mystified it. Removing it’s true power from normal people.

You mention that you believe Buddha was a shrewd psychologist. What do mean by that?
He invented a psychological method to solve pathological suffering. (Neurosis)

In your book you talk about impermanence and being aware of it. Can you explain a simple way we can do that?
Become conscious that all things continuously change.

You seem to be a fan of affirmations for the awakening process. Can you explain the benefits of using them daily?
Serenity, free from suffering, happiness, universal love.

You say that it isn’t other people that create our suffering but our reactions to their actions that creates it. So how can we become better reactors?
By controlling our mind and not following it’s negative reactions.

What is the most important thing a person can do to become enlightened?
Become conscious that all things continuously change.


Prof. Giulio Cesare Giacobbe, is the author of How to Become a Buddha in 5 Weeks: The Simple Way to Self-Realization, works as a psychotherapist and teaches the principles of oriental psychology at the University of Genoa.

4 responses to Awakening Interview: Prof. Giulio Cesare Giacobbe

  1. I loved this book and found it interesting and a practical guide. I have used it to great effect in my meditation class and have written a article loosely based on the teaching in my web site.

    Thank you for your insights Professor Giacoabbe.

  2. “By controlling our mind”. The Buddha didn’t teach CONTROL of one’s mind, which is totally insane. The mind cannot be controlled. That would be just another TRICK. It’s about just observing what happens, without jumping on the rollercoaster of our chatter.
    The Buddha’s teaching is a “psychological process”. Ow yeah, that’s something only a scholar could come up with…
    if the prof had been a Buddha himself in the meantime, he wouldn’t have come up with these answers.
    Time for him to go on a 10 day Vipassana silence retreat I guess and find out if it’s truly about controlling your mind.

  3. @ sherlizz

    I am reading the book. When Giacobbe is speaking about “Control of the Mind” he’s actually speaking about unprejudiced observation of thoughts (the rollercoaster of our chatter?)… So it seems that you’re both talking about the same thing.

    Also Giacobbe says that a Buddha knows that thoughts are automatic.

  4. The Buddha told how to control distracting and unwholesome thoughts in the discourse, Vitakkasanthana Sutta:

    Essentially, we need to try, a step at a time, the following when confronting an unwholesome thought within:

    1.Think of a good thing. In this case, the easiest is to think that not doing this bad thing is good in itself.

    If the above attempt fails, and the unwholesome thoughts come up again, go to number 2:

    2.Think of the bad repercussions this thought will bring; most of the time, these repercussions will be upon yourself (the law of karma).

    If No. 2 is still not working, go to No. 3 and so-fourth:

    3.Don’t think about it. (Find something else to do).

    4.“Relax” distracting thought formations: As soon as you see an unwholesome thought, stop that thought from forming other thoughts. Essentially the Buddha said to tell yourself to gradually slow down the mental (and physical) mess that this unwholesome thought is creating in you.

    5. Fifth and final try: With clenched-teeth, tongue on the palate of the mouth, and fight evil mind with good mind. Just say “STOP” to yourself and stop that unnecessary thought.

    The Buddha stopped here, so it means that No. 5 should work… if it is not, you are not trying hard enough.

    Note: The above cannot be applied if we are not aware that we are having an unwholesome thought. We need to be aware, at every moment, of what we are doing (i.e. thinking). This is the basic frame of mindfulness that the Buddha told us to cultivate. It is not easy, because the mind tends to drift when you are not mindful, but this essential “basic mindfulness” need to be there to “live in the present moment”

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