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

4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  472 ratings  ·  48 reviews
How do you cope when facing life-threatening illness, family conflict, faltering relationships, old trauma, obsessive thinking, overwhelming emotion, or inevitable loss? If you’re like most people, chances are you react with fear and confusion, falling back on timeworn strategies: anger, self-judgment, and addictive behaviors. Though these old, conditioned attempts to cont ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Bantam
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The second book by one of the foremost teachers of Buddhist meditation and thought in the West. Tara Brach is without peer in her ability to synthesize the ancient teachings of the Buddha with modern psychology. The clarity and compassion with which she shares her wisdom makes her writing accessible to all, including those with no prior knowledge of Buddhist teachings. The book is a must-read for anyone on a spiritual path. Highly recommended.
I do not know how to review a book without being personal; reading, to me, is insanely personal. Tara Brach begins her book with the revelation that she has spent the past 20 years of her life trying to figure out the source of her chronic, physical pain, only to find out that the condition will be with her the rest of her life. While it did not take me 20 years, I did spend the last decade of my life knowing something was physically wrong with me and desperately trying to find doctors who would ...more
Larry Smith
Feb 08, 2015 Larry Smith rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adults, college students, interfaith communities
Welcome this sense of self that Tara Brach is able to touch with us. One of the wonderful things about Tara Brach is her ability to know us through knowing herself, and what she's able to give to us in her advice and examples is how we all connect. There is light within if we open to it. But this is not a "spiritual" book in the sense of being vague or lofty, but a very "practical" book that is based in meditation practice and in being straight with ourselves. What I sense most is her welcoming ...more
Feb 20, 2013 Colette is currently reading it
Can already tell this is a powerful, honest, just awesome book. I sense i will be dottig it with post-it's as I did her previous book, highly recommended: Radical Acceptance.
Richard Heckler
Reading Tara Brach's new book, True Refuge, is like sitting by a fireplace, listening and talking with a best friend. She writes calmly, intimately, from the inside out. Tara is able to describe the human predicament, our vulnerabilities and foibles, our fears and aspirations, with a respect and accuracy that emboldens us to acknowledge what’s true, and empowers us to begin the reflective work of creating a happier, richer life.

And, she has walked the walk, as you can hear in this video. I am s
Its going to take me a minute to read this book -and that's a compliment. Every time I start picking up speed Brach writes something that stops me in my tracks and forces me to stop, backtrack, reread and then live her advice for a couple of days. Then I go back and reread, move forward a little bit, start picking up speed and the process repeats itself. I have a shelf of Buddhist texts, but its Brach that always breaks the information down so sensibly. My favorite parts are when she's giving an ...more
I have been thinking about the issues presented in this book for some time now, so I can't say that this book alone was responsible for any sort of "breakthrough" moment. That said, while I was reading the book, I did feel like I had some "aha!" moments. Particularly around connected our feelings and traumas to places in our bodies, concrete sensations. I had heard this spoken of so many times, but something about Brach's presentation, through countless stories, convinced me to take a deep look ...more
Timothy Browning
What I really loved about this book is that I've been listening to/reading Tara Brach for over a year now, one book and a couple dozen podcast episodes and not once did I know that she was diagnosed with a degenerative genetic disease that is slowly making her life ever more painful. She doesn't focus on that to get sympathy or to show strength, but she does bring it out and explore it deeply in this one book in order to relate to those who are experiencing deep sorrow in their lives. She contin ...more
Tien Pham
With the her wisdom and kindness, the author shows us how to directly face our emotional discomfort in order to heal ourselves and move forward. She shows us that when we run away from whatever bother us through false refuges such as materialism, endless TV and internet, or being busy, we perpetuate the problems and continue to make ourselves suffer. Instead, Brach explains that only by seeing the problems directly and experience them through our body that we can truly thrive and feel connected ...more
Taking advantage of the Mindfulness wave Tara Brach shows that the trend to conflate Western Psychology practices with Buddhist influenced thought is still cresting. With suitable acronym self-tests and plenty of Rumi poetry she leads the reader through her own journey to enlightenment. While I don't think this is truly a money maker self-help genre mashup I think it could very well slide into that. I get the feeling that in the true sense of Buddhist teaching the author shows what has worked fo ...more
Mark Goodman
What an amazing book. This is a book I recommend highly and know I will be revisiting again and again for its wisdom, depth and heart. Tara Brach describes the landscape and journey of a mindfulness practice with so much aliveness and so much love. There are many ways that mindfulness practice can be described but I feel so inspired and drawn to the way Tara frames this practice, as a courageous and sometimes painful breaking open of the heart, as, indeed, a path toward more and more spacious lo ...more
A great book on meditating during difficult times or with difficult bodies.
Highly recommend. The author battles a rare illness and chronic pain so I could relate to her story, but those of her patients and students are varied and touching, too. That male patients were represented should put men at ease if they're curious about Buddhism and meditation but a bit embarrassed about it. That she can find such peace, compassion, and love for life despite her suffering inspires. She includes easy-to-follow meditations at chapter ends that highlight what you've just read. I'm ...more
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway but would have bought it if I hadn't since I loved her first book, Radical Acceptance. I liked this one even better. She wr ites from the heart with personal experiences and the stories of others woven in to highlight what she's teaching. Guided meditations are included at the end of every section and I will be going back to these to continue practicing. I learned a lot about myself through this book and I will definitely be reading it again.
I appreciated the message and the meditation exercises; however, I would recommend reading this book in sections so that you do not become overwhelmed and so that the application of the meditations will be more effective.
Janice Brodowsky
A wonderful book by an incredible teacher, therapist, and author. Tara suggests that some of what she presents in this book should be done with either a teacher or a therapist. I have to agree that some of the material may open you up to things that you may not want to tackle on your own. Tara has once again done an incredible job helping her readers get in touch with having compassion for oneself. Thank you Tara!
Janice Brodowsky
Abby Seixas
Lots of deep authentic wisdom here. Tara's first book, Radical Acceptance was very useful, and groundbreaking in some ways, but I felt a kind of stiffness in how she expressed herself. Not here. Perhaps her illness, which developed since she wrote Radical Acceptance. has resulted in more genuine heart and authenticity. I will use this in my work and continue to refer to it for myself. Highly recommeded!
Brach writes of her own frustration with a rare disease that causes pain everywhere in her body and has hindered her once active lifestyle, and how meditation has helped. She also describes how she teaches meditation to those who come to her for guidance in handling difficult events in their lives. Author gives a lot of interesting meditation coping skills, but at times it drifts off into 'hippie talk'.
Louise Silk
Great practice book full of very useful meditations. Always a good reminder of how to see the bigger picture.

Tara introduces a new practice called RAIN: Recognize what is happening, Allow life to be just as it is, Investigate with intimate attention, Non-identification rest in the natural awareness and then applies it to many difficult situations like pain, obsessive thinking,anxiety,anger and trauma.
Fusun Dulger charles
In her last book, Psychologist and Buddhist taught us how to love ourselves, in this book she takes us on the Journey to Heal depression.
Anyone with depression or Bi Polar, or even as most people do feel low, should read this book.
Her style is simple, to the point and radical.
I wanted to love this book. I love Tara Brach's work and her book Radical Acceptance is one of my favourites. I especially wanted to understand how she applied her teachings to living with chronic pain.

I tried reading the book on more than one occasion, and I just didn't connect. :(
Tara Brach has a way of taking Buddhist teachings and applying them to our everyday lives. She has included, in this book, great suggestions and meditations. She writes on a very personal level - almost as if two friends are having an intimate conversation. Highly recommended.
Jeremy Meyers
So much great stuff in here. For those who've read "Radical Acceptance" it may feel a little bit like "Radical Acceptance 2: More Acceptancer", but the lessons here remain crucial, and reading it through the lens of Tara's physical ailment is a new wrinkle.
Liz Hietkamp
I love Tara Brach's work. The concept of refuge, as she outlines it, is straightforward and compelling. Take refuge in awareness, truth and love. This is a book that i will be going back to over and over again, to practice the meditations and learn more.
Tara Brach writes about meditation in a personal easy to relate to style. Using the simple, practical method of R.A.I.N every problem, disappointment, and joy is a portal to awareness.
Bishop Bergland
Tara is one of my favorite teachers because of her ability to seamlessly blend spiritual and psychological truth. This book is an example of that gift, a reminder that we all run and hide from time to time and a gentle call to return home.
Barry Slavis
A brilliant and shining book full of light and inspiration.
If you ever have the opportunity to listen to Tara Brach, do not miss it.
True Refuge is like sitting in a room and listening to her speak.
What a blessing that I can pick it up at any time and be reminded of a wonderful experience.
Jennifer Louden
She is one of my favorite Buddhist authors. While this book didn't rock my world like Radical Acceptance, I still found it a sweet rich visit to freedom. If you haven't read or listened to Tara, get that remedied today!
You don't need to be in crisis mode to benefit from reading True Refuge. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Tara Brach shares without preaching. Her insights are enlightening. This book is a definite reread!!
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Tara Brach is a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening. She has practiced and taught meditation for over 35 years, with an emphasis on vipassana (mindfulness or insight) meditation. Tara is the senior teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington. A clinical psychologist, Tara is the author of
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Y
More about Tara Brach...
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha Radical Self-Acceptance: A Buddhist Guide to Freeing Yourself from Shame Radical Acceptance: Guided Meditations Meditations for Emotional Healing: Finding Freedom in the Face of Difficulty Meditation & Psychotherapy: A Professional Training Course for Integrating Mindfulness Into Clinical Practice

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“The intimacy that arises in listening and speaking truth is only possible if we can open to the vulnerability of our own hearts. Breathing in, contacting the life that is right here, is our first step. Once we have held ourselves with kindness, we can touch others in a vital and healing way.” 19 likes
“Each time you meet an old emotional pattern with presence, your awakening to truth can deepen. There’s less identification with the self in the story and more ability to rest in the awareness that is witnessing what’s happening. You become more able to abide in compassion, to remember and trust your true home. Rather than cycling repetitively through old conditioning, you are actually spiraling toward freedom.” 13 likes
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