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Paperback Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha Book

ISBN: 0553380990

ISBN13: 9780553380996

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

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Book Overview

In our current times of global crises and spiking collective anxiety, Tara Brach's transformative practice of Radical Acceptance offers a pathway to inner freedom and a more compassionate world.

This classic work now features an insightful new introduction, an exclusive bonus chapter, and additional guided meditations.

"Radical Acceptance offers us an invitation to embrace ourselves with all our...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Life As It Is

As the title of this marvelous book indicates, Tara Brach shows each and every one of us the path towards accepting our life as it is. This doesn't mean, as you may be wondering, never strive in the direction of change. It's just that, well, change is pretty much a given anyhow. Tara's philosophy (not necessarily writing style) reminds me of Thich Nhat Hanh and his works on mindfulness. Like the book Anger by Nhat Hanh, Tara proposes we must embrace our emotions and perceived shortcomings with the love a mother would have for it's child. There is an absolute plethora of Buddhist/Self Help books on the shelves these days that aren't really worth mentioning, but this book stands out. The most important factor is that you don't even need to be practicing Buddhism to benefit from his wisdom. Just as I have learned from such Christian writers as Thomas Merton and Anthony de Mello, Christians (or any religious tradition's followers) can learn much from this. It's the kind of imperfect life experience all of us can relate to in her work that appeals to me. She's down to earth, introspective (as opposed to preachy), and compassionately skilled in all of her words. Tara Brach holds a Ph.D. and is a clinical psychologist in addition to being a lay Buddhist priest and vipassana meditation guide. In Washington, D.C. she founded the "Insight Meditation Community." She also participates in running various workshops nationally. If your making a "books to buy" list for 2004, put this on there; it's genuinely worth the read. Thanks Tara.

A non-Buddhist, non-spiritual seeker says:

This type of book really isn't my sort of thing. But I loved the way Rumi is woven in and out as a recurrent poetic theme and, mostly, was fascinated by the journey of this woman who has developed a practical path out of the miseries into what could be a comfortable and self-accepting life. Other non-spiritual types will find themselves loving it, too!

A book with heart

'A book with heart.'In the 25 centuries since the Buddha's enlightenment under the tree in northern India, his teachings have taken on unique expressions as they spread from India and throughout Asia. The core of the teachings kept their integrity and directness, but the forms and expressions they took both helped shape and were shaped by the cultures and pre-existing traditions in these countries.As the Buddha's teachings have spread to the West-particularly in the last two generations-a similarly fascinating encounter is at work. Westerners have the opportunity to read, explore, and practice in a variety of Buddhist traditions-Tibetan, Zen, Insight meditation and others. At the same time, Buddhism in the West is being shaped by our own social, political, cultural, and scientific history of recent centuries-so already Buddhism here looks less monastic, more gender equal, more focused on the inner search for truth than on external rites and rituals, and more agnostic on questions that are not so easily testable by our own direct experience, e.g., reincarnation. The spiritual marketplace is rich with the extraordinary contributions of Westerners who have spent extensive time in Asia studying with teachers there and coming back to share their wisdom-Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Christopher Titmuss, to name just some of those teaching in the Insight meditation tradition. They have all succeeded in taking these perennial wisdom teachings and expressing them in a language that is accessible to Westerners from many walks of life and spiritual backgrounds.Tara Brach's `Radical Acceptance: Embracing your Life with the Heart of a Buddha' is a wonderful continuation of this still-new encounter. As a Buddhist meditation teacher and a psychotherapist, Brach is well placed to bring the wisdom and compassion of Buddhist teachings together with the insights and understandings of psychotherapy. But this is not a slam-dunk. Ancient wisdom teachings mixed with Western therapeutic approaches can come out as New Age pablum. Brach succeeds by staying true to the Buddha's statement: "I teach one thing and one thing alone: suffering and its end.' She finds much of our suffering in the West in our own lack of worth or worthiness and sees that happiness, contentment, and awakening must come through a full and loving acceptance of who we are-rather than trying to escape from, avoid, or transcend our fears, desire, and longings. `Radical Acceptance' is a book full of heart, full of the desire for all of us, all beings, to realize our true potential, our true nature, our Buddha nature. It is replete with stories from Brach's own experience that do not put her on a pedestal-`the teacher: be like her'-but say clearly that these fears, this lust, this anger, greed, the pleasant and unpleasant emotions and states of mind... are in our natures as humans, and happiness and ultimate freedom come through accepting and embracing them and seeing that

Suffering is Highly Over-rated!

Tara Brach's book was invaluable in helping me become more accepting of myself. Ms. Brach shares many useful stories and helpful insights. Radical Self Acceptance provides skillful exercises for dealing with many inner shadows. Not only does she bring light to issues of shame and feelings of unworthiness, she provides practical advice on how to awaken from self-suffering. I personally have greatly benefited from her courageous inquiry into the facets of angst that we all experience. In these turbulent times, this book illustrates many practices to embrace our personal struggles so that we can become more compassionate and live a fuller life. When Tara addresses her own vulnerabilities it provides me fortitude to face my own. I consider this book a great resource for understanding our greatest struggle today: ourselves. In our world filled with consumption and materialism, we make up many deluded stories that further separates us from ourselves and our world. Tara goes to the root of how we reinforce our sense of unworthiness. Ms. Brach's wonderful Buddhist and other spiritual teachings provide vivid examples of how we can feel less disconnected. This book is a powerful guide for showing that our self-hatred and shame threatens the future of our world with continuing strife. This book is a wonderful collection of Tara's teachings that weave together our sense of belonging amidst the constant sense of alienation that we unconsciously perpetuate. Finally, this book allows me to free myself from my sense of deficiency to understand that my suffering can be ameliorated with the knowledge that I am a part of a larger, awakening community of like-minded souls who are recovering from their shame. Radical Self Acceptance inspires me to fully "show up", accept, embrace and cultivate greater kindness in all my relationships.
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