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. Based on the premise that the Western notion of self is deeply flawed, 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, Epstein leads us through a series of intimate and emotionally resonant chapters that explore key psychological and spiritual experiences such as emptiness, connection, passion, and relief. Highly personal and engaging, 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.
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In the era of self-empowerment and the relentless glorification of self-esteem, Mark Epstein is questioning whether we have it all backward. As a psychiatrist and practicing Buddhist for 25 years, Epstein has come to believe that the self-help movement has encouraged us to spend enormous amounts of time, money, and mental energy on patching up our egos, rather than pursuing true self-awareness. Instead, Epstein suggests we carefully shatter the ego, as if it were a fat piggy bank, to see what's inside--a scary prospect for those who spend their lives in fear of falling apart. But fear not. Epstein artfully shows readers how to patch the pieces together again into a far richer and more meaningful mosaic. --Gail HudsonFrom the Publisher:
Praise for Mark Epstein:
Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart:
"[A] daring and profound synthesis of intelligence about emotions East and West. This provocative blend establishes Mark Epstein as one of psychology's most dazzling thinkers."
--Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
"[An] insightful and heartfelt exploration into the dilemma and joy of being human."
--Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism Without Beliefs
Thoughts Without a Thinker:
"A most lucid and expert account of the wedding of psychotherapy and meditation."
--Jack Kornfield, author of A Path Without a Heart
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