Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart” as Want to Read:
True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,915 ratings  ·  128 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 ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Bantam
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about True Refuge, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Nooshin Navidi Her first book, 'Radical Acceptance' as well as her weekly teaching talks, which are available for free on her website & via podcast.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,915 ratings  ·  128 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Richard Heckler
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
Similar to the wisdom of Pema Chodron, one can find a soothing and encouraging friend in Tara Brach. When the going gets tough, when the breath becomes shallow, its best to take five and listen to what they are saying.. In this particular book, there are meditations that help you persevere and lead you to find your inner strenght. These mental exercises are less fun than grabbing a chocolate cake or a margharita but have zero calories and more refreshing in the long run :)
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I loved Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha even more, this book was still a 5-star read for me. The meditations are very helpful--really powerful and as in the case of of the first book I read her sharing of personal experience is both touching and encouraging. It also helps ground the practice and helped me to understand better what was happening during my own meditation.
Raya Sun
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
An essential read, I'm sure I will refer to it often. I'm new to meditation and mindfulness and found this book very instructional in looking within for refuge.

Loving life no matter what, finding refuge within our own hearts and minds--right here, right now, moment to moment.

I appreciate the realistic and gentle tone of the book, as it also details how to deal with difficult emotions using RAIN. Compulsive thinking--with no resolution, going nowhere, in an endless loop, is also discussed.

Larry Smith
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
T.Kay Browning
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it
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'.
Jennifer Louden
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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!
Tarn Wilson
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. As soon as I finished, I started it over again. I read in little bites, food for each day.
Laurence White
I really want to talk with Tara Brach about diet culture and body liberation. I think she’s missing some information in the way she speaks about people in bigger bodies.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love how this book touches on such a huge scope of meditation practice - from very concrete daily practice - to deep philosophy about the nature of the universe and what we are. I find it encouraging and I appreciate Brach's vulnerability and openness.

The narrator's voice was lovely and fit so well with the subject matter. However, part of me wishes I had this book on paper so I could highlight and refer back to certain sections more easily. But still this was encouraging and sweet to listen
Julianne Bigler
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-growth
The most essential book I’ve ever read.
Moira Shepard
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This gracefully written book was so beautiful and illuminating I didn't want it to end. Guess I'll just have to read it again. Will undoubtedly get even more out of it on a second reading - it's deep! Cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone who wants to gain deeper self-knowledge and self-acceptance.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great read, definitely soul food. I truly enjoyed reading it. This book is very well written, with so much depth on finding fulfillment and living with intent and acceptance amidst the highs and lows in life.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
This is a better book than Radical Acceptance. The concept of RAIN is better explained and more developed. There are several chapters in this book that do a good job of explaining mindfulness, meditation, and RAIN.
My first time completing a book on mindfulness and meditation - listened to as an Audible. The introduction grabbed me, being familiar with chronic pain, and I did find refuge in knowing that it is possible to find other ways to cope with the emotional and physical strain of such a condition. Brach does an excellent job detailing practical practices for such challenges in life. Her focus was more on the psychological aspects, and I would have found it to be a better book with some attention paid ...more
Tien Pham
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Teo 2050

Brach T (2013) (12:01) True Refuge - Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

Prologue: “Loving Life No Matter What”

Part I: Our Search for Refuge

01. Winds of Homecoming
– Our Cry for Help
– Coming Home to Loving Presence
– Learning to Trust the Waves
– Natural Presence: Wakeful, Open, and Tender
– Coming Back to Presence
– Guided Meditation: A Pause for Presence

02. Leaving Home: The Trance of Small Self
– Natural Presence: Wakeful, Open, and Tender
– The Perfection Project Collapses
Mark Goodman
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nicole Cleary
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Books that make me tear up from time to time with poignant stories of the human condition leave me feeling "tenderized" and in touch with my own heart. This is one of those books. Tara Brach is a well known Buddhist teacher, but the practices and vignettes in this book are accessible to anyone. Because Tara is a practicing psychologist, there are many stories of her clients' experiences and this makes the book really come alive. Tara is a gifted teacher, and her warmth and her own struggles ...more
Don Smith
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Everything by this brilliant psychologist/teacher is so full of insight, wisdom, love and intelligence. And it is useful. If you like her podcasts, and you will if you hear them, then know that the books cover the same territory- how to open one's heart, how to forgive, and how to heal. The world is a much better place because of Tara Brach.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Listened to this one as an audiobook, but I'd like to buy the print book and re-read it (it's hard to do the guided meditations when driving!). While there does seem to be some redundancy in this text, I appreciated learning about different types of meditation and am finding that what I need is not always what I might expect (e.g. loving-kindness meditation).
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Thank you, Tara Brach. The stories were so relatable and helpful. I appreciated how ideas were presented from different sides.
Micah Grant
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
Great explanation of the RAIN technique. I love the guided relaxations and how it includes healing not only for yourself but also for those around you.
Alan Araújo
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book! I had never read any of Tara's books before and I just love her writing style. The book is real, down to earth, and full of gems. Tara's stories are inspiring and moving.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great read by Tara Brach. It asks the question, what is awareness and how is awareness my true refuge?
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology
  • The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
  • Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
  • Spiritual Growth: Being Your Higher Self
  • No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva
  • Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
  • Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
  • Taming the Tiger Within: Meditations on Transforming Difficult Emotions
  • The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions
  • When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  • Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness
  • The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  • Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness
  • A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life
  • Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  • Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives
  • Growth and Decay: Pripyat and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
  • The Pocket Pema Chodron
See similar books…
Tara Brach is a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening. She has practiced and taught meditation for over 40 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 ...more
“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.” 27 likes
“Awakening self-compassion is often the greatest challenge people face on the spiritual path.” 25 likes
More quotes…