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Need Dying Be Traumatic?

Mark Epstein + Ramon N. Prats

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

This isn’t your average book club. Break open The Tibetan Book of the Dead with bardo scholar Ramon Prats and draw comparisons between the ancient text and modern-day perspectives on mortality.

Club Meeting #2: Need Dying Be Traumatic?

Death is neither shocking nor traumatic in Tibetan Buddhist culture. Instead, it is rehearsed and extensively prepared for. Our lack of preparation in the West—some would call it denial—can lead to greater suffering than is necessary.

“The Buddha”¦ saw the mind and the heart as one and he used a rather strange phrase to talk about how a realistic view of trauma helps people. It “˜gladdens their hearts’ he said on many occasions.” —The Trauma of Everyday Life by Mark Epstein

A book signing by Dr. Epstein follows.

Can’t make it to the Museum? Join our Facebook livestream and listen from anywhere.


About the Speakers


Mark Epstein, M.D. is a regular participant in the Rubin’s programs. A highly regarded psychiatrist in private practice in New York City, he is the author of a number of books about the interface of Buddhism and psychotherapy, including Thoughts without a Thinker, Going to Pieces without Falling Apart, Going on Being, Open to Desire and Psychotherapy without the Self. His newest book, The Trauma of Everyday Life (Penguin Press), uses the Buddha’s biography as a means of exploring the hidden psychodynamics, and contemporary relevance, of Buddhist thought. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University and is currently Clinical Assistant Professor in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at New York University.

Ramon N. Prats was the first person to translate The Tibetan Book of the Dead into Spanish. He holds a doctoral degree in Tibetan Studies from the Oriental Institute of the University of Naples (Italy), where he was associate professor of Tibetan language and literature from 1980 to 1995. He was subsequently appointed professor of Buddhist studies at the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona (Spain). From 2006 to 2009 he was Senior Curator at the Rubin Museum of Art, where he organized an exhibition on the Bardo Thodrol, among others. Ramon Prats has more than sixty publications to his credit.

Standard Program Admission: $25

Standard Program Admission (Members): $22.50

Series All-Access Pass: $165

Series All-Access Pass (Members): $132