An intimate guide to self-acceptance and discovery that offers a Buddhist perspective on wholeness within the framework of a Western understanding of self. For decades, Western psychology has promised fulfillment through building and strengthening the ego. We are taught that the ideal is a strong, individuated self, constructed and reinforced over a lifetime. But Buddhist psychiatrist Mark Epstein has found a different way. Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart shows us that happiness doesn't come from any kind of acquisitiveness, be it material or psychological. Happiness comes from letting go. Weaving together the accumulated wisdom of his two worlds--Buddhism and Western psychotherapy—Epstein shows how "the happiness that we seek depends on our ability to balance the ego's need to do with our inherent capacity to be." He encourages us to relax the ever-vigilant mind in order to experience the freedom that comes only from relinquishing control. Drawing on events in his own life and stories from his patients, Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart teaches us that only by letting go can we start on the path to a more peaceful and spiritually satisfying life.
going to pieces without falling apart
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Blending the lessons of psychotherapy with Buddhist teachings, Mark Epstein offers a revolutionary understanding of what constitutes a healthy emotional life The line between psychology and spirituality has blurred, as clinicians, their patients, and religious seekers explore new perspectives on the self. A landmark contribution to the field of psychoanalysis, Thoughts Without a Thinker describes the unique psychological contributions offered by the teachings of Buddhism. Drawing upon his own experiences as a psychotherapist and meditator, New York-based psychiatrist Mark Epstein lays out the path to meditation-inspired healing, and offers a revolutionary new understanding of what constitutes a healthy emotional life.
Mark Epstein gets better and better with each book: Going on Being is his most brilliant yet. He weaves a mindful cartography of the human heart, tying together insights from Buddhism and psychoanalytic thought into an elegant, captivating tapestry. Epstein shares the spiritual and emotional insights garnered from his own life journey in a fascinating account of what it can mean to us all to go on being. Mark Epstein brings together certain core insights of Buddhism and psychotherapy in a way that is newly illuminating. The result is what Buddhism calls 'a field of benefaction'. I felt happy reading this book. It will go among the handful of books that I keep near me for those times, in the middle of the night, when I reach for true solace. Noelle Oxenhandler author of The Eros of Parenthood
“Most people will never find a great psychiatrist or a great Buddhist teacher, but Mark Epstein is both, and the wisdom he imparts in Advice Not Given is an act of generosity and compassion. The book is a tonic for the ailments of our time.”—Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth Our ego, and its accompanying sense of nagging self-doubt as we work to be bigger, better, smarter, and more in control, is one affliction we all share. And while our ego claims to have our best interests at heart, in its never-ending pursuit of attention and power, it sabotages the very goals it sets to achieve. In Advice Not Given, renowned psychiatrist and author Dr. Mark Epstein reveals how Buddhism and Western psychotherapy, two traditions that developed in entirely different times and places and, until recently, had nothing to do with each other, both identify the ego as the limiting factor in our well-being, and both come to the same conclusion: When we give the ego free rein, we suffer; but when it learns to let go, we are free. With great insight, and in a deeply personal style, Epstein offers readers a how-to guide that refuses a quick fix, grounded in two traditions devoted to maximizing the human potential for living a better life. Using the Eightfold Path, eight areas of self-reflection that Buddhists believe necessary for enlightenment, as his scaffolding, Epstein looks back productively on his own experience and that of his patients. While the ideas of the Eightfold Path are as old as Buddhism itself, when informed by the sensibility of Western psychotherapy, they become something more: a road map for spiritual and psychological growth, a way of dealing with the intractable problem of the ego. Breaking down the wall between East and West, Epstein brings a Buddhist sensibility to therapy and a therapist's practicality to Buddhism. Speaking clearly and directly, he offers a rethinking of mindfulness that encourages people to be more watchful of their ego, an idea with a strong foothold in Buddhism but now for the first time applied in the context of psychotherapy. Our ego is at once our biggest obstacle and our greatest hope. We can be at its mercy or we can learn to mold it. Completely unique and practical, Epstein's advice can be used by all--each in his or her own way--and will provide wise counsel in a confusing world. After all, as he says, "Our egos can use all the help they can get."
Immersed in Buddhist psychology prior to studying Western psychiatry, Dr. Mark Epstein first viewed Western therapeutic approaches through the lens of the East. This posed something of a challenge. Although both systems promise liberation through self-awareness, the central tenet of Buddha's wisdom is the notion of no-self, while the central focus of Western psychotherapy is the self. This book, which includes writings from the past twenty-five years, wrestles with the complex relationship between Buddhism and psychotherapy and offers nuanced reflections on therapy, meditation, and psychological and spiritual development. A best-selling author and popular speaker, Epstein has long been at the forefront of the effort to introduce Buddhist psychology to the West. His unique background enables him to serve as a bridge between the two traditions, which he has found to be more compatible than at first thought. Engaging with the teachings of the Buddha as well as those of Freud and Winnicott, he offers a compelling look at desire, anger, and insight and helps reinterpret the Buddha's Four Noble Truths and central concepts such as egolessness and emptiness in the psychoanalytic language of our time.
A Buddhist psychoanalyst and bestselling author of three books on uniting Western psychology and Eastern spirituality shares his insights on his most commercial subject matter yet--what can be learned from the paradox of desires.
This book contains an eighteen hour seminar - given over a three day period - presented by Michael Eigen in Seoul, Korea. The seminar traces transformations of madness and faith in psychoanalysis - particularly Freud, Klein, Bion and Winnicott - emphasizing basic rhythms of experience steeped in clinical details, social issues and personal concerns, and takes up problems of madness and faith besetting the world today. It is filled with clinical portrayals and discussions of personal and social issues. Eigen describes ways we live through challenging experiences in therapy relevant for how life is lived. Discussions go back and forth between clinical details and cultural dilemmas, touching the taste of life, how one feels to oneself. This work is at once personal, learned, and down-to-earth. One gets the feeling that a lifetime of dedicated work is being condensed and transmitted, mind to mind, person to person, soul to soul. `In case you did not know, Michael Eigen is a living master of psychoanalysis. This work, a beautiful distillation of his thought, is like an intimate conversation with the wisest of the wise, the kindest of the kind. Reading it, I wanted to shout with joy that the book exists and that he is in our midst.' Mark Epstein, MD, author of Thoughts without a Thinker and Going to Pieces without Falling Apart `In this intimate portrait of Michael Eigen's encounter with colleagues in Seoul, Korea, we see the man we have valued as scholar, therapist, and mystic in a new role: teacher. Few meditations on psychoanalysis - or on life itself - have the simplicity and depth, passion and compassion of these conversations that reach across continents, generations, cultures. Read this book and grow wiser.' Nancy McWilliams, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University `There is something rightfully alluring about any thinker engaging with a live audience. We can think of Lacan and Bion in the psychoanalytical world. Eigen enters this realm and his freedom to speak his mind - to me the essence of what it means to be psychoanalytical - is so refreshing, so necessary. He has inspired the other, here in the form of the Korean audience who are clearly caught up in the intellectual intensity of his presence. So too will any open minded reader who joins the Oriental in hearing from the Occidental.' Christopher Bollas author of Shadow of the Object and The Freudian Moment `Michael Eigen is an extraordinary psychoanalytic writer. The more I read the better I feel. In this seminar we get engaged in an intense exchange between Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Bion and Eigen on madness in psychoanalysis, in society, in each of us. Eigen succeeds with the feat of bringing us to the depths of human pain and craziness and yet coming out wiser and enriched.' Jan Stensson, Founding Editor of International Forum of Psychoanalysis
Praise for Fatherless Sons "Research shows that most men now are better fathers than their own fathers were to them. A generation of men are 'making it up,' giving to their children more than they received. No one describes the poignancy--and hope--of contemporary fatherhood better than Jonathan Diamond's heartfelt and insightful new book. For every man who had a father--and who wants to be one." --Terrence Real, author of I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression and How Can I Get Through to You?: Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women "Diamond's moving account of his relationship with his father is a nuanced exploration of mourning and its aftermath." --Publishers Weekly "This is a powerful and beautiful book, written with warmth, humor, and generosity of spirit. Fatherless Sons guides us through the complex journey of grief, helping to transform pain and anguish into hope and healing." --Dr. Dusty Miller, author of Your Surviving Spirit and Women Who Hurt Themselves
What kinds of questions do experienced therapists ask themselves when facing a new client? How can clinical expertise be taught? From the author of the landmark Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, this book takes clinicians step-by- step through developing an understanding of each client's unique psychology and using this information to guide and inform treatment decisions. McWilliams shows that while seasoned practitioners rely upon established diagnostic categories for record-keeping and insurance purposes, their actual clinical concepts and practices reflect more inferential, subjective, and intuitive processes. Interweaving illustrative case examples with theoretical insights and clinically significant research, chapters cover assessment of client temperament, developmental issues, defenses, affects, identifications, relational patterns, self-esteem needs, and pathogenic beliefs. Winner--Gradiva Award, National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis