Mark Epstein


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Mark Epstein, M.D. is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City and the author of a number of books about the interface of Buddhism and psychotherapy, including Thoughts without a Thinker, Going to Pieces without Falling Apart, Going on Being, Open to Desire and Psychotherapy without the Self. His newest work, The Trauma of Everyday Life, will be published in August of 2013 by Penguin Press. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University and is currently Clinical Assistant Professor in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at New York University.

Average rating: 3.92 · 11,877 ratings · 774 reviews · 35 distinct worksSimilar authors
Going to Pieces Without Fal...

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3.90 avg rating — 4,938 ratings — published 1998 — 12 editions
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Thoughts Without A Thinker:...

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4.04 avg rating — 2,988 ratings — published 1995 — 34 editions
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Advice Not Given: A Guide t...

3.72 avg rating — 1,338 ratings9 editions
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The Trauma of Everyday Life

3.78 avg rating — 1,057 ratings — published 2013 — 13 editions
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Going on Being: Buddhism an...

3.99 avg rating — 642 ratings — published 2001 — 17 editions
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Open to Desire: Embracing a...

4.01 avg rating — 667 ratings — published 2006 — 12 editions
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Psychotherapy without the S...

3.96 avg rating — 202 ratings — published 2007 — 5 editions
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What the Buddha Felt

3.44 avg rating — 16 ratings — published 2001
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Essence of the Heart Sutra:...

3.71 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2010
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Going on Being: The Foundat...

4.50 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2010
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“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

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