Is meditation an escape from-or a solution to-our psychological problems? Is the use of antidepressants counter to spiritual practice? Does a psychological approach to meditation reduce spirituality to "self-help"? What can Zen and psychoanalysis teach us about the problems of the mind and suffering?
Psychiatrist and Zen teacher Barry Magid is uniquely qualified to answer questions like these. Written in an engaging and witty style, Ordinary Mind helps us understand challenging ideas-like Zen Buddhism's concepts of oneness, emptiness, and enlightenment-and how they make sense, not only within psychoanalytic conceptions of mind, but in the realities of our lives and relationships.
"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.