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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.
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By Rich on 11-21-15
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
164 of 168 people found this review helpful
By JonnyHI on 09-17-15
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.
79 of 83 people found this review helpful