Writing with great warmth and clarity, Tara Brach brings her teachings alive through personal stories and case histories, fresh interpretations of Buddhist tales, and guided meditations. Step by step, she leads us to trust our innate goodness, showing how we can develop the balance of clear-sightedness and compassion that is the essence of Radical Acceptance. Radical Acceptance does not mean self-indulgence or passivity. Instead it empowers genuine change: healing fear and shame and helping to build loving, authentic relationships. When we stop being at war with ourselves, we are free to live fully every precious moment of our lives.
©2004 Tara Brach (P)2012 Tantor
"Radical Acceptance offers gentle wisdom and tender healing, a most excellent medicine for our unworthiness and longing. Breathe, soften, and let these compassionate teachings bless your heart." (Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart)
Thoreau's 'Walden' and Ayn Rand's 25th anniversary introduction to 'The Fountainhead' summarize my library well.
Radical Acceptance is a rather thorough walk through Buddhist practices that are applicable to daily life, highlighted by numerous personal antecodes from the author (either from her own experiences, or from those she has mentored). I found RA to be an extremely pleasant and valuable listen with believable, down-to-earth examples. Cassandra Campbell is a great choice for narrator--I enjoyed her even-keel delivery. Some segments of the book felt a touch lengthy, perhaps the book could have been 10-20% shorter at most. I would not be surprised if I turn back to this book every year or so for re-listening.
If you struggle with stress, self-image, and/or overpowering emotions, RA is an fantastic choice. I think what attracts me to Buddhist teachings is that the hook is self-centered--get more out of life, take care of yourself--but the way is ultimately through the people and world around you. Below is a loose collection of notes I captured while working through the book. Listen and enjoy.
- Be your own best friend
- Radical Acceptance--the acceptance of life as it is--is how one breaks the 'Trance of Unworthiness' that we put ourselves under
- First step to freedom: recognize your own suffering
- Feeling inadequate is not your fault, nor is that feeling unique to you
- Acceptance is clearly seeing reality + compassion for others
- The 'mara' are the temptations of life. Welcome their enterance, and their subsequent passing, and understand they are not your fault. To do so is to be your own best friend.
- 'Carencia' is when the bull in a bullfight pauses. Its the sign of strongest bulls.
- Practice smile yoga. Don't compare your life's cooking to Pillsbury biscuits.
- Pain is a very important messenger. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
- Emotional traumas cause dissociation. Dissociation leads to recurrences of neuroses until event is revisited and understood.
- To define yourself by desire is to miss out on life. Don't fully suppress desire--it is responsible for a lot of good in this world.
- Buddha the teacher, Dharma the way, Sangra the community. Turn to your community.
- Coping with fear and remorse is all (necessary) practice for death.
- Compassion for others is spiritual self-discovery
- "I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother, And I found all three." -- William Blake
As someone that has been burnt on religion and navigating the messy aftermath, I felt this book was written just for me. I've been very skeptical of all the new agey, spirituality, look to the universe type, influences floating around. I see the value but I just don't feel they're all for me. However, The concepts in this book are well presented for someone wanting to create some change. The examples given, resonated perfectly with where I am in life and also where I've been in the past.
The author doesn't come off as an "all-knowing" spiritual leader. I saw her as someone who is willing show her vulnerabilities, personal faults, and felt I could relate to her as an imperfect human, striving to be good, like everybody else.
This book has given me so much more clarity for what's ahead and I'm very grateful for it. I'm going back through it again, right now.
I have read many books on meditation. I have been a fan of Tolle for a very long time, but I have to say this book by Brach is far more reaching and more practical than any book I have read by Tolle. Tolle I have seemed to listen to countless times, but found Radical Acceptance to provide clearer direction on what action to take day by day. She gives very clear examples of how to practice mindfulness, meditation, and work through some emotional issues.
Her reading is wonderful, to the point, read with emotion. She reads this book as if she was the author. Excellent!
Good information, but lengthy and repetitive. Ironically, I often found my mind distracted by other things while listening to this book. It took me considerably longer than usual for me to get through it. I felt that it could have been condensed into half or less. Perhaps I'm missing the very point of the book.
The reading was professional but flat. Tara's audio talks have more spirit. But great info.
ok...not great, some moments of insight. It was beneficial to read, calling on buddhist scripture, poetry, and other writings. Author even relating some of her personal stories, but in general found it more targeted toward a female audience. As many in the field of psychology, I feel in reading the book that author clearly studied the field in order to help herself and possibly helping others became a side effect based on her experiences and knowledge acquired. While it was a relevant and necessary read, I have found other books as much more useful in learning the message presented here. Her personal life examples mostly were her displacing those trapped feelings, guilt and emotions on the reader....like many tortured creative artists do...
I haven't listened to Campbell's performances before, but her narration on this book is fitting for the author. The pairing is done well.
Amazing life changing
she has a lovely speaking voice and switches between characters well.
Most of it. I learned that I don't have to push and be better. I am good enough as I am. This is a wonderful way to learn and apply self-acceptance and love.
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