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Thoughts Without a Thinker

Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective
Narrated by: Mark Epstein M.D.
Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Upon its first publication, this path breaking book launched an explosion of interest in how Eastern spirituality can enhance Western psychology. Since then, the worlds of Buddhism and psychotherapy have been forged into a revolutionary new understanding of what constitutes a healthy emotional life.

In his insightful introduction, Mark Epstein reflects on this revolution and considers how it is likely to evolve in the future.

©2004 Mark Epstein (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Mark Epstein’s book is inspired in its lucidity . . . After Thoughts Without a Thinker, psychotherapy without a Buddhist perspective looks like a diminished thing.” (Adam Phillips, author of On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored)
“A groundbreaking work…The book will take its place among the classics of the literature of meditation.” (Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are)
“A marvelous book that is at once scholarly and fresh, informative and personal.” (Stephen A. Mitchell, author of Freud and Beyond)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Kindred44
  • 02-03-2013

Thank you Mark Epstein!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes definitely! Mark Epstein was one of the first buddhism teachers I discovered and his psychology background intrigued me when I was a young college student. The first book I read was Going on Being, and since then I've learned so much about meditation and buddhism and I reread that book recently and realized how he was the first one I read that started me on this path. I am continuing my path with all of his books on audio now. This one, Thoughts without a thinker, is my favorite!

What other book might you compare Thoughts Without a Thinker to and why?

It's a stand alone book.

What about Mark Epstein’s performance did you like?

That he reads it, that he makes it feel like you are there talking with him.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! And I have more than once.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 28-02-2015

Content limited by presentation

What did you like best about Thoughts Without a Thinker? What did you like least?

Dr. Epstein's writing is excellent and his skillful account of the topic at hand is obvious. I have no doubt that this would make for a fine traditional book read. As an audiobook, however, his presentation of the material severely diminished its effectiveness. The writer's narration sounded unenthusiastic and dull and I was unable to complete listening to the book.

Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Epstein again?

No.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Epstein?

A professional narrator.

13 people found this helpful

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  • K
  • 11-06-2013

Hmmmmm depends on what you are seeking

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

If you are a psychotherapist and want insight into using Buddhism for your practice, this might be a good read for you.

If you are a Buddhist who doesn't want psychotherapy but you want an argument for going anyway, this might work.

For me, I found it interesting but unconvincing for my life. I felt he spent most of the time justifying why Buddhism and psychotherapy make good partners and I still only partially agree. I think those in psychotherapy would benefit from Buddhist thought but rarely the other way around.

Did Thoughts Without a Thinker inspire you to do anything?

Not really

10 people found this helpful

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  • whip
  • 18-09-2014

amazing!

If you could sum up Thoughts Without a Thinker in three words, what would they be?

precise, insightful, enlightening

What did you like best about this story?

It is a reminder of the beauty, thoroughness, meticulousness and truthfulness of Buddha dharma.

Which character – as performed by Mark Epstein – was your favorite?

n/a

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

Any additional comments?

I've been studying and following Buddha's teachings for years. Mark Epstein knows the subject matter thoroughly.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Piotr
  • 22-12-2016

Good read for psychotherapist

Very interesting book but some psychotherapy background is needed to fully understand all of it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marc N
  • 29-05-2016

inspiring and educational

our conscious Thoughts are generated by an unconscious Thinker - problem is... I assume that my Thoughts are accurate and appropriate given the situation in the moment, but what if the Thinker is not in the moment?

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  • Ryan Fieldsspack
  • 31-03-2016

Deep; must be dedicated to get through this

If you love psychology and therapy this is a deep dive. Too much for me but worth the time of this is in your lane.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-12-2015

thank you!

so wonderful. thank you mark. I was enthralled every minute -- bare attention the entire time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-01-2020

feeling more confused ...

There were moments of clarity but mostly confusion. I think this would have been an easier book to read. i teredting points but extremely difficult to focus. will try the newer books and hopefully his appeal to a general audience changes.

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  • Julia
  • 15-12-2019

Puts you to sleep

Great content but the author’s reading is extremely dull, I literally fell asleep a few times..

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  • мир
  • 03-10-2017

Awful narrator

I've listened to ten books whilst driving and I've found this awful to listen to. Eventually, I gave up my diary audible book!

1 person found this helpful