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

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  11,091 Ratings  ·  608 Reviews
For many of us, feelings of deficiency are right around the corner. It doesn’t take much--just hearing of someone else’s accomplishments, being criticized, getting into an argument, making a mistake at work--to make us feel that we are not okay. Beginning to understand how our lives have become ensnared in this trance of unworthiness is our first step toward reconnecting w ...more
Paperback, 333 pages
Published November 23rd 2004 by Bantam (first published October 1st 2000)
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Gloriamarie This is the only book I have read by her in connection with DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Yes, I meditate through lectio divina and the Jesus…moreThis is the only book I have read by her in connection with DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Yes, I meditate through lectio divina and the Jesus Prayer.(less)

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Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
How do we cope with unbearable pain? We drink, we eat, we smoke. We turn to our iPhones or our Facebook feeds or our video games. We lash out at ourselves or others. But what if instead of searching for external solutions, we learned how to cope with our pain - just by being with it? In her book Radical Acceptance, clinical psychologist and teacher of meditation Tara Brach urges us to do just that: accept ourselves and our pain, so we can treat ourselves with the care and kindness we deserve.

Jun 01, 2007 rated it it was ok
Not overly impressive, but a nice and helpful book. Brach writes a treatise on how the integration of Buddhist spirituality and meditative practices (most often based in the Theravadan traditions of vipassana and metta) can partner with western psychotherapy to assist in healing and personal development.

Intellectually it is pretty lightweight, which isn’t to say that it doesn’t package and reiterate some helpful ideas in useful ways. My biggest challenge with the book was that I couldn’t really
Adrian Rush
Tara Brach leads a weekly meditation class in the metro D.C. area, and I've been to several of them. Her sessions inspire just as much calm and assuredness as this book does. Tara is sort of like the anti-Dr. Phil. Instead of screaming at you about what an idiot you are, Tara puts a comforting arm around you, like an old friend, and using a combination of psychological techniques and a gentle form of Theravada Buddhism, she shows us how we can stop living with doubt, regret, and fear and lead a ...more
This book offers much more than it first seems to. From introducing the Buddhist practice of mindfulness as applied to difficult experiences, it deepens and opens out into practices of radical compassion for oneself and others - radical lovingkindness. Working & practicing my way through this book very slowly over four months' time has been a tremendous gift. Tara Brach begins by teaching a new way of approaching emotionally intolerable situations - being overwhelmed and practically nonfunct ...more
Apr 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
So I don't usually read self-help books. At all. I kinda hate them. And I don't usually read hippy dippy Buddhist stuff either, because I get too scoffy.

When I started this one, I almost didn't go past the first chapter, because it was not really resonating with me at all. And parts of the book (like the closing chapter on discovering our true essence and realizing we are nothing but awareness..... super hippy dippy) totally fell flat.

But there were a few key sections, and really the overarchi
Jack Hart
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: meditation

One sometimes runs into folks who are suspicious of Buddhism and particularly of the capacity of westerners to find solace in an allegedly Buddhist perspective. I am not a Buddhist, but have found a lot of value in meditation--and in the ethical viewpoint roughly associated with Buddhist practice.

So if the discussion comes to exchanging book titles this is the one I recommend as an introduction to what I'll roughly call a Buddhist approach to suffering. There are better books on meditation. The
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think the perceptions of this book are directly related to the suffering and innate self hatred that the reader possesses. When the concept of lovingkindness is absolutely foreign to you then this book can save your life.

Something I absolutely cherish about this book is kind and gentle repetition. I would read a concept and compartmentalize it as something I either had heard before, already knew, or couldn't possibly work. Then she'd reintroduce the same concept with a case study, a personal
Mar 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Kripalu Yoga is primarily a practice of compassion, and this book is it's perfect companion. The foundation of all yoga practice is acceptance, and it begins with ourselves. Feelings of deficiency are common to all of us. Being criticized, making mistakes, and experiencing relationship difficulties, all can make us feel unworthy. Our human suffering and our loneliness keep us from feeling fulfilled. Recognizing how we become trapped by these feelings is the first step in reconnecting with who we ...more
Donna Kirk
about recognizing, with compassion, your own weaknesses and in the end, finding room to accept them and treat them with love; in effect, healing yourself.

It's like going over to a suffering plant in a garden and tending to it with care, feeding the soil, doing away with pests, giving it compost, sunlight, water; is, metaphorically, how this book suggests we deal with our own fragile, deeply human lives -- that by encouraging our friends and families to take care of themselves the same way, we c
Joe Rumbo
Aug 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've only read the previous edition, but I am here to tell you that Brach brings a message that is welcome tonic to the soul of anyone who has ever felt inadequate or unworthy for any reason. Usually these reasons have to do with culturally defined standards and ideals that no person can ever live up to fully. Brach skillfully weaves these influences together with psychological and Christianity-based explanations of how we live our lives in the 'trance of unworthiness,' and how we can move beyon ...more
Feb 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lavonne by: Jennifer
Shelves: toptenspiritual
I have tried twice to read the Power of Now, and could never quite grasp what all the fuss was about. This book, Radical Acceptance, delivered the insights that I was supposed to get from the other book. It is basically talking about the same subjects, but Tara Brach brings a humanity to her approach that is sadly missing in Power of Now.

She has been persuing a spiritual path for many years and speaks with knowledge and compasison. Yet, she admits that when she is continuously approached by a d
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I tried to read this a second time and while it does have some nice points, it's nothing new to anyone who has ever read a book (or a dozen!) on mindfulness, Buddhism, etc.

Also, I always find it super depressing that people who have meditated for decades, and lead workshops and write entire books on the subject still deal daily with anger, depression, anxiety, etc. I know it's just part of being human and I should radically accept it, but man, does it get me down...
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
If I pause and accept any more radically than I have come to realize I do, my husband will divorce me and my kids will starve.
Alex Orr
To some degree, I think what you get out of this book depends on what issues you are dealing with and what brought you to the book. Like a lot of folks, I heard about Tara from Tim Ferris's podcast. I enjoyed her episode and picked up the book mostly out of curiosity. I've been meditating for about a year and have been curious about ways to try and practice greater mindfulness in my everyday life. Tara's book does offer some insight into those areas, but the primary focus of the book is more dir ...more
Jenny Whetzel
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I was taking DBT weekly group meetings where we practiced awareness. I recently stopped going as I "graduated." However, I soon realized I began to lack the precious skills I had learned. I began to read this at a slow pace, thinking that every so often I could refresh my memory and pick up my slack in that department. It helped.

One reason I wanted to read this was because there are many parts in my life which I have difficulty accepting. I have already been working on accept
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance.

This book hit home on so many issues for me. Kindness and compassion, for others, but also for ourselves.
Catherine Stapleton
Jun 27, 2008 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
As I read this I realized that the belief that there is something wrong with me is quite deep. I went straight to Chapter 7, Opening Our Heart In The Face Of Fear:

"We have to face the pain we have been running from. In fact, we need to learn to rest in it and let its searing power transform us." - Charlotte Joko Beck

This is not a book for someone who is not open to Eastern thought. If you allow yourself to be open to it though, it will open your mind and heart. On page 175, where the author talk
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read it in German, so I don't know how much difference there is to the original. However, easy read, with lots of essentially helpful aproaches to dealing with problems, hurdles, wounds...Many suggestions to guided meditations. Most important lesson for me was " to really look at things and not to look away, not to deny" but " to embrace, and to accept truth, and then to be able to let go". I felt so true for many occasions in my life, I have worked with the "look at it" approach since I read ...more
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
Full marks for the gist and low marks for the execution. A little too self-helpy and over-written, yet the idea of bringing radical acceptance/compassion to ourselves and others is pretty much the only hope for emotional sanity in this world. But for content, economy, and grace, I'm finding Ezra Bayda's "Being Zen" to be a huge improvement. Let's just say Bayda's book is going on my shelves when I'm done. Brach's book is going to
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, to-re-read
This book is really helping me during my current life transition. Everyone should have a copy of this book whether they think they need it or not. Seriously. Bought a copy for my Mom for Christmas and she says it is fantastic. There were days I felt like a loser for being divorced and unemployed but this book taught me to change that negative thinking and to love and accept myself so I can fully love others and improve my life.
May 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: practice
The first few chapters and last few chapters are excellent, with what felt to me like valuable wisdom and interesting/helpful anecdotes. The middle felt formulaic and unrealistic. But the good outweighs the bad and I'll be keeping this one around to return to its teachings on compassion for self and others.
Heather Delia
Feb 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: yoga
I disliked this book enough to stop reading it with 75 pages left to go. No compelling reason to finish it. The meditations were nice, if someone were reading them...but you can't read it and meditate at the same time. I found the book to be very repetitive and somewhat annoying.
Phillip Moffitt
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-meditators
This book is an excellent guide to using meditation to deal with the emotional challenges in daily life. Many students have reported to me that this book has help them psychologically and emotionally to deal with some issue in their life.
Sanne Wurzer
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! Absolutely a must read for everyone wanting to learn about life and happiness. <3
Ryan Johnson
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Not my cup of tea....
John Blackman
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is primarily a take on Buddhist philosophy and how to use radical acceptance because radical sounds more accepting than just plain old acceptance. Of course one immediately bounces off the wall of accepting ones fate or bad behavior to your own demise or apathy. There is a big qualifier that acceptance isn't about abdicating your own initiative but rather to accept people and yourself where you are only as a point on the path of where you want to go. If you reject or fight a position, ...more
Jun 26, 2018 added it
I think there are a lot of great takeaways in this book as long as you are willing to actively apply the ideas into your own life. I am not sure if this book would be better off geared to those already practicing meditation with an understanding of Buddhist principles, however as someone who does not often meditate I did take away some techniques/ideas which I will implement in my own life.

I agree with others who have said the case studies with clients Tara used can be a little bit predictable
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I started this book a couple years ago and stopped in the middle for an unknown reason. Needless to say it felt more compelling this time.

This is the second book I've read that was written by a therapist and ties in Buddhist philosophy with psychotherapy. As with the other book (this mysterious other book is "Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart" by Mark Epstein), there were some elements that I read that didn't really mesh with my brain and that's okay. Like Epstein, Brach included a lot of st
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book truly resinates with me. It's opened my eyes and my heart to heal myself in ways that make sense to me. Meditation has helped me so much already and the next step was accepting my anxiety and depression, which has been hard but this book, among other things, has helped me tremendously. I need to own this.
Lindzi A
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jag känner att jag vill läsa om den när jag slår igen boken efter att ha läst ut den. Jag vill förstå mer - förankra fler lärdomar. Vacker och ofta träffar den rakt i hjärtat. Att den inte får 5 stjärnor beror på mig. Att jag inte fattat allt och börja leva efter vad jag lärt.
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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

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“Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns...We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.” 124 likes
“Pain is not wrong. Reacting to pain as wrong initiates the trance of unworthiness. The moment we believe something is wrong, our world shrinks and we lose ourselves in the effort to combat the pain.” 104 likes
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