What I found most interesting, and also most valuable, about Barry Magid"s work is his ability to bring together the insights of his psychotherapy practice to the clarity of his role as a zen teacher into one seamless presentation. In fact, the major theme of Ordinary Mind, that there is no sharp boundary between psychology and spirituality, is so well made that the reader will surely have to question any prior assumptions about what psychology is and what spiritual practice is. I particularly liked Magid's thoroughness in clarifying the normally fuzzy thinking that occupies the borderland between psychology and religion.
But this is not just an intellectual polemic. Using a combination of honest examples from his own life, the wisdom of the Zen koan, and not least of all, humor, he repeatedly returns to how these issues inform our everyday life as we live it. Time and again he brings us back to the essential point that must be addressd in any approach to living a less self-centered life, whether the approach be that of psychology or spirituality. And that point is that the real satisfaction that all of us are looking for must come from the increasing ability to move away from our false pictures of what life is and what spirituality is, and instead move toward a direct experiencing of our life as it is.