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What Showtime Taught Me About Buddhism: The Trauma of Everyday Life

Premium-channel lesbian dramedy “The L Word” exposed me to Buddhist philosopher/psychiatrist Mark Epstein: De facto protagonist/power-lesbian Bette Porter (Jennifer Beals) attends Epstein's reading for Open to Desire: The Truth About What The Buddha Taught in the third season, second episode, “Lost Weekend.” In his too-brief cameo, he explains James Joyce's idea of beholding: If held too closely, the subject of desire becomes pornography, but when we distance ourselves too much, it becomes criticism. Epstein contends it's possible to have intense, loving relationships with others and desire itself without attendant grasping and objectification. Epstein now tours with his latest, The Trauma of Everyday Life. This dense scholarly panegyric to transformative potential of trauma finds Epstein taking on psychodrama of trauma in the Buddha's childhood, as well as in his own life and those of his patients. Epstein's thoughts on traumatic memory being stored solely in implicit memory alone are worth the price of admission. Hear him out at Bookworks tonight starting at 7 p.m. (Samantha Anne Carrillo)  Bookworks • Thu Aug 22 • 7 pm • free • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar