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Going on Being: Life at the Crossroads of Buddhism and Psychotherapy
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Going on Being: Life at the Crossroads of Buddhism and Psychotherapy

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  347 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Before he began training as a psychiatrist, Mark Epstein immersed himself in Buddhism through influential teachers such as Ram Dass, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield. Buddhism's positive outlook and the meditative principle of living in the moment profoundly influenced his study and practice of psychotherapy. Going on Being is an intimate chronicle of Epstein's formati ...more
Paperback, 225 pages
Published January 27th 2009 by Wisdom Publications (first published March 27th 2001)
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I started to read this book and found that the most meaningful bit was a bookmark I found inside with the following on it:

Walking the Labyrinth
A Journey of Presence

My life is a sacred journey.
It is about change, growth,
discovery, creativity, transformation,
continuously expanding my
of what is possible,
stretching my soul
learning to see clearly
and deeply,
listening to my intuition, taking courageous risks,
embracing challenges
at every step along the way.

I am on the path,
exactly where I am meant
Steve Woods
Epstein is one of the most important people I have read since I started to practice 7 years ago. He has done much to help me on the way towards integrating what I have learned through practice and other forms of psychological work over the past few years. Somehow he is able to encapsulate the teachings into a form that just slots right into my daily life. the understanding that arises from that has been extremely helpful. This is another great book. I recommend it to anyone who has an interest i ...more
Mo Tipton
I started this book immediately after reading Stephen Cope's The Wisdom of Yoga, and I think I was just looking for an extension of that book because I enjoyed it so much. While Epstein deals with very similar material--the intersection of Western psychotherapy and Eastern philosophy--his writing isn't nearly as compelling as Cope's, and I found myself understanding the material more on an intellectual level rather than glimpsing how it would transform my life when put into practice. He also see ...more
Standard Schaefer
Mostly good for thinking about Winnecot and child rearing
This is second time I've ventured into Epstein's spiritual autobiography which includes Buddhist teachings and reflections on psychotherapy. Epstein is without doubt one of my favorite writers - his "Going to pieces without falling apart" a book that was a doorway to the spiritual path for me; and Going on Being doesn't let me down.

He takes us through the obstacles we come up against when trying to live in a manner that is present and in contact with our world, ideally not creating excess suffer
This is a spiritual biography of sorts. It outlines Mark Epstein's introduction to Buddhism and the ways in which his Buddhist outlook intersects with his work as psychotherapist. It's both straightforward and engaging, probably a lot like Epstein, who seems to be the type of therapist we all wish we'd had at some point in our lives. It's said that the Buddha was the first psychologist, and Epstein supports that claim. He's particularly articulate on the development of his meditation practice, a ...more
Dr. Epstein shares his journey of incorporating psychotherapy with Buddhism in this beautifully written book. It does not read like a science book but more like a memoir of Dr. Epstein steps in bringing together the teachings of East and West.
Very clear, helpful book that allowed me to see the important intersection between processing the pain of where we come from (psycho-analysis), and accepting it in a way that allows us to live with it (Buddhism).
Matt Root
"Going to Pieces" was an important read for me. "Going on Being" was perhaps less transformational but more powerful and exhilarating. I could not recommend this book more.
Marijo Puleo
I have several books on Buddhism and have had varying degrees of success in reading them. I like this book because the author relates it through his own experience and growth with the material, which helped make it more accessible. I enjoyed watching it unfold before his eyes, and could resonate with his examples.

Sometimes a book is unreadable because the resonance or experience is lacking in the reader. Sometimes this was true (because of my own limitations) and yet, I was interested to "stret
Well written with agood blend of personal stories and philosophy.
I thought this was an excellent book. It is really clearly written and does an incredible job of articulating exactly how meditation creates a therapeutic effect. If you are a psychoanalyst or training to become one and you have an interest in meditation you must read this book. I did not expect to like it that much, but I found it to be illuminating.
This is essentially Epstein's spiritual autobiography. It weaves a convincing fabric from the threads of Buddhist philosophy and psychotherapy. I found it highly readable and entertaining, and very helpful in understanding more of Buddhist psychology. Epstein is one of my favorite Buddhist authors.
Karen A.
This was a great book to listen to in the car. Dr. Epstein brought a lot of clarity to some of the more mysterious aspects of Buddhism. He is a psychiatrist and thus, for my western mind which is more familiar with therapy speak, he is able to bridge the gap between psychoanalysis and mindfulness.
Mark has a great knack for explaining Eastern Thought to Western minds. His extensive background in psychology & Buddhism allows him to understand the Buddha's teachings from a psychoanalytic perspective.
This book reads like Freud and the Dali Lama having a conversation together.
Yet another startling book from Epstein, this on re-read was more enlightening that the first time through. I cannot reocmmend his books enough, starting with the breakthrough THOUGHTS WITHOUT A THINKER. Buddhist psychology and western psychology has no better friend and matchmaker.
I'm working on a master's thesis focused on Buddhist psychology. This isn't the worst book I've read in my research, but its not the best. Its definitely "for the masses" but I worry that is not appealing enough for the masses. It was ok.
Epstein's writing style is earnest and accessible. Anyone interested in the intersection of Buddhist psychology and Western psychotherapy will gobble up Epstein's books like leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
Bought this back in 2001, got around to reading it for the second time, enjoyed it yet again and have also read other works by the same author, highly recommended.
Philosophical rather than pragmatic. This is not a self-help book. It is about the author's journey in Buddhism, meditation, and psychotherapy.
I LOVED this book. :) It was one I bought hardcover and have read over and over.
Alexis Pullen
Need to reread the chapter on "The Klesha of I am not" and the one that follows.
A life changing book. Profound and, perhaps paradoxically, an easy and pleasant read.
Carrolldunham Dunham
Epstein's books are wonderful intersection of pyschoanalaysis and Buddhism
For some reason, the author and I are not quite on the same wavelength.
Thought provoking book about Winnicott/object relations theory and Buddhism
Decent ideas, short on pragmatic application (beyond 'meditate').
Very honest book. Great exploration of psychology and Buddhism
so far i like the authors style of writing and the content
lucid and thoughtful. great introduction to Buddhism
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“If things do not exist as fixed, independent entities, then how can they die? Our notion of death as the sudden expiration of that which was once so real starts to unwind. If things do not exist in their own right and are flickering rather than static, then we can no longer fear their ultimate demise. We may fear their instability, or their emptiness, but the looming threat of death starts to seem absurd. Things are constantly dying, we find. Or rather, they are constantly in flux, arising and passing away with each moment of consciousness.” 5 likes
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