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Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life - Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life - Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy by Mark Epstein
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Open to Desire Quotes (showing 1-6 of 6)
“Anxiety and desire are two, often conflicting, orientations to the unknown. Both are tilted toward the future. Desire implies a willingness, or a need, to engage this unknown, while anxiety suggests a fear of it. Desire takes one out of oneself, into the possibility or relationship, but it also takes one deeper into oneself. Anxiety turns one back on oneself, but only onto the self that is already known.”
Mark Epstein, Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life - Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy
“There is a yearning that is as spiritual as it is sensual. Even when it degenerates into addiction, there is something salvageable from the original impulse that can only be described as sacred. Something in the person (dare we call it a soul?) wants to be free, and it seeks its freedom any way it can. ... There is a drive for transcendence that is implicit in even the most sensual of desires.”
Mark Epstein, Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life - Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy
“Meditation did not relieve me of my anxiety so much as flesh it out. It took my anxious response to the world, about which I felt a lot of confusion and shame, and let me understand it more completely. Perhaps the best way to phrase it is to say that meditation showed me that the other side of anxiety is desire. They exist in relationship to each other, not independently.”
Mark Epstein, Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life - Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy
“The teaching of the sexual tantras all come down to one point. Although desire, of whatever shape or form, seeks completion, there is another kind of union than the one we imagine. In this union, achieved when the egocentric model of dualistic thinking is no longer dominant, we are not united with it, nor am I united with you, but we all just are. The movement from object to subject, as described in both Eastern meditation and modern psychotherapy, is training for this union, but its perception usually comes as a surprise, even when this shift is well under way. It is a kind of grace. The emphasis on sexual relations in the tantric teachings make it clear that the ecstatic surprise of orgasm is the best approximation of this grace.”
Mark Epstein, Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life - Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy
“While the primary function of formal Buddhist meditation is to create the possibility of the experience of "being," my work as a therapist has shown me that the demands of intimate life can be just as useful as meditation in moving people toward this capacity. Just as in formal meditation, intimate relationships teach us that the more we relate to each other as objects, the greater our disappointment. The trick, as in meditation, is to use this disappointment to change the way we relate.”
Mark Epstein, Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life - Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy
“To free desire from the tendency to cling, we have to be willing to stumble over ourselves.”
Mark Epstein, Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life - Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy

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