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Ordinary Mind: Exploring the Common Ground of Zen & Psychotherapy Paperback – January 15, 2005


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Ordinary Mind: Exploring the Common Ground of Zen & Psychotherapy + Ending the Pursuit of Happiness: A Zen Guide + Nothing Is Hidden: The Psychology of Zen Koans
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications; 2nd edition (January 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861714954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861714957
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fascinating thesis in an engaging storytelling style. This thoughtful book can inspire us to look at our own lives and our own paths." (Psychiatric Services, A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association)

"Magid teaches a Zen of everyday, ordinary experience. He describes the upper reaches of human development as the embodiment of a great wisdom, the practice of 'everydayness' as a personal harmony with the order of that which is." (Psychologist-Psychoanalyst, the newsletter of the Division of Psychoanalysis)

"A wise and thought-provoking book that will have a significant impact on the way people think about the relationship between Zen and Western psychotherapy in the future." (Professor Jeremy D. Safran, editor of Psychoanalysis and Buddhism)

"A wise and insightful guide to living a saner life."-- (Charlotte Joko Beck, author of Everyday Zen)

About 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.

Charlotte Joko Beck was an American Zen teacher, founder of the Ordinary Mind Zen School, and author of Everyday Zen: Love and Work and Nothing Special: Living Zen. She is remembered for teaching her students to work with the emotions of everyday life, rather than attempting to escape them, and produced many Dharma heirs who are practicing psychologists and psychiatrists. She passed away in 2011, at the age of 94.

More About the Author

Barry Magid is a psychoanalyst and Zen teacher whose life and work have been on the forefront of a movement to integrate Western psychology with Eastern spiritual practices. He teaches at the Ordinary Mind Zendo in New York City. OMZ is part of the Ordinary Mind Zen School, a network of independent Zen centers established by Charlotte Joko Beck and her Dharma Successors in 1995.
After graduating from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1975, he completed his training in psychiatry and psychoanalysis in New York City at Roosevelt Hospital and The Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, where he became a training and supervising analyst. His primary psychoanalytic orientation was Self Psychology, the school founded by Heinz Kohut. In 1993 he edited Freud's Case Studies: Self Psychological Perspectives. He has also served on the board of The International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP).
While he was training as a psychoanalyst, he also began Zen training, first under Eido Shimano Roshi and later with Bernie Tetsugen Glassman. Later he met and trained with Charlotte Joko Beck, the Dharma heir of Taizan Maezumi Roshi and founder of her own Ordinary Mind School of Zen. In 1996, Joko Beck gave him permission to establish The Ordinary Mind Zendo, where he became the founding teacher and in 1998, he received Dharma transmission, which gave him full authorization to teach Zen independently.
Magid has published numerous articles and three books on the integration of psychoanalysis and Zen: Ordinary Mind: Exploring the Common Ground of Zen and Psychoanalysis (2002), Ending the Pursuit of Happiness (2008) and Nothing is Hidden:The Psychology of Zen Koans (2013)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This book, for the experienced practictioner of meditation is excellent.
Dogen
This book gives a very clear and understandable explanation of many Buddhist as well as psychotherapeutic concepts.
Bertina Povenmire
The book is a bit dense at times with some of the psychological terms, but nothing too difficult.
Andre Doshim Halaw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Ezra Bayda on March 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What I found most interesting, and also most valuable, about Barry Magid"s work is his ability to bring together the insights of his psychotherapy practice to the clarity of his role as a zen teacher into one seamless presentation. In fact, the major theme of Ordinary Mind, that there is no sharp boundary between psychology and spirituality, is so well made that the reader will surely have to question any prior assumptions about what psychology is and what spiritual practice is. I particularly liked Magid's thoroughness in clarifying the normally fuzzy thinking that occupies the borderland between psychology and religion.
But this is not just an intellectual polemic. Using a combination of honest examples from his own life, the wisdom of the Zen koan, and not least of all, humor, he repeatedly returns to how these issues inform our everyday life as we live it. Time and again he brings us back to the essential point that must be addressd in any approach to living a less self-centered life, whether the approach be that of psychology or spirituality. And that point is that the real satisfaction that all of us are looking for must come from the increasing ability to move away from our false pictures of what life is and what spirituality is, and instead move toward a direct experiencing of our life as it is.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By John D. Buksbazen on May 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Magid uses classical koans, clinical material, and the thinking of cutting-edge psychoanalysts like Stolorow, Eigen, and others to lucidly explore the commonalities and divergences of Zen practice and the psychotherapeutic enterprise.
In particular, I found his thoughtful examination of self at once
evocative and refreshingly straightforward. His examination of the issues of boundaries in both clinical and zen teacher-student relationships is intelligent and realistic. And his comments on transference and its relationship to a Buddhist conception of ego are of particular interest.
In psychoanalytic circles lately there has been a growing interest in Zen and Buddhist psychology. I believe that Zen students and mental health professionals alike will be in Magid's debt for a long time to come.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Although the title of this text implies that this is a work best suited to professionals, I was delighted to find just the opposite. This is a book clearly presents some of the most basic aspects of Zen meditation written from a personal and inspiring perspective. It makes it possible for even the beginner to understand the rewards and challenges of just sitting meditation.
As a previous reviewer said ..."this is not just an intellectual polemic. Using a combination of honest examples from his own life, the wisdom of the Zen koan, and not least of all, humor, he repeatedly returns to how these issues inform our everyday life as we live it."
In addition this work includes a nicely written index making it possible to revisit those areas that made you think on your first read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Deborah J. Defranco on December 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Don't let the title of this book fool you into thinking that this is solely a precise academic discourse on the relationship of Zen and psychotherapy.

This is a solid, discerning book of Zen for everyday life. Barry Magid has a warm, gentle, no BS style like his own teacher, the loved Charlotte Joko Beck. He has the capability to take big wisdom and intelligently share it with his readers in an accessible, heartfelt and encouraging way:

"..this is like looking into a mirror: without any effort, our face naturally appears. Whatever we experience, whatever doubt or difficulty we feel, is simply who and what we are in that moment"

This is one of those books that does not leave the spot next to the bed. I find myself reading this over and over and am softer and kinder for it. This book shines!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Austin Gallaher on October 2, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is one of the most engaging books on Zen that I have had the good luck to discover. In addition to providing a concise discussion of the relationship between the foundational notions of modern psychoanalysis and the day-to-day work of Zen practice, Magid provides a lively discussion of twelve famous koans. Not only does Magid use his experience as a psychoanalyst to inform his view of Zen practice, he uses his experience of Zen practice to elucidate concepts in psychoanalysis. Best of all, he has written a book that is intelligent, engaging, and practical!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bertina Povenmire on July 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book gives a very clear and understandable explanation of many Buddhist as well as psychotherapeutic concepts. It is serious reading, but not too difficult; it is not necessary to be an expert in either subject. I read it twice and gained considerable insights. I have bought several copies to give to my children and grandchildren (college-age), and I recommend it without reservation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tony H. on September 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Barry Majid is truly continuing the authentic teachings of Joko Beck. He's not trying to make the readers 'feel good'. By pointing out that the reality of our lives / our situations includes pain/suffering, simply by letting go of the insidious pursuit of always trying to feel good, we can paradoxically 'be' happy (as opposed to 'feel' happy). And since 'feelings' / 'thoughts' are ephemeral, whereas 'being' is always here/now.......I think his guidance on 'being' complete and total with each moment is truly worth exploring !!!
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