Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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"One of the most sophisticated integrations of therapeutic and spiritual disciplines." Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Mark Epstein, M.D., is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School whose other books include Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, Going on Being, and Open to Desire. He practices psychiatry in New York City, where he lives.
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Buddha taught that the false ego or metaphorical self causes mental suffering. Deeds exist, but no doer can be found. Thoughts exist with out a thinker. We have thoughts, feelings, a body, senses, and consciousness; all these exist, however there is no "I" or "ego". That is mental formation we hold in our mind and give it a form, but it is a mental mirage and is an illusion and is the root of all our mental suffering. That is the main teaching of this book, and if you can grasp that you overcome the world.
There are many exciting developments in the use of mindfulness and meditation in psychotherapy. A Buddhist approach is one of them. What gives such value to Epstein's approach, though, is his success at giving an overall theoretical psychodynamic framework. This book is an excellent statement on the `how it works' of meditation in psychotherapy. What is needed after a close reading of this material, are specifics on the `how to' of actually doing and using meditation within a psychotherapy practice.
---For the therapist with a psychodynamic orientation, I recommend studying the third section of this book, in which Epstein lays out a process for integrating meditation and therapy.
---For the mindful client who wants to understand the therapeutic process, a reading of the whole book will be helpful.
---The Buddhist reader will be able to better understand psychodynamic psychotherapy after reading this.
The book brilliantly explains the process of integration, but stops short of explaining exactly how to set the wheels in process. For now, psychotherapist wanting to learn the `how to' in individual psychotherapy will need supervision, as approaches are developed client by client.
I am interested in dialog on mindfulness and psychotherapy. [...]
What makes this book remarkable, for me at least, is that Epstein does NOT try to combine Buddhism and psychotherapy into a hybrid so much as he creatively and effectively uses each to reflect and inform the other. Instead of advocating a watered-down "Buddhism-Lite", or a Western psychology with some meditation draped over top, he recognizes that each has its merits, but that each can learn from the other without attempting to become the other. The result is a trenchant presentation/interpretation of Buddhism that Westerners can follow (because it starts from categories and cultural institutions rooted in Western traditions of psychology) AND an applied psychology that learns from Buddhism without trying to become Buddhism.