True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

Tara Brach. Bantam, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-553-80762-2
In this richly detailed, hopeful book, Brach (Radical Acceptance) draws from the Buddhist concept of taking refuge to address unhappiness caused by the “trance of small self.” The author, a clinical psychologist and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, D.C., argues that cultivating “presence”—an embodied awareness—can lead to healing. “Our ultimate refuge is none other than our own being,” she writes. A key mindfulness practice, RAIN—an acronym for recognize, allow, investigate inner experience, and nonidentification—guides exploration of difficult emotions to enhance openness, acceptance, and joy. Brach’s discussions of such topics as anger, forgiveness, trauma, obsessive thoughts, self-compassion, and loss are marked by acute observations and careful distinctions. Throughout she illustrates the path to wholeness with the experiences of her meditation students and therapy clients, as well as her own journey toward “loving life no matter what,” particularly with ongoing physical limitations. Guided meditations are included in each chapter. Rather than presenting a case for classic Buddhism, Brach grounds therapeutic goals for emotional health in Buddhist principles. This accomplished example of spiritual self-help offers a gentle path for change in the face of suffering. Agent: Anne Edelstein (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/14/2013
Release date: 01/22/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-4314-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-1314-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-6314-2
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-345-53862-8
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-553-38634-9
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