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Synopsis

We all have a right to the pursuit of happiness - but could we actually be happier if we gave that whole thing up?

This surprising new book from Zen teacher, psychoanalyst, and critical favorite Barry Magid inspires us - in gentle and winking prose - to move on and make peace with the perfection of the way things actually are, including ourselves.

Magid invites us to consider that our "pursuit of happiness" may actually be a source of our suffering. He takes an unusual look at our "secret practices" - what we're really doing when we say we're meditating-like trying to feel calmer, or more compassionate, or even "enlightened" (whatever we imagine that means!). He also uncovers our "curative fantasies" about spiritual practice - those ideas that we can somehow fix all the messy human things about ourselves that we imagine are bad or wrong or unacceptable. In doing so, he helps us look squarely at-and avoid-such pitfalls. Along the way, Magid lays out a rich roadmap of the new "psychological-minded Zen" - a Zen that includes our entire life, our entire personality - as pioneered by his teacher, bestselling author Charlotte Joko Beck.

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