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Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work that Reconnects

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  205 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Deepening global crises surround us. We are beset by climate change, fracking, tar sands extraction, GMOs, and mass extinctions of species, to say nothing of nuclear weapons proliferation and Fukushima, the worst nuclear disaster in history. Many of us fall prey to despair even as we feel called to respond to these threats to life on our planet.

Authors Joanna Macy and Moll
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 11th 2014 by New Society Publishers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.39  · 
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Chrissy
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Saved my life.
Kim Morrow
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a really helpful book if you are planning a retreat based on Joanna Macy's work, and if you have attended her retreats already. If neither of these are true then I think readers may be lost. It is a workbook for workshop readers rather than a book for a general audience. As a workbook, it is a marvelous resource. ...more
Clivemichael
Immense gratitude for all the work done. Essential reading. Well articulated and presented, enthusiastically upbeat and realistic. Love the humility.
"As we go forth in the Great Turning, there are systems and institutions that we will and must challenge. The men and women who serve these structures may appear as our opponents, but they are likely in bondage to our true opponents: institutionalized forms of greed, hatred and delusion."
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Erica Rhinehart
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Macy is an incredible guide and true elder who gives away her most potent practices to teachers, activists and facilitators who recognize the immensity of the tasks that face humanity now and in the near future. In my opinion, the Work that Reconnects contains invaluable practices to engage students of all kinds and belongs in every classroom across the United States.
Jonwillum Duurnenbol
Inspirerend, met basis/theorie, en veel oefeningen om met groepen te werken.
http://www.joannamacy.net/
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Aleksandar
Not my cup of tea.

While I'm wholeheartedly in line with the underlying philosophy of the the Work that Reconnects, the workshop practices are not applicable to my current context and I'm therefore unable to give it a higher rating, which is purely subjective.

A specific criticism I have is that the 2nd chapter is oversimplified and forcefully packed into the Great Turning worldview. I'm already on board, but these explanations don't make the foundation of my beliefs any firmer. I could imagine so
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Bruja Ha
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Joanna Macy is a treasure: a wise elder who also shows up as a real human being with foibles, fierce love, and humor. As one of her students, I've used this book extensively in teaching for the past 20 years, and recently purchased the updated version. It was wonderful the first time, and it's even better and more relevant now. It consists largely of powerful exercises that you can apply with others. Highly recommended, as is all of her work. ...more
Moses
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful resource book to The Work that Reconnects- I read it as part of a facilitator training program on The Work.

For independent reading, I would recommend 'Active Hope'.
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Seham
Mar 22, 2020 added it
Despite what was written as a review tagged to this book, Life is coming back slowly, acceptance is showing itself, a smile is enough to bright a day, and a hug from a child equals the whole world.
Family and kind people around you can keep every pain away, taking you out of any dark pool, full of hatred and cruel against any happiness in your life.
Julia Jenne
Mar 03, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Gave me the confidence and tools to run a climate grief workshop with 13 teenagers
Very important book, on so many levels.
Sarah Guldenbrein
I didn't realize this was going to be so heavy on the facilitation exercises and so light on the theory. it's not really what I was looking for. ...more
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Dr. Joanna Macy, activist, ecologist and author, is one of the pioneers of engaged Buddhism. Her online work includes the article "World as Lover, World as Self"; "Bestiary" (an ode to wildlife); Nuclear Guardianship, her testimony at the World Uranium Hearings in Salzburg, 1992; and The Vegan Vision, on the ethics of a vegan diet. Her other books include Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General S ...more

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“It is hard to believe we feel pain for the world if we assume we’re separate from it. The individualistic bias of Western culture supports that assumption. Feelings of fear, anger or despair about the world tend to be interpreted in terms of personal pathology. Our distress over the state of the world is seen as stemming from some neurosis, rooted perhaps in early trauma or unresolved issues with a parental figure that we’re projecting on society at large. Thus we are tempted to discredit feelings that arise from solidarity with our fellow-beings.” 2 likes
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