Ending the Pursuit of Happiness: A Zen Guide

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Overview

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 ...

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Ending the Pursuit of Happiness: A Zen Guide

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Mark Epstein
"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."
From the Publisher

"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."
Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts without a Thinker and Psychotherapy without the Self
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861715534
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 692,720
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     ix
Our Secret Practice     1
What Is Meditation?     1
Why Are We (Really) Meditating?     5
Three Stages of Practice     11
The Zen Way. The Psychoanalytic Way     15
Zen and Psychoanalysis     15
What Is the Self?     22
Psychologically-Minded Zen     28
Learning from Problems     33
Ordinary Life     43
Your Ordinary Mind Is the Way     43
Ordinary or Special?     46
Psychological versus Spiritual Insight     49
The Search for Enlightenment?     53
Flypaper     53
That's Me     55
You're Perfect, and You Can Use a Little Improvement     58
Rinzai's "Buji" Zen     62
If This Was It     65
Body and Mind     69
The First Noble Truth     69
Thinking about Thinking     72
Spiritual versus Material     74
Sitting Long Becomes Tiring     81
Three Buddhas     83
Love, Sex, and Compassion     87
Desire and Suffering     87
Asses and Horses     93
Thomas Merton in Love     97
Relationships     103
Being Alone     103
Attachment and Detachment     105
If It Is Broke...Fix It     110
A Mother's Kiss     115
Who, What, and Why     121
Why Practice?     121
Who's Listening?     124
The Meaning of Life     128
Something or Nothing     133
Doing Nothing     133
Not Knowing     136
No Helping     141
It's A Mystery to Me     147
A Pilgrimage     147
Angels     152
Row, Row, Row Your Boat     154
Conclusion: No Path, No Wisdom, and No Gain     157
Notes     163
Glossary     173
Bibliography     175
Index     179
About the Author     185

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