Thoughts Without a Thinker is the landmark book that brought the worlds of Buddhism and psychotherapy into contact with each other, and changed thousands of lives. Drawing upon his own experience as therapist, meditator, and patient, Mark Epstein, a New York-based psychiatrist trained in classical Freudian methods, integrates Western psychotherapy and the teachings of Buddhism.In accessible, intimate language, this enlightening guide explains the unique psychological contributions of the teachings of Buddhism, describes the path of meditation in contemporary psychological language, and lays out the possibility of a meditation-inspired psychotherapy. Mark Epstein's new introduction reflects on the impact of the book and on the evolving relationship between psychotherapy and Buddhism.
Epstein, a New York City psychiatrist trained in classical Freudian methods, has studied Buddhist meditation in India and Southeast Asia. In a highly personal, thoughtful, illuminating synthesis, he draws on his own experience as therapist, meditator and patient in an unusual attempt to integrate Western psychotherapy and Buddha's teachings on suffering, delusion, wisdom and nonattachment. According to Epstein, Buddhist meditative practices can help people release repressed memories, work through painful emotions, uproot narcissism and redirect destructive energies. By recognizing his or her self-created mental suffering, the patient is able to overcome neurotic behavior patterns and may ultimately shed a deeply ingrained negative sense of self. Patients, psychologists and meditators willing to explore the arduous path outlined here will find much spiritual nourishment. (Apr.)
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December 14, 2004
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