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Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
CDN$ 42.55 CDN$ 261.90

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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio on MP3-CD; MP3 Una edition (Aug. 7 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469203782
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469203782
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,297,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To be fair I'm only halfway through it right now. It examines in great detail the similarities and differences of Buddhist ideology and perspective and western psychology - but it does so in such great detail that it is quite a challenging read. I am an avid reader with a university education, and have a strong interest in the subject matter, but I still glaze over halfway through every paragraph. I have to go back and re-read everything 3-4x before I get the point. It is taking me forever to read this book. It reads like a very dry university textbook. There is some great information in here, but none of it is particularly memorable to me - and if it's not memorable, it's not useful. The only paragraphs I actually remember and understand are the anecdotal ones that start with "I had a patient who..." because unless I understand concepts better when they are put in real-world context. If you have an education in psychology and/or psychotherapy and want to hash out the details of Buddhism as it applies to western psychology, it's a great book. If you're looking for inspiration or bedtime light reading, maybe not.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book as a medical student, and its wisdom has stayed with me for more than a decade. Well worth the read for any inspired clinician.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9af9d060) out of 5 stars 63 reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae64378) out of 5 stars A remarkable blend of Buddhism and psychology Dec 17 2005
By AbbeyDove - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The first chapter of this book alone is worth the purchase price. I have it dogeared, and refer back to it frequently. The author uses the Buddhist Wheel of Life as a metaphor for states of pschological suffering. His explanations are both clear and intriguing. This book will interest students of psychology and Buddhism alike.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae64f48) out of 5 stars I loved this book! Feb. 14 2006
By Angel M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It was one of a few required texts for a Buddhism class. I chose it because I have an interest in psychology, particularly the psychodynamic perspective (unconscious motivation) and this book added to my life in such a way! I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about Buddhism and freeing one's "self" from the limitations of convention. I don't agree with everything in it, but this is a book for my collection, definitely.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b5fb030) out of 5 stars Freud meets Buddha June 3 2008
By Steve Burns - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The author of this book has done an outstanding job explaining the different benefits of both psychotherapy and meditation, there limits and how these approaches can help the other. He explains that "It's not what we are feeling that's important but how we relate to it that matters". The author does a great job clearing up a lot of misconceptions about meditation and the Buddha's teachings. They are very similiar to modern day psychotherapy. Meditation is a form of self therapy, observing your thoughts as they arise and insight mediation allows you to examine how your thoughts flow and why.
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.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b55c66c) out of 5 stars A skillful integration of two fields by someone who knows both July 19 2010
By Linguodude - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A glance at the Buddhism or Applied Psychology sections of any bookstore or website will turn up thousands of titles, many of which are insightful, and many of which are, frankly, New-Age fluff. Those books of the 'fluff' category tend to come from people who no business writing about Buddhism and/or applied psychology because they simply do not know the subject matter (and let me be clear that I am not an expert in either field). Books of these genres that are (1) accessible to non-specialists, and (2) authored by real experts are gems in a sea of mediocrity. Mark Epstein's "Thoughts Without a Thinker" stands out even among these higher-quality works, though, not only because non-specialists can follow his ideas, but because he really knows his stuff in BOTH of the fields that he integrates in this work.

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.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac703a8) out of 5 stars Throws brilliant light on psychotherapy and meditation March 27 2009
By Donald Fleck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Epstein sees psychotherapy and meditation as going hand in hand. He does not see them used consecutively, or side-by-side, but rather being closely integrated.

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. [...]