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)
Rye-and-Indian, baked daily.
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!
Tara Brach was confirming concepts I've been reading about: Ekhardt Tolle, Byron Katie, ACIM. When the student is ready the teacher appears. And wow...thank you Tara!
I can listen to it again and again and get something out of it each time.
Cassandra Campbell is my favorite narrator ironically. She was one of the narrators in The Help. This was a great combo for me: fav narrator and fav subject matter.
All the great and different stories that explain things in a way that resonates. And disrupting our habitual behaviors in order to accept in the moment...try it!
I first heard of Tara Brach on Hay House Radio in 2007 and I had only heard a meditation by her but I loved it. So I was going in sorta blind on this book and I was so thrilled she was talking about exactly what I was studying. I've read Jack Kornfield, Mark Epstein, Pema Chodron and Ram Dass...Tara is right up there with the master teachers.
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.
I didn't not like it, the author clearly has experienced transformation through practice and would make a wonderful friend and is pleasant to listen to. I was looking for something more structured so I'm trying TGC on Buddhism instead, by Eckel.
Not really. First of all, it was very, very long - the longest book I've ever listened to. And for the length, I did not get as much out of it as I did from others on similar topics. I would recommend Kristin Neff's "Self-Compassion".
It's a nonfiction book so there is no true end to a story, but I will say that I was disappointed that their was no "wrap-up" at the end of the book.
She was easy to listen to and did a wonderful job staying enthusiastic long after my interest in hearing the book had faded.
The author tried to use this book as a way to have radical acceptance be accessible to everyone, regardless of one's spirituality. But as I got to the second half of the book, I became less and less able to translate the concepts to my own life, as they became increasingly focused on the Buddhist practice of achieving a zen-like state of "perfect awareness". I came looking for a method to accept my life and my self, but instead was instructed on how I should let go of any concept of a "self" through a very specific Buddhist path.
I loved this book. I am amazed at some of the reviews calling the author self absorbed. Isn't that why we are reading her memoir? I think any woman could relate to this journey. I also think parents of girls would benefit from hearing/reading this book. I am still processing this information because it has had such an impact in my life. Give this book a shot! You won't be sorry!
Purchased the audio version. No, wouldn't change the content of the book.
Tara Brach for courageously sharing her life experiences so openly.
Just about any other narrator. Perhaps even Tara Brach herself could have narrated the book in a more personable tone.
Steering clear from any audiobook narrated by Cassandra Campbell. The snobbish tone of the narrator was just too distasteful for me. She narrates professionally, but the soulless quality was too evident. Couldn't finish listening to the audiobook even after many attempts to continue.
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