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Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

por Tara Brach

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9081417,286 (4.1)14
"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 twenty 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.… (mais)
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Tara Brach isn’t really as cool as she thinks she is IMO, although there are limits to how ruffled her feathers get. She’s what I would call a contrarian optimist, and often displays the limitations of this type. She thinks that everything’s chill, if only we knew—but most people don’t know, do they, and what could be worse! The problem for her is “the myth of Eden” (=Christianity?), where we believe that reality is problematic, although how this is different from classical Buddhism and its ideas about suffering beats me. (I know it doesn’t seem like it, but there are Christian mystics, and the point of the Eden story is not to get you to wallow in dukkha.) Incidentally from what I can perceive Tara Brach is not Buddhist per se, not classical and not really okay with authority usually, but more like Western subculture, part therapist part new ager—although for me “new age” is not a slur, but is an accurate term for her. The folk/pagan reference in the book, for example, was one of those opera legends, for cool kid post-Christians, probably pasty, and not something from India or China, and classical Buddhism is very Asian....

Or, in my Pollyanna imagining of Buddhism, so pained about accepting people who are Outside the Subculture. But this does happen at least somewhat in this book, and probably more towards the end I think. There is a dark side of new age acceptance—let’s skip to the part where we accept what we like, since life’s not supposed to be hard—but I don’t think Tara is completely unaware of her shadow. And I’m not conventional myself, so I’m not going to stand up on a soap box and lecture you about how you should watch Bridgerton and go to church; I like church and have nothing against frills, but you don’t have to. (You do what you have to.) Also, there are plenty of more saccharine new age girls in Buddhistic land, like Sharon Salzburg, to say nothing of more Christic girls like a Marianne Williamson, if the contrarian optimist is just all a little bit too much.

There are some good points, anyway, and maybe someday I’ll reread it and/or edit some of my older, more irritated review into this one, sans the irritation, because I took a few scattered notes about her good points, although if I were to do it again I’d probably write something down about her struggles with sex, which I don’t remember writing about before. (Basically, you can choose not to do, even perhaps not to want eventually, but certainly not immediately and certainly not to that highest degree just by biting down or taking thought.)
  goosecap | Apr 15, 2021 |
Wow. Ten chapters in and I'm growing weary of hearing how hard it is for Tara (PhD in Psychology and an experienced practitioner of Buddhism) to accept the white, Christian, conservative, weathly business owner. "This can be especially hard when trying to see the goodness in a murder, THE CEO OF A CORPORATION THAT POLLUTES THE PLANET, a child molester." So between a murder and a child molester. Chapter 9 had this tone, so I put the book down, rested, tried to focus on the point, and started chapter 10.

Imagine me saying 'I use to hate people from Country Y or skin color E, but now I'm a psychologist and Buddhist, wrote this book, and can EVEN LOVE THEM!'

I've read many Pema, Thic Nhat Hanh, and other Budhist/Mindfulness/Meditation books. Grown, healing, and continue to grow and heal. Always felt "safe" if not respected and nurtured as a reader with those authors. Clearly they have something I want and need.

Chapter 9: "A CEO from a very large corporation (OH NO!) who wanted to set up a mindfulness program for his company's employees." THE EVIL BADTARD!

"The CEO fit exactly my white rich white man stereotype." She mentions that he "had been the focus" of a class-action lawsuit... Not that he was convicted or guilty, just that he had been the focus... She felt uncomfortable TALKING with him because she was expecting "that we'd be coming from very different and unfriendly planets." GAWD! I'm so Thankful that those along my path didn't see nor treat me like I was somewhere between a murder and a child molester. I wouldn't have even recognized a need for growth/healing/change if those along the path saw me as so vile. She does go on to say he was "human and real" though he "bragged a bit and was eager to be liked," you know, like a murdering child molester.

I understand she was explaining by example she once saw "them" as not part of the connected "us".

Conclusion.... Pick up a different book where you'll feel accepted as you are trying to learn about acceptance.

For the record, thankfully I'm only a white guy and a "small" business owner. I think I'd throw myself off a bridge if I was also Christian and/or wealthy.

Finished the book, and admit that it was only those two chapters I found distasteful. Less those two, I'd give the book 3.5 of 5 stars. ( )
  CultDoctor | Mar 1, 2021 |
“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 twenty 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.
  PSZC | Jan 2, 2020 |
Maybe it's Buddhism lite, but I found that this book really encouraged me to meditate. OK, so it's mostly when I'm riding the T - but the idea is using meditation to examine emotion in a way I didn't know about, to loosen the grip of tortuous thoughts and feelings. I even found myself checking out meditation retreats, but I won't be rushing into that stuff right away... Instead I ended up buying the audio version which is somewhat different than the print version, but so far, so good. Her voice is very soothing. Of course I've racked up a list of other books on Buddhism to add to the big to read list. (March 04, 2006) ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
Tara's take on radical acceptance and the difference it can make in your life is worth trying. Having finished the book, I am beginning to apply some of the principles. I know I will need to read this book again. ( )
  Velmeran | Jan 26, 2019 |
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"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 twenty 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.

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