Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Buddhism and Trauma with Dr. Epstein (audio)

Dr. Mark Epstein, Mitch Jeserich (L&P/KPFA FM; Dhr. Seven, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Well, doc, my issues started in childhood with lots of trauma, so now I yell lots...

Today from Berkeley we hear a conversation between Buddhist psychiatrist Dr. Mark Epstein, M.D. and host Mitch Jeserich on "Trauma and Buddhism."

Trauma does not just happen to a few unlucky people; it is the bedrock of our psychology. Death and illness touch us all, and even the everyday sufferings of loneliness and fear are traumatic.
The Trauma of Everyday Life
Buddhist and psychiatrist Dr. Mark Epstein (
AUDIO: The Trauma of Everyday Life
In The Trauma of Everyday Life renowned psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without a Thinker Dr. Mark Epstein uncovers the transformational potential of trauma, revealing how it can be used for the mind’s own development.
While Western psychology teaches that if we understand the cause of trauma, we might move past it, many drawn to Eastern practices see meditation as a means of rising above, or distancing themselves from, the most difficult emotions.

Every baby is a precious prince to relatives.
Both, Dr. Epstein argues, fail to recognize that trauma is an indivisible part of life that can be used as a lever for growth and an ever deeper understanding of change.

When we regard trauma with this perspective, understanding that suffering ("what's hard to face," disappointment, unsatisfactoriness, woe, ill) is universal and without logic, our pain connects us to the world on a more fundamental level. The way out of pain is through it.

When the Buddha's mother died 
Queen Maya, the Buddha's mother
Dr. Epstein’s discovery begins with his analysis of the life of the Buddha, looking to how the death of his mother -- Queen Maha Maya Devi, informed his path of wandering asceticism and eventual teachings of liberation (nirvana) from all suffering (dukkha).

The Buddha’s spiritual journey can be read as an expression of primitive agony grounded in childhood trauma.

Yet the Buddha’s story is only one of many in The Trauma of Everyday Life.
Maya Devi, birth of Prince Siddhartha
Here Dr. Epstein looks to his own experience, that of his patients, and of the many fellow sojourners and teachers he encounters as a psychiatrist and Buddhist.

They are alike only in that they share in trauma, large and small, as all of us do. Dr. Epstein finds throughout that trauma, when it doesn’t destroy us, wakes us up to both our minds’ own capacity and to the suffering of others.

It makes us more human, caring, and wise. It can be our greatest teacher, our freedom itself, and it is available to all of us. More
(WGBHForum) The Harvard Book Store welcomed psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without a Thinker Dr. Mark Epstein for a discussion of his latest book, The Trauma of Everyday Life.

Splintering political parties
http://markepsteinmd.comIn the first part of the show, Republican or Democrat, GOP or Establishment D.C. Clinton or Cruz, rebels/spoilers Sanders or Trump -- the "Fracturing of Political Parties" with Prof. Julia Azari. Azari is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Marquette University and author of the article "The Splintering of Political Parties" for Five Thirty Eight.

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