Synopses & Reviews
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.
About the Author
Mark Epstein, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice and the author of Thoughts Without a Thinker. He is a contributing editor to Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University. He lives in New York City.