|Well, doc, my issues started in childhood with lots of trauma, so now I yell lots...|
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.
|AUDIO: The Trauma of Everyday Life|
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.|
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|
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|
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.