It is common in both Buddhism and Freudian psychoanalysis to treat desire as the root of all suffering and problems, but psychiatrist Mark Epstein believes this to be a grave misunderstanding. In his defense of desire, he makes clear that it is the key to deepening intimacy with ourselves, one another, and our world. An enlightening tapestry of psychotherapeutic practice, contemporary case studies, Buddhist insight, and narratives as diverse as the Ramayana and Sufi parables, Open to Desire brings a refreshing new perspective to humanity’s most paradoxical emotion.
Proposing that spiritual attainment does not have to be detached from intimacy or eroticism, Open to Desire begins with an exploration of the dissatisfaction that causes us to both cling to, and fear, desire. Offering a new path for traversing this ambivalence, Dr. Epstein shows us how we can overcome these obstacles, not by indulgence or suppression, but by learning a new way to be with desire. Full of practical advice, this is a lasting guide for finding peace both in ourselves and in our most highly charged interactions.