Mark Epstein, a psychiatrist and Buddhist for 25 years, writes, "Separateness, independence, and clear boundaries are not glorified in Buddhism the way they are in our culture. They are seen instead as potent sources of suffering, as illusions that perpetuate destructive emotions like hatred, jealousy, and conceit." The author of Thoughts Without a Thinker uses illustrations from his own experiences and from the lives of his patients to shine a light on emotions, the body, relationships, and sexuality.

Epstein shows how the Buddhist practices of mindfulness, letting go, connection, and emptiness can free us from enslavement to self-improvement, perfectionism, delusion, and escapism. Throughout the book, he emphasizes how important it is for us to honestly deal with difficult feelings and to open ourselves to the tender parts of our being. Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart uses the resources of the most psychological of the world's religions as a gateway to a more balanced and fulfilling life.