What the Buddha Felt

A Buddhist Psychiatrist Points the Way to Uncommon Happiness

What the Buddha Felt

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Sigmund Freud once said that the best outcome that psychotherapy can offer is a return to “common unhappiness.” But what about those of us with higher aspirations? Where do we find the tools we need to heal—and then go further— to create a life of uncommon and authentic happiness? The answer, teaches Mark Epstein, may lie in the insights of one of the world’s greatest psychologists—the Buddha. What the Buddha Felt uncovers a quiet revolution occurring in the West today: the merging of modern psychotherapy and ancient Buddhist meditation techniques to help us face even the most challenging emotional obstacles. Join the acclaimed author of Thoughts Without a Thinker and Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart to explore:

  • The psychology of the Buddha’s awakening
  • “Bare attention,” a powerful inner resource for facing fear, sadness, anger, and other difficult emotions
  • Buddhism’s six realms of suffering (and the six antidotes)
  • Looking, Smiling, Embracing, and Orgasm—a tantric map to spiritual evolution, and more

Why do so many of us feel a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction in our lives? Do our problems lie in the traumas of the past? Or is the solution right in front of us, in the scope of our immediate awareness? What the Buddha Felt unravels these crucial questions—and invites each of us to discover the possibility of a happiness beyond our everyday minds.


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Customer Reviews

Links gap in transmission to west Review by Courtney

Epstein does an awesome job of linking the intent of pyschology/psychotherapy with the intent of buddhist teachings. He is able to explain the "shame" that is so pervasive in the west, which befuddled the Dalai Lama and other eastern teachers. This is a biggie for the transmission of eastern thought into a new culture. He's real, admitting normal human feelings like numb, alone, missing something, anxious, and shows his progression on how they became workable for him.

Besides, the grinding teeth and teeth disintegrating dreams - it's worth it just for that! :)

(Posted on 1/2/2015)

Review for What the Buddha Felt Review by Harry P

Wonderful perspective on Buddhism and Psychiatry
with comments about interaction with Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. A lot of wisdom on how everything interacts

(Posted on 10/7/2014)

Review for What the Buddha Felt Review by Lucas S

Really great, surprising.

I didn't go into this short program expecting anything too earth shattering, having formally studied Buddhism and psychology somewhat.

Mark's talk reminded me of many things I'd forgotten about, and brought new light to things I thought I'd understood.

In the days since listening, I have been enjoying enduring "Bare Attention" for most of the time.

Previously I experienced this as something that is fickle and transient, disappearing as soon as I go about daily activities. But actually it's pretty simple to maintain if you have the courage and honesty to really look at what's going on at the moment (warts and all).

(Posted on 9/21/2014)

Review for What the Buddha Felt Review by JenR

If you're interested in Buddhism and in psychoanalytic ideas, this is for you! As a long-time fan of Epstein's "Thoughts without a Thinker", this series of talks was fascinating and thought-provoking, inviting deep reflection. Each of the four talks takes the listener to new places in the synthesis of ideas from two great traditions. I've listened to it repeatedly and each time found something new.

(Posted on 11/30/2013)

Review for What the Buddha Felt Review by Nicole Urdang

Excellent in every way.
Enjoyable, enlightening, and engaging.
Mark Epstein peppers his talk with personal experiences, which adds a dimension of humanity not always found in teachings of this depth.

(Posted on 4/27/2012)


Audio Download

Contents Audio Download (180 minutes)
Filetypes M4B, MP3, PDF, ZIP
Date Published October 29, 2009
ISBN-13 978-1-60407-382-9
Product Code AW00545W