Going to Pieces without Falling Apart

Psychoanalyst and Buddhist, Epstein shows how meditation and Buddhist spirituality has assisted him, his friends, and his patients over the years. I became interested in this author and this work through the book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works by TV journalist Dan Harris. I got more traction from the Harris book than Epstein’s; however, there are some illuminating moments in Epstein’ s book.

The part where a zen master pours an eager college professor a cup of tea. As he allows the tea to continue to spill over the cup, the zen master says, “A mind that is already full can’t take in anything new.” In order to find happiness he must first empty his cup. Another passage is when the author, by accident, found rest from the pressures of his studies by learning how to juggle. Both of these moments are illustrative of how mindfulness is so beneficial.

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