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The Trauma of Everyday Life Audiobook

The Trauma of Everyday Life

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Publisher's Summary

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

Epstein’s discovery begins in his analysis of the life of Buddha, looking to how the death of his mother informed his path and teachings. 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. Here, 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. Epstein finds throughout that trauma, if 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.

©2013 Mark Epstein, M.D. (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (78 )
5 star
 (33)
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Overall
3.9 (68 )
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3.6 (72 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Virginia United States 10-04-13
    Virginia United States 10-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    173
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    "This is what i call a GREAT book"

    If you must read one book on pain, suffering ..etc then let it be this one ...
    But let me first clarify that this is a Buddhist book filled with the teachings of the Buddha ...it is also filled with information about the life of the Buddha, but that usually comes with a purpose ...
    I cannot praise this book enough ... as it helped me finally OPEN my eyes to reality instead of dreaming away with all the self-help junk i have read throughout the years ..
    An insightful ... sobering ... well written book
    note: i didn't like the narration at all ...

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wes Highfill 05-15-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Good information, maybe fire the speed reader?"
    Would you try another book from Mark Epstein M.D. and/or Walter Dixon?

    I plan on reading more from Mark Epstein, but I doubt I'll ever read anything narrated by Walter Dixon.


    What didn’t you like about Walter Dixon’s performance?

    The message of the book sometimes and somehow overcame the Evelyn Wood speed reading disciple's performance. Maybe it was electronically sped up? It's ironic that such a book that's somewhat about slowing down to reflect, was performed so speedily.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon 03-22-14
    Sharon 03-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Trauma of the Buddhas Everyday Life"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Folks with an interest in a psychoanalysis of the Buddha.


    What could Mark Epstein M.D. have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Nothing. It is just a subject I have no interest in. I feel The title, and representation of the book was misleading.


    What didn’t you like about Walter Dixon’s performance?

    His reading had a sense of urgency to it. Sounded as though he was time limited.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Trauma of Everyday Life?

    I would definitely cut all the analysis.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Arlington, VA 10-04-15
    Jeff Arlington, VA 10-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Probably better to read vs listen to"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The content of the book was great. Nice combination of the history of the Buddha, and modern examples of his teachings through Epstein's work and personal experiences. But it is a LOT to absorb, and coupled with the speed reading narrator, it was personally too hard to keep up. Probably better to read the actual book where you have time to highlight passages, take notes, etc.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I enjoyed learning more about the Buddha and how his life experiences influenced his teachings


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He just read way too fast, with no pauses. A lot of the content here is kind of complex, and when you read it so fast it is hard to process.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Trauma of Everyday Life?

    There was a lot of technical terms and definitions. Would have been nice to slow the pace down and not dump so much information in every passage. Maybe go back more, revisit earlier topics. Or not try to cover so much information in one book?


    Any additional comments?

    I will certainly check out more of Epstein's work, but not if it is narrated by Walter Dixon

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jharper 07-30-15
    Jharper 07-30-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Changed My Life"

    The only way out is through

    You feel Epstein's language in your body. His writing and reasoning resonates on a level deeper than intellect

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robinwoodpdx 08-07-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    20
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    "Hang on, if you can..."
    What disappointed you about The Trauma of Everyday Life?

    What kind of speed record was this narrator trying to set? There's no way this book can be absorbed at that rate. I had no speed controls so constantly had to rewind to catch all of what was being said.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim 02-26-15
    Tim 02-26-15
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    "Boring & hard to listen to"

    I love audiobooks but the narrator's monotone voice was very difficult to listen to. The content while informative is hard to follow the way it is described. I could only force myself to get through half of the book before I abandoned it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Herstory buff 07-03-14

    biography fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "It's Predominantly Buddhist Philosophy/Psychology"
    Would you try another book from Mark Epstein M.D. and/or Walter Dixon?

    no


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    to include more religious perspectives


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    yes


    Did The Trauma of Everyday Life inspire you to do anything?

    no, not at all


    Any additional comments?

    While the philosophy is interesting and is applicable for therapists to use in their work, it wasn't for me seeking inspiration.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan Kline Cocoa, FL 11-07-15
    Megan Kline Cocoa, FL 11-07-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Buddhist teachings for everyone and everyday."

    I've had this book on my list to read ever since hearing it praised in 10 % Happier. I've recently been going through quite a personal ordeal, so it seemed a good time to step back into thinking about Buddhism in hopes it could give me insight into my own situation. I figured if it helped Dan Harris so much, it certainly couldn't hurt me.

    The Trauma of Everyday Life is a wonderful step into the notion that combines psychiatry and Buddhism. Mark Epstein is a psychiatrist known for using Buddhist practices in treating his patients, and this book served as a good overview of how the two intertwine. Epstein gives examples of different "traumas" some of his patients experienced, and then references one of the Buddha's teachings that applied to that circumstance. There is quite a bit of retelling of stories from the Buddha's life and what they taught the people of his time, but Epstein always ties it back into our modern lives. The biggest focus is the concept of, "The only way out is through." It is only by allowing ourselves to experience our emotions, no matter how unpleasant, that we can overcome them.

    This book is full of really wonderful quotes, several of which I wrote down to help me remember. I thought they would be worth sharing, so here goes:
    "Enlightenment does not mean getting rid of anything. It means changing one's frame of reference so that all things become enlightening."
    "When we stop distancing ourselves from the pain in the world, our own or others, we create the possibility of a new experience, one that often surprises because of how much joy, connection, or relief it yields. Destruction may continue, but humanity shines through."
    "Awakening does not mean a change in difficulty, it means a change in how those difficulties are met."
    I highly enjoyed this book. The more I delve into Buddhism, the more respect I have for the concepts it teaches. I am a much more confident person having learned just what I have in the past 6 months, and this book certainly helped me on that path. I would caution that this probably wouldn't be the best book for a complete newcomer to Buddhism - maybe read one of the other books I've read this year first - but this will absolutely help to show how practical a Buddhist frame of mind can be when it comes to our emotional lives. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcia Culina, OH, United States 11-03-13
    Marcia Culina, OH, United States 11-03-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Performance
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    "Not what I expected--very boring"
    What disappointed you about The Trauma of Everyday Life?

    I heard the author on a New York radio show and he sounded interesting--unfortunately the book was not.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Fiction


    How could the performance have been better?

    More inflection.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Trauma of Everyday Life?

    It is a book about Buddhism. I thought it would be more practical having heard him speak on the radio.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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