Open to Desire: The Truth About What the Buddha Taught

Open to Desire: The Truth About What the Buddha Taught

by Mark Epstein M.D.
Open to Desire: The Truth About What the Buddha Taught

Open to Desire: The Truth About What the Buddha Taught

by Mark Epstein M.D.


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“A masterpiece. . . . It teaches us how not to fear and repress, but to rechannel and harness the most powerful energies of life toward freedom and bliss.” —ROBERT THURMAN

It is common in both Buddhism and Freudian psychoanalysis to treat desire as if it is the root of all suffering and problems, but psychiatrist Mark Epstein believes this to be a grave misunderstanding.In his controversial defense of desire, he makes clear that it is the key to deepening intimacy with ourselves, each other, and our world.

Proposing that spiritual attainment does not have to be detached from intimacy or eroticism, Open to Desire begins with an exploration of the state of dissatisfaction that causes us to cling to irrational habits. Dr. Epstein helps readers overcome their own fears of desire so that they can more readily bridge the gap between self and other, cope with feelings of incompletion, and get past the perception of others as objects. Freed from clinging and shame, desire’s spiritual potential can then be opened up.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592401857
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/05/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 454,344
Product dimensions: 5.26(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.64(d)
Age Range: 18 - 14 Years

About the Author

Mark Epstein, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City who lectures frequently about the value of Buddhist meditation for psychotherapy. His previous books include Thoughts Without a Thinker, Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, and Going on Being. He is a contributing editor to Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and has written many articles for Yoga Journal and O: The Oprah Magazine.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Baby and the Bathwater
Part IFor Want of Desire
Chapter 1Ramayana21
Chapter 2The Left-Handed Path35
Chapter 3Discontent61
Part IIClinging
Chapter 4The Flavor of Separation81
Chapter 5The Backward Glance95
Chapter 6Renunciation109
Part IIIThe End of Clinging
Chapter 7From Object to Subject131
Chapter 8A Facilitating Environment143
Chapter 9The Fruit161
Part IVA Path for Desire
Chapter 10Advice181
Chapter 11Jumping In199

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From the Publisher

“A fascinating look at the urge for pleasure, with the goal of helping readers accept the sensation of wanting into their lives in ways that are helpful both spiritually and psychologically.” —Body and Soul

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