Summary of Advice Not Given

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Rating

7

Qualities

  • For Beginners
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring

Recommendation

Psychiatrist Mark Epstein, a practicing Buddhist, has written numerous books about how psychiatry and Buddhism work together. Here, he weaves elements of psychology into a discussion of the Eightfold Path of Buddhism, focusing on experiences from his medical practice as they relate to Buddhist stories. His theme is that everything in life is transient and temporary, including your emotions, angers and frustrations. Instead of reacting to situations, he urges you to become more mindful and aware as you pause to observe your emotions and thoughts.

About the Author

Psychiatrist Mark Epstein is the author of numerous books on the intersection of Buddhism and psychotherapy, including The Trauma of Everyday Life, Thoughts Without a Thinker and Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart.

 

Summary

Your self-esteem doesn’t need to increase. Your ego needs to change.

Your ego helps you self-regulate, plan large projects and deal with conflicts. While this shared “affliction” seemingly wants to take care of you, ego pushes to gain more of your focus and energy. The West is undergoing a self-esteem craze, but greater self-esteem won’t reduce your suffering. The ego can learn and change. You can talk your ego away from its atavistic purpose in the world and focus it internally. Teaching your ego to “let go” leaves you freer. Using the Buddhist Eightfold Path – potentially alongside Western therapy – can help repair the damage the ego causes. If you want to heal, you must see yourself realistically. When you understand what you are afraid of and what you want, you can free yourself.

Draw from Buddhism’s Eightfold Path. Start with the Right View to see yourself realistically.

The Buddha’s Right View calls for being realistic about yourself and life. In meditation, the mind can be in tune with itself as well as with your surroundings. Meditation isn’t meant to strengthen the self ...


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