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If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! The Pilgrimage of Psychotherapy Patients Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1982


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books; Reissue edition (1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553278320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553278323
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

253 of 267 people found the following review helpful By Quaker Annie on October 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is a wonderful read for anyone who wonders, worries or agonizes about the meaning of life, and whether they're doing it "right." Psychotherapist Kopp wrote this book in 1972, but it still works today.
Whether giving or receiving therapy, this book reminds us that we are all humans -- nobody has all the answers. The eschatological laundry list (which I've seen roaming around the web, but never attributed to Kopp) has become a classic.
1. This is it! 2. There are no hidden meanings
3. You can't get there from here, and besides, there's no place else to go
4. We are all already dying and we'll be dead for a long time.
5. Nothing lasts!
6. There is no way of getting all you want.
7. You can't have anything unless you let go of it.
8. You only get to keep what you give away.
9. There is no particular reason why you lost out on some things.
10. The world is not necessarily just. Being good often does not pay off and there is no compensation for misfortune.
11. You have the responsibility to do your best nonetheless.
12. It is a random universe to which we bring meaning.
13. You don't really control anything.
14. You can't make someone love you.
I'll stop there -- there's more in the book, and if you find the list discouraging, you need to read the book. If you find the words encouraging, you need to read the book. Add it to your list of books to give friends who are feeling glum and hopeless.
Use it as a group discussion book!
After reading this (at different stages in my life), I still find it centering and soothing. A good addition to the self-help library, along with The Road Less Traveled.
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 18, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The subtitle, "The Pilgramage of Psychotherapy Patients," belies the essence of this highly literate hymn to authenticity and self-governance: each of us must look within to find our own answers. Drawing from the Bible, the I Ching, Siddhartha, Jung and too many others to name, the author urges that living fully requires us to let go of concepts of fairness, perfection and control and embrace the uncertainty and ambiguity of our journey. A liberating, thought provoking paean to autonomy, self acceptance and personal growth. Life Changing!
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81 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Carmen Matthews on January 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is easy for anyone to believe that it is always that other person - that one who knows something that we don't know; has something that we have given up on obtaining; or, looks like what we think is the best.
Killing the Buddha is looking deeply within ourselves, accepting our limitations, our attributes, and everything in between. We are the experts in the journey of our own lives. No one else is.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Jerry L. Brinegar, Ph.D. on November 30, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sheldon Kopp captures the essence of therapist-client as a parallel journey of two human beings in a relationship dependent upon the ability of both to become careful (full of care) for the other while traveling through metaphors, symbols, sagas and myths, each telling their stories along the way. His eschatological laundry list is a necessary and existentially humorous bump with reality. I recommend this book to all clients seeking to enter the sacred ground of a therapeutic alliance where change, transformation and healing are to occur. Sheldon Kopp's serious pragmatism and humorous satire hold the reader to the task of "learning the dance" and becoming aware of the process of being in therapy.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By bryan paxton on March 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If there are questions in your head or you are not sure where you life is at then I highly recommend reading this book. Sheldon does an incredible job of putting together a simple guide for better self understanding. After reading this incredible piece of work I realized that i was "just another struggling human being" and no longer felt isolated and lost.
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Joel Brown on April 2, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sheldon B. Kopp narrates his existential voyage through the human experience. It is definitely not quite nihilistic, but similar. Killing the Buddha on the road means that no meaning that comes from outside ourselves is real. We need only recognize that we already have our own Buddhahood. The secret is that there is none, and no solution, and it comes down to just being what you are. His philosophy from his pyschological context has some of the right ideas, but he spreads some of the wrong messages. I enjoyed the book however. He uses the telling of tales from our ancestors, metaphors for our struggle to fit into existence. I speculate that this is to emphasize our story-telling nature as animals. With his version of wisdom, there is no guru to teach us and we are no one's disciple. In this he is the messenger of bad news and expects to disappoint those who search in life as if there was some underlying meaning in the world. He's sure that its in vain, and ultimately so are our lives. If you are someone disturbed by this, then reading his book will transcend those feelings. If you aren't by now... I recommend it ;¤)
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J.S. Hicks VINE VOICE on February 1, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
About five pages in I thought, "eh, not too good." but it certainly picked up. This book takes several personal and self esteem issues and looks at their possible root causes and how people have dealt with them through the centuries from an eastern perspective. This book is very Zen and if you aren't familiar with Zen, this is as good a place as any to get an introduction to it.

From the back cover: "The most important things that each man must learn no one else can teach him." Very true and much of this book is filled with great little nuggets like that with a koan here and there.

But don't get the idea this is Zen and Zen alone, there is a nice look at other stories including the epic of Gilgamesh, Don Quixote, Shakespeare, and of course the most influential book in the west- The Bible. This is the story of how each give glimpses into the thinks that make us tick (and tick wrong!).

A great book, a simple quick read. Pound for pound this is as good as it gets.
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