Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Thoughts Without A Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective Paperback – November 30, 1995


See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, November 30, 1995
$34.95 $4.02

There is a newer edition of this item:


Psychological Memoirs & Case Studies
Browse a selection of our favorite new Psychological Memoir & Case Study titles.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; export ed edition (November 30, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465020224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465020225
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Drawing upon his own experience as therapist, meditator and patient, Mark Epstein, a New York-based psychiatrist trained in classical Freudian methods, attempts to integrate Western psychotherapy and the teachings of Buddhism. Repressed memories, painful emotions, narcissism and destructive energies can all be uprooted through Buddha's teaching on suffering, delusion, wisdom and non-attachment. Epstein argues that in recognizing his or her self-created mental suffering, a patient can overcome neurotic behaviors and even overcome a deeply ingrained negative sense of self. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Epstein, a New York City psychiatrist trained in classical Freudian methods, has studied Buddhist meditation in India and Southeast Asia. In a highly personal, thoughtful, illuminating synthesis, he draws on his own experience as therapist, meditator and patient in an unusual attempt to integrate Western psychotherapy and Buddha's teachings on suffering, delusion, wisdom and nonattachment. According to Epstein, Buddhist meditative practices can help people release repressed memories, work through painful emotions, uproot narcissism and redirect destructive energies. By recognizing his or her self-created mental suffering, the patient is able to overcome neurotic behavior patterns and may ultimately shed a deeply ingrained negative sense of self. Patients, psychologists and meditators willing to explore the arduous path outlined here will find much spiritual nourishment.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

A well written and caring book.
"aaghevli"
For the mindful client who wants to understand the therapeutic process, a reading of the whole book will be helpful.
Donald Fleck
This book does a wonderful job of synthesizing modern psychotherapy with buddhism and buddhist psychology.
C. Garcia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By "aaghevli" on October 19, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
I think this book is an absolutely wonderful introduction to a particular subset of Buddhist philosophy, and done so in such a way that it may benefit our own lives as well as the academic and practices of psychology today.
Specifically, the examination of the Buddhist Realms of existence (of which there are 6 I believe) and its relation to our states of mind. In doing so, we are treated to stories of the personal struggles of his patients as well as their parallels to Buddhist concepts (most notably the 6 realms).
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good INTRODUCTION (as the depth could be expanded further of course)to Buddhist philosophy within our current scientific concepts, as well as psychologists looking to expand their world view and see ancient Buddhists as their predecessors. A well written and caring book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By L. Heiser on August 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I picked this book off the shelf in 1995, when it was published, and have read it about five times since. Although I have an advanced degree and am used to difficult books, I found it very challenging, though readable and interesting. I don't think I developed a coherent sense of the profound and helpful ideas in "Thoughts Without a Thinker" until my third or fourth read.
I'd like to thank Mark Epstein for the 20 years of experience, study, practice, thought, and compassion he put into this book. In our anti-intellectual culture it's a pleasure to read a consummately intellectual book that is packed with feeling, humanity, and a dynamic sense of purpose and discovery.
It's reductive to say what I got out of this book, and, in a way, against the spirit of the book. But what I derived from my readings is a profound argument (that has stayed with me, really helped me) for not taking myself, my "tragedies," or, even, anyone else's, too much to heart. To understand that I and my culture burden me with a sense of identity and history that are simply irrationally heavy; to understand that many of my "burdens" can be eased by blending analysis and understanding with a less rational "bare attention" and letting go.
Are you berating yourself for anything? Epstein's marvelous quotes from Buddhist texts speak eloquently for him: "Things are not what they seem. Nor are they otherwise. Deeds exist, but no doer can be found."
It's amazing how much the reviewers of this book agree with one another. I think this speaks to the tremendous integrity of Mark Epstein's effort in this book. Among other things, "Thoughts Without a Thinker" inspires me to try (as non-neurotically as possible) to create something as excellent in my life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By AbbeyDove on December 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
The first chapter of this book alone is worth the purchase price. I have it dogeared, and refer back to it frequently. The author uses the Buddhist Wheel of Life as a metaphor for states of pschological suffering. His explanations are both clear and intriguing. This book will interest students of psychology and Buddhism alike.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
I found this book not only enlightening but very practical. The introduction to the fundamentals of Buddhism in the first section is clear, easy to read, and well-thought-out -- I've read a lot of Buddhist texts and commentary on my own, but this summary pulled it all together for me. His discussion of the practice of meditation was extremely helpful -- although the best way to learn how to meditate is to DO it, this provided some useful guidelines, and was very reassuring for us perfectionists who tend to get hung up in "Am I doing it right?"! While the final section would probably be most useful to those who practice psychotherapy, or to their clients, I found it thought-provoking and fascinating to read. This isn't just a book for specialists; it has something to say to anyone who's interested in human psychology or spiritual development (which, Epstein might say, are fundamentally the same thing).
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Angel M. on February 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
It was one of a few required texts for a Buddhism class. I chose it because I have an interest in psychology, particularly the psychodynamic perspective (unconscious motivation) and this book added to my life in such a way! I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about Buddhism and freeing one's "self" from the limitations of convention. I don't agree with everything in it, but this is a book for my collection, definitely.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By reader on March 11, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book actually changed my life.I learned to meditate, I learned the power of meditation, and I learned a Buddhist framework for examining my life. (I was so impressed with the mental skills that this book taught me that I actually became a Buddhist.) I find that the more I understand the world, the more relevant this book becomes, and things that were difficult when I read it become clear years afterwards. By this I do not mean that the book itself is difficult -- it is brilliantly clear -- but rather that it is profound and its lessons are still revealing themselves to me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mark Wieczorek on June 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Mark Espstein explains the heart of Buddha and the mind of Freud simultaneously, and with greater clarity than ever I had read about either before. By describing, comparing, and contrasting buddhist and psychological practices, he clearly presents the goals and practices of both. Suffering comes from clinging to a false sense of self, from clinging to a sense of self at all and it is the aim of psychotherapy, buddhism, and this book to free you from your own shackles.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?