This world bestseller tries to resolve the impasse of Western psychology and
psychotherapy with Eastern wisdom, and is full of eye-opener contents both for those
interested in psychology and for those learning Buddhism―― more to come both in
English and in Japanese.
As the emphasis in therapy has moved from conflicts over sexual and aggressive
strivings, for instance, to a focus on how patients are uncomfortable with themselves, in
some fundamental way, they do not know who they are, the question of the self has
emerged as the common focus of Buddhism and psychoanalysis.
Buddhist psychology, after all, takes this core sense of identity confusion as its starting
point and further claims that all of the usual efforts to achieve solidity, certainty, or
security are ultimately doomed.
It not only describes the struggle to find a “true self” in terms that have impressed
Western psychologists for decades (some Freud’s inner circle studied newly translated
Buddhist texts for the insights they shed on narcissism), but also offers a method of
analytic inquiry unavailable in the Western tradition.
From the Buddhist perspective, meditation is indispensable to free the individual from
neurotic misery. Psychotherapy may be equally necessary, especially to expose and
reduce erotic or aggressive conflict, but the psychotherapeutic dialogue will always come
up against the problem of the restless and insecure self.
Psychotherapy can identify the problem, bring it out, point out some of the childhood
deficiencies that contributed to its development, and help diminish the ways in which
erotic and aggressive strivings become intertwined with the search for a satisfying feeling
of self, but it has not been able to deliver freedom from narcissistic craving.
Freud showed signs of recognizing this deficiency late in his life in his paper “Analysis
Terminable or Interminable,” and generations of therapists and patients alike have has to
settle for the relative relief that psychotherapy has had to offer.
Buddhism clearly promises more, and because of this promise, it has caught the
attention of the psychotherapeutic community, primed, as it has been, by the “discovery”
of narcissism. This book represents the outcome of my own struggle to reconcile the
teachings of the Buddha with the insights of Western psychology, the two principle
influences on my own development.
My first anthology is published now.
Please purchase it from Amazon if you are interested in.