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Minding What Matters: Psychotherapy and the Buddha Within Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861713532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861713530
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Aspiring to a new genre of "literary self-help," this work by psychoanalyst and Buddhist practitioner Langan requires patience. The first sentence ("People do things for different reasons, though sometimes their reasons are the same") will winnow the impatient, who will dismiss this as pretentious, from those who welcome the prospect of an intensely ruminative book. It's uniquely organized, alternating chapters written as essays on aspects of Buddhism and psychology with italicized vignettes that describe the relationship between a fictional analyst and his patient. Then follows a section of quasi-footnotes—"sources and associations"—that are difficult to correlate with the text because they are marked by asterisks, unnumbered and often woolly ("This play of shifting forms is quite the opposite of the cri de guerre of the British Victorian poet William Ernest Henley...."). Langan's free-associative writing style is appropriate for a therapy session, but becomes a little idiosyncratic in a book, as though the reader has been handed a first draft. "I can choose to assimilate you. (Resistance is futile.)" could be clever, but such allusive exposition slides past those who don't recognize the slogan of the Borg, the villainous assimilators of Star Trek. Langan is ambitious, but his literary aspirations sometimes obscure rather than illuminate his meaning. (July)
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About the Author

Robert Langan, PhD, is a Fellow, Training and Supervising Analyst, and Director of the Center for Applied Psychoanalysis at the William Alanson White Institute in New York City, where he maintains a private psychotherapeutic practice. His interest in Buddhism began in college and led to the Peace Corps in Nepal, where he developed a fascination with Tibetan culture. Torn between East and West, he pursued doctoral and post-doctoral training in Western psychology only to find it led him once again, but without conflict, to Buddhism. He is a longtime member of the Jewel Heart sangha and the Insight Meditation Society.

Robert Coles is the author of The Spiritual Life of Children. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James D. McCann on January 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful read. It is an interesting mixture of objective content about both Buddhism and Psychoanalysis and poetic phraseology that actually triggers a meditative experience. I have never underlined a book so much in my life. These are just wonderfully crafted sentences that take us beyond content. I highly recommend this book for anyone on the spiritual path and any therapist helping their clients from that perspective.
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