“We cannot find ourselves, or be ourselves, alone.” —from Mixing Minds
Mixing Minds explores the interpersonal relationships between psychoanalysts and their patients, and Buddhist teachers and their students. Through the author's own personal journey in both traditions, she sheds light on how these contrasting approaches to wellness affect our most intimate relationships. These dynamic relationships provide us with keen insight into the emotional ups and downs of our lives — from fear and anxiety to love, compassion, and equanimity. Mixing Minds delves into the most intimate of relationships and shows us how these relationships are the key to the realization of our true selves.
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Reviews and Endorsements:
“Vividly and beautifully written.”—Neil Altman
“With this remarkable book, the dialogue between Buddhism and psychoanalysis has finally come of age. In a voice that is intimate, humorous, and at the same time wise and sophisticated, Jennings takes us on a fascinating and deeply rewarding voyage of discovery.”—from the foreword by Jeremy D. Safran, editor of Psychoanalysis and Buddhism: An Unfolding Dialogue
“An engaging account that puts the relational encounter of two human beings at the center of both practices. Jennings enriches stories about her own analyst and her Tibetan lama with an easy and wide-ranging fluency in both psychoanalytic theory and Buddhist thought.”—Barry Magid, author of Ending the Pursuit of Happiness
“Rather than simply conflate or contrast traditions, Mixing Minds teases out nuances of each. This book stimulates eager rededication to one's own unfolding path.”—Michael Eigen, author of Flames from the Unconscious
“Jennings speaks with authority about what the two traditions share and the differences they hold in common-such as desire and aggression-and guides the reader through the mysteries of mind-to-mind transmission and of transference/countertransference. An original and creative work that feeds psyches and spirits.”—Ann Belford Ulanov, author of Spiritual Aspects of Clinical Work
“Mixing Minds is at once skillfully dialogical and comparative, showing how Buddhist and psychoanalytic notions of relationality may be complementary without either being reduced to the terms of the other.”—Mark Unno, editor of Buddhism and Psychotherapy across Cultures
“With a deeply personal, erudite, and poetic voice Pilar Jennings tackles the paradox inherent in all the Buddhist traditions: while the Buddha attained his enlightenment as a solitary effort, we must do so in relationship. And Mixing Minds makes you yearn for just that kind of transformative relationship.”—Arnie Kozak, author of Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants
“Jennings is a long-time practicing Buddhist and psychotherapist, who is well-placed to discuss how contrasting approaches to wellness can affect our relationships. She explores the synergy, examining why the focus on relationships is relevant to religion and how, although they do differ, Buddhism and psychoanalysis are actually compatible healing traditions. A useful and readable adjunct to the libraries of Buddhist students, and people in analysis, as well as their analysts: in fact, anyone who wants to be well and free from suffering.”—Mandala Editors Choice
About the Author:
Pilar Jennings is a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst who has focused on the clinical applications of Buddhist meditation practice. She received her doctorate in psychiatry and religion from Union Theological Seminary where she teaches and has been working with patients and their families through the Harlem Family Institute since 2004.