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Publisher's Summary

"Believing that something is wrong with us is a deep and tenacious suffering," says Tara Brach at the start of this illuminating book. This suffering emerges in crippling self-judgments and conflicts in our relationships, in addictions and perfectionism, in loneliness and overwork - all the forces that keep our lives constricted and unfulfilled. Radical Acceptance offers a path to freedom, including the day-to-day practical guidance developed over Dr. Brach's 20 years of work with therapy clients and Buddhist students.

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Sublime Guidance

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

106 of 110 people found this review helpful

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Amazingly Helpful! I'm not one to leave reviews...

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.

48 of 51 people found this review helpful

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Insights for Meditation and Being Present

Where does Radical Acceptance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

What does Cassandra Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her reading is wonderful, to the point, read with emotion. She reads this book as if she was the author. Excellent!

43 of 46 people found this review helpful

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Worthy of the recognition this book already has.

Have you listened to any of Cassandra Campbell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Accept What Is

What made the experience of listening to Radical Acceptance the most enjoyable?

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!

What did you like best about this story?

I can listen to it again and again and get something out of it each time.

Which character – as performed by Cassandra Campbell – was your favorite?

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.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

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!

Any additional comments?

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.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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I’ve read good things about the author, but ...

I wanted to like this book and finish it, but I found listening to it a bit arduous. About halfway through I felt lost so I decided to start from the beginning. I found I couldn’t bring myself to re-listen to it, though.

I’ve read good things about its author, but the book just wasn’t for me.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Nice, but rather casual

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Content is profound but narrator ruined it for me

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Purchased the audio version. No, wouldn't change the content of the book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tara Brach for courageously sharing her life experiences so openly.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Cassandra Campbell?

Just about any other narrator. Perhaps even Tara Brach herself could have narrated the book in a more personable tone.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not likely.

Any additional comments?

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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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If you aren't Buddhist, it may not be for you

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

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".

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

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.

What about Cassandra Campbell’s performance did you like?

She was easy to listen to and did a wonderful job staying enthusiastic long after my interest in hearing the book had faded.

Could you see Radical Acceptance being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

N/A

Any additional comments?

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.

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

What made the experience of listening to Radical Acceptance the most enjoyable?

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!<br/>

3 of 3 people found this review helpful