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How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow
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How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  233 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Intimately and without jargon, How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow describes the path to peace amid all of life’s ups and downs. Using step by step instructions, the author illustrates how to be fully present in the moment without clinging to joy or resisting sorrow. This opens the door to a kind of wellness that goes beyond circumstances ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Wisdom Publications (first published August 19th 2013)
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Sep 13, 2013 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Being an almost 36-year bone-cancer survivor who's crutches are permanent, I was immediately drawn to Toni's first book, How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers. As I suspected I might, I enjoyed it very much. I was delighted to discover she was working on this book and I pre-ordered it as soon as I could.

While I didn't grow up with Buddhist principles, I am coming to appreciate that there is a lot of wisdom to be found and borrowed there, especiall
Oct 31, 2013 Clara rated it really liked it
I didn't think much of this book when I started reading it. I've read other books about Buddhism and related topics that I've found more inspiring, illuminating, and intellectually challenging (in a good way). The more I read, though, the more I noticed that the author was doing exactly what she set out to do: provide the reader with practical advice on dealing with the suffering/dissatisfactions/annoyances of daily life. As a long-time Buddhist and someone with a chronic illness (she was diagno ...more
Katherine Wyman
Nov 04, 2014 Katherine Wyman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-book
If Goodreads offered us the ability to rate a book 7 stars, I would use it for this book. More than anything I've ever read, I believe this book has the ability to change lives for the better. Pretty sure it wouldn't matter whether you're an atheist, Buddhist, devout Christian or follower of some other religion; regardless, I believe this book contains lots of practical wisdom for helping you live a more skillful, mentally healthy life. Check it out.

Also, I want to mention that I'd never have pi
Aug 22, 2013 Ashy rated it it was amazing
How To Wake Up, by Toni Bernhard is an easy to read and compelling introduction to Buddhist thought and practice.
As I have been learning recently about Buddhism, none of the basic ideas were new to me, and yet I would encourage even people who are not new to Buddhism to read it, as well as those who are. Toni gives fresh perspectives and personal examples which are thought provoking and useful.

There are beautiful quotations at the start of each chapter, which I very much enjoyed, as well as pa
Oct 29, 2013 Lynne rated it really liked it
I've read a number of books along these lines. What sets this one apart is the simplicity, clarity and above all, the humility of the author's style. At no time does she come across as a guru instructing her disciples from a lofty height of enlightenment. Rather she allows us to see her own struggles, vulnerabilities and failures during her many years as a practitioner. The warmth and intimacy in which she shares with her reader the insights and wisdom she's learned along the way gives us the im ...more
Joshua Buhs
Aug 21, 2013 Joshua Buhs rated it really liked it
Shelves: b12, how-to
_How to Wake Up_ lacks the vitality of Bernhard's first book, _How to Be Sick_, which is becoming a (deserved) touchstone in Buddhist books. This volume is more of an introduction to mindfulness--albeit one of the most direct and practical primers on the subject that I have read.

Toni Bernhard was a long time professor and dean at UC Davis's law school before becoming irredeemably sick with a mystery disease that has her bedridden for most of the day. She was a practicing Buddhist at the time her
Celeste Cooper
Sep 12, 2014 Celeste Cooper rated it it was amazing
A brilliant writer does it again. A journey toward enlightenment

Toni’s stories are relevant for overcoming obstacles to our journey in life.I was unsure how she could ever add to her brilliant book “How to Be Sick,” but she has. She is a truly gifted writer.

Toni relates Buddha’s terms and teachings in a way that is easy to understand. This is especially helpful for a non-Buddhist person, such as myself. She teaches us how not to become fixed in our person or our way of thinking. I think when we
Apr 30, 2014 Rubina rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, it is one of the clearest, easiest to understand, practical book on Buddhism. It's suitable for newbies to Buddhism and yet has something too for more experienced practitioners. Bernhard explains that we can awaken to peace and well-being by recognizing our resistance to impermanence or change, no fixed self and suffering or dissatisfaction is what causes dukkha, and by cultivating wisdom, mindfulness, compassion, kindness and appreciative joy. Overall a wonderful book and n ...more
Jan 07, 2015 Ro rated it it was amazing
Toni Bernhard has done it again. I truly loved this book as much as 'How to be Sick'. The joy I've found with reading Toni's books is that before I've even finished reading one of them, the ideas included in their pages and the practical exercises to ease suffering are already 'with' me, helping me through life in a tangible way. These books are a guide for life. Thank you Toni.
Yolanda Ruiz
Dec 07, 2013 Yolanda Ruiz rated it it was amazing
A must read. I do not care if we called it buddhism or common sense, the fact is tht i think it can help to live better, happier, and meaningful.
Sue Jackson
Aug 30, 2015 Sue Jackson rated it it was amazing
A simple guide for applying Buddhist principles to ordinary life for more peace & happiness -
Nov 03, 2013 Angelea rated it liked it
There are definitely some pearls in this book, especially for someone interested in applying Buddhist philosophy to some kind of chronic illness or challenge in life.
Danielle (is trying to escape reality)
Eye-opening, calming, insightful, and reassuring. While it is hard to change ingrained behaviors, these books have opened my eyes to ways of thinking I hadn't yet encountered. Highly recommended.
Gayle Weyland
Sep 10, 2013 Gayle Weyland rated it really liked it
A mind changer. Calming and insightful.
Dec 27, 2016 Min rated it really liked it
Another pithy work with brief chapters that hit the heart of the matter when it comes to the practices inspired by Buddhism that enable one to find equanimity of the moment, in every situation....or at least, keep practicing until we do!

I have read a handful of introductions to Buddhism through the years, and appreciate best those that get to the action aspects; the doing applications to make this philosophy become a part of one's life and being. The early works I read were more academically min
Jan 27, 2017 Rosa added it
I've been looking for a book that goes more into how to reflect and meditate. Definitely has helped me get a better grasp on meditating.
Gil Herman
Dec 29, 2016 Gil Herman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Practice wakefulness

This is a terrific book for learning and reviewing practices to awaken. The author provides excellent stories to help illuminate why, when, and how to be more mindful.
Wisdom rings true to me.

"Seneca, the first-century Roman philosopher, said to count each day as a separate life. In Buddhist philosophy, we go even further: every moment is a separate life. To me, this means that every moment is a fresh start...Every moment holds the possibility of awakening to a feeling of peace and well-being." (p. 12)

"Greeting the day with curiosity means being interested in what each moment has to offer. And greeting it with wisdom means not turning away in aversion
Apr 18, 2014 Joyce rated it it was amazing
One of the clearest, practical books on Buddhist philosophy and practice.

Maybe I have just read so many books on Buddhism that its message is finally sinking in, but this one increased my understanding. After reading it, I felt like, "I get it".

This and her first book "How to be Sick" arrived on my radar screen at exactly the right time for me to hear the message clearly.

I highly recommend her books for anyone seeking to understand Buddhism and how to incorporate its teachings, practically, int
Feb 16, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book, like "How to Be Sick," is immensely helpful for anyone interested in mindfulness or Buddhism. I find the author's recommendations for cultivating mindfulness and the four sublime states really practical and helpful. It's written in a way that even someone who is not familiar with Buddhist teachings can understand and apply these practices to their life. So many helpful quotes, mediations, and ways of understanding joy, sorrow, and just plain human existence. Thank you Toni! May you be ...more
Tim Hickey
This is a great introduction to Secular Buddhism from a very practical perspective. The author is a woman who has had a debilitating disease for the past several decades and has used to Buddhist practices to bring joy into her life and minimize suffering. It introduces several key Buddhist concepts such as dharma, tanha, dukkha, etc. and gives very clear explanations about how to apply traditional Buddhist practices in your own life.

This is my favorite introduction to Secular Buddhism from a ve
Valerie (He Said Books Or Me)
In this book, the author discusses how to find greater peace in your life. While it is approached from the Buddhist perspective, I think that no matter your religion you can learn something from this book. I appreciated the thoughts on mindfulness and reflection. They are certainly tasks that time and practice! I read this book quickly, so I think it could be good to do another re-read and to go through the exercises slowly. An interesting book.
Taymara Jagmohan
Nov 02, 2013 Taymara Jagmohan rated it it was amazing
Warm read.

Teaches you a little on how to conquer desire, and the freshness with which every new moment brings.

I can still remember the afternoon, when I quite excitedly left for a mini-trip out of town, and decided that this is what I needed.

Reading for a Law Degree does make you feel like that!

It is good, nevertheless. We change a little every day, I guess.

I surmise so, maybe every moment- in every life time.

Nov 25, 2013 Theresa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
Finally finished this book via audio. As far as buddhist books go, this one is full of great material, well done, and well read by the narrator. I liked the way she organized her chapters with the buddhist concepts and practices. I think I am going to want to read a hard copy now as there is so much I want to go back to. Maybe just another listen sometime....
Aug 12, 2016 Chi rated it liked it
I'm not a Buddhist but I like how I can apply the teachings in my everyday life. I do meditate so it is familiar. Although I don't think I'll be able to intensely follow a Buddhist way of thinking, learning the gist of it significantly taught me how to tame my mind.
Dave Hood
Oct 07, 2013 Dave Hood rated it it was amazing
Very good book for anyone who desires to walk the spiritual path.
Pretty good

I didn't like that the author continuously brings up his own life examples, it gets old for me. but it's possible that it's really helpful to others.
Sep 18, 2013 Mommyhungry rated it really liked it
I like this clear, concise, practical approach to mindfulness and Buddhist practices. Bernhard lays out the information with her own real-world examples and exudes a compassionate manner.
Mar 27, 2014 Kris rated it really liked it
If life throws you a curve ball, this book can help. You don't need to be a Buddhist to appreciate it's simple yet profound messages.
Paul rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2014
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I'm the author of three books: "How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide" (Fall 2015); "How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow"; and "How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers." Until forced to retire due to illness, I was a law professor at the University of California—Davis, serving six years as t ...more
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