Synopses & Reviews
We all have a right to the pursuit of happiness - but could we actually be happier if we gave that whole thing up?
This surprising new book from Zen teacher, psychoanalyst, and critical favorite Barry Magid inspires us - in gentle and winking prose - to move on and make peace with the perfection of the way things actually are, including ourselves.
Magid invites us to consider that our "pursuit of happiness" may actually be a source of our suffering. He takes an unusual look at our "secret practices" - what we're really doing when we say we're meditating-like trying to feel calmer, or more compassionate, or even "enlightened" (whatever we imagine that means!). He also uncovers our "curative fantasies" about spiritual practice - those ideas that we can somehow fix all the messy human things about ourselves that we imagine are bad or wrong or unacceptable. In doing so, he helps us look squarely at-and avoid-such pitfalls. Along the way, Magid lays out a rich roadmap of the new "psychological-minded Zen" - a Zen that includes our entire life, our entire personality - as pioneered by his teacher, bestselling author Charlotte Joko Beck.
"This is an exceptional work, majestic in its scope and clarity. Barry Magid presents a mature vision and he does it with utmost care and intelligence. I really loved this book."
This new book from Zen teacher, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and critical favorite Barry Magid inspires us in wryly gentle prose to outgrow the impossible pursuit of happiness, and instead make peace with the perfection of the way things are. Including ourselves! Magid invites readers to consider the notion that our certainty that we are broken may be turning our pursuit of happiness” into a source of yet more suffering. He takes an unusual look at our secret practices” (what were REALLY doing, when we say practicing”) and curative fantasies,” wherein we have ideals of what spiritual practices will do” for us, cure” us. In doing so, he helps us look squarely at such pitfalls of spiritual practice so that we can avoid them. Along the way, Magid lays out a rich roadmap of a new psychological-minded Zen,” which may be among the most important spiritual developments of the present-day.
About the Author
Barry Magid is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst practicing in New York City, and the founding teacher of the Ordinary Mind Zendo, also in New York. He is the author of the Wisdom titles Ordinary Mind and Ending the Pursuit of Happiness.