Nothing Is Hidden - Praise

The Psychology of Zen Koans

“Magid presents a nuanced, sensitive, and compassionate analysis of how it is all too easy to fall into idealism, escapism, and elitism with meditation, charging his readers to consider their intentions and motivations. Zen by itself, he argues, is highly unlikely to cure a practitioner of his or her mental afflictions, but his book can help point toward more honest introspection that will yield healing and acceptance.”—Publishers Weekly

“An accessible and thorough examination of the nexus of Zen koan analysis and human psychology. Pair with Gary Snyder’s Zen-inspired poetry
for a dynamic understanding of ancient and modern wisdoms enhancing one another.”—Booklist

“Sparkling and clear.”—Mark Epstein MD, author of The Trauma of Everyday Life

“Zen teacher and psychoanalyst Barry Magid is a distinctive voice in the burgeoning literature fusing Buddhism with Western psychotherapy. Equally at home in both traditions, he speaks with penetrating wisdom that cuts through the various forms of self-delusion that emerge along path of personal growth. This collection of short essays on well known koans has a direct, simple and uncontrived quality to it that points the reader in the right direction with the same elegance as a timeless haiku. There is not a false note here.”—Jeremy D. Safran, Ph.D., author of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Therapies and editor of Psychoanalysis and Buddhism

“This is no mere psychologization of koan practice. Rather, Magid seeks to provide a glimpse into the mind of the koan by exposing and addressing the psychological issues that impede our view. Very revealing.”—Mark Unno, East Asian Buddhism, University of Oregon

“Magid’s inspiring book, Nothing is Hidden, is a warmly human and truly original guide to Zen practice which authenticates koan Zen in Western words and lifestyle. Rather than imitating an ancient Asian tradition, the book uses modern psychological insight to illuminate such mysteries as brilliant spiritual teachers who go astray, koans that perplex and our own desire to run away from suffering. This book will make your spiritual practice more intimate, more playful and more rewarding.”—Grace Schireson, author of Zen Women

“Using old koans as a jumping off point, Magid brings a wonderfully unorthodox (and helpful) perspective to traditional Zen teachings. As both Zen teacher and psychoanalyst, Magid unmasks the psychological naiveté that is still all too prevalent in contemporary Zen practice, and shows how it can lead to problems for students, and tangled relationships between teachers and students. In each insightful essay, Magid makes a journey from a short koan into far territories of the heart.”—Susan Moon, author of This Is Getting Old