Awakening with Prozac

Pharmaceuticals and PracticeMark Epstein

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MIND IS DESCRIBED in the traditional Abhidhamma as a sense organ, or "faculty," like the eye, ear, nose, tongue, or body, that perceives concepts or other mental data, surveys the fields of the other sense organs, and is subject to "obscurations," veils of afflictive emotions that obscure the mind's true nature. The faculty of mind and the consciousness produced by it are seen as the primary source of the feeling of "I am" that is then presumed to be real. There is little discussion in Buddhist literature, however, of the mind's propensity toward disruptions that cannot be remedied through spiritual practice alone. As Buddhism evolved, its emphasis became even more focused on discovering the "true nature" of mind, rather than bothering with discussions of mental illness. This "true nature" is mind revealed as naturally empty, clear, and unimpeded. The thrust of meditation practice became the experience of mind in this natural state.

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