• The Zen of Therapy

  • Uncovering a Hidden Kindness in Life
  • By: Mark Epstein
  • Narrated by: Mark Epstein
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (113 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“A warm, profound and cleareyed memoir.... This wise and sympathetic book’s lingering effect is as a reminder that a deeper and more companionable way of life lurks behind our self-serious stories." (Oliver Burkeman, New York Times Book Review)

A remarkable exploration of the therapeutic relationship, Dr. Mark Epstein reflects on one year’s worth of therapy sessions with his patients to observe how his training in Western psychotherapy and his equally long investigation into Buddhism, in tandem, led to greater awareness - for his patients, and for himself

For years, Dr. Mark Epstein kept his beliefs as a Buddhist separate from his work as a psychiatrist. Content to use his training in mindfulness as a private resource, he trusted that the Buddhist influence could, and should, remain invisible. But as he became more forthcoming with his patients about his personal spiritual leanings, he was surprised to learn how many were eager to learn more. The divisions between the psychological, emotional, and the spiritual, he soon realized, were not as distinct as one might think.

In The Zen of Therapy, Dr. Epstein reflects on a year’s worth of selected sessions with his patients and observes how, in the incidental details of a given hour, his Buddhist background influences the way he works. Meditation and psychotherapy each encourage a willingness to face life's difficulties with courage that can be hard to otherwise muster, and in this cross-section of life in his office, he emphasizes how therapy, an element of Western medicine, can in fact be considered a two-person meditation. Mindfulness, too, much like a good therapist, can “hold” our awareness for us - and allow us to come to our senses and find inner peace.

Throughout this deeply personal inquiry, one which weaves together the wisdom of two worlds, Dr. Epstein illuminates the therapy relationship as spiritual friendship, and reveals how a therapist can help patients cultivate the sense that there is something magical, something wonderful, and something to trust running through our lives, no matter how fraught they have been or might become. For when we realize how readily we have misinterpreted our selves, when we stop clinging to our falsely conceived constructs, when we touch the ground of being, we come home.

©2022 Mark Epstein (P)2022 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Zen of Therapy

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Absolutely loved it

I’d heard a podcast by the author referencing this book and had a credit waiting. I received very good therapy from a Buddhist therapist in my teens thirty years ago. I’ve forgotten so much from our sessions but this book helped me recall some of our best breakthroughs. I’m going to look her up and thank her again.
The author is pleasant to listen to and I appreciate the honesty his clients were willing to reveal. I’m sharing this book with a friend right now. What a nice opportunity to hear big and small problems (blockages?) through both lenses.

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Phenomenal and enlightening

The depth and insight shared gave me a deeper lens at which to lead life mindful and aware. Phenomenal book I highly recommend.

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Fantastic

Every facet of this book is incredible. This is the type of book that has many layers and will bring something new to light with each read.

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Like many life changes book will Done. Thank you!

I love this book, What this book is, give you more goodies to work with. Very helpful.
Thank you Dr. Mark Epstein .