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Tara Brach
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Radical Acceptance Embracing Your Life With The Heart Of A Buddha

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  12,396 ratings  ·  707 reviews
Through her deep experience as a therapist, buddhist meditation teacher, yogi, and mother, Tara Brach sheds light upon the vital subject of learning to realize inner completeness, wholeness, and healing. - Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening The Buddha Within and Awakening To The Sacred
paperback, 330 pages
Published 2003 by Bantam (first published October 1st 2000)
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Tim Byrnes Yup I meditate. I liked here association of sensation with mental noise.
She has a lot of stuff about the feelings of inadequacy and not being enough.…more
Yup I meditate. I liked here association of sensation with mental noise.
She has a lot of stuff about the feelings of inadequacy and not being enough. I find this is a place a lot of people are coming from. I like the way she deals with this.(less)
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4.23  · 
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 ·  12,396 ratings  ·  707 reviews


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Thomas
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Rad
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Robert
Jun 01, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
Caterina
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
Kate
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jack Hart
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Natalie
Apr 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Martha
Mar 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Joe Rumbo
Aug 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ellie
A wonderful book on accepting one's self and life exactly as they are (thus creating the possibility of change). Brach provides many wonderful meditations which I've already begun using and find very helpful.

The writing is clear and warm and easy to follow. It would be a fast read if there weren't so much to pay attention to. I was also slowed up because I stopped to use her different suggestions.

I also enjoyed her use of the examples of other people and their struggles (as well as their succes
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Lavonne
Feb 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Michelle
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Amanda
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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...
Caterina
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Radical acceptance was suggested to me by my therapist, and since I’ve started listening to the audiobook, I’ve gone back to parts of it over and over. It's been enlightening more than any other self-help book I’ve read (which are not many, to be fair).

I'm not particularly spiritual, or good at sitting still and meditating. But, since I've been listening to this book, I've made more efforts throughout the day to hold a caring thought to my body and myself, especially in the moments in which I d
...more
Beverly Fox
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I picked up this book because it seemed like a more mindful exploration of Self Compassion, and the prologue certainly leads one to believe that this is the case. She speaks of her own struggles with the behaviors that keep us all trapped in an endless loop of trying to prove ourselves good enough to a critic (ourselves) that will never approve. And she offers meditation- true Buddhist meditation practices akin to what I imagine are used in ashrams and monasteries across the world- as the path t ...more
Jenny Whetzel
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kathryn
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 half.com.
Heather Delia
Feb 18, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jenn "JR"
These days, it feels like emotional reasoning and unchecked emotional responses are endorsed and increasingly seen as the default or "right" way of behaving. We are encouraged to indulge in whatever we want and feel as being our right and the best way of being in the world. I can't help but think that's not right -- and all the books I have read about leadership, emotional development, connecting with people and meditation recommend a higher level of self awareness and just taking a pause before ...more
Sarah
Radical Acceptance is a powerful, transformative book. Tara Brach combines insight (or mindfulness/awareness) meditation practice with psychotherapy to paint a picture of how we can reach greater freedom, equanimity, self-compassion, and compassion for others through acknowledging and accepting all of our emotions and thoughts. Acceptance of emotions, feelings, thoughts, and sensations does not equate to accepting all behaviors and actions. Rather, the fundamental insight is that if an emotion o ...more
Megan
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Bella
Sep 07, 2017 marked it as did-not-complete  ·  review of another edition
I came across the title of this book reading on a forum in which a member made the recommendation of the book to another who was in some sort of distress. Being somewhat familiar with the notion of "radical acceptance", I was curious to check out the book of the same title, probably expecting something that turned out to be a bit different than what this book has offered me so far (I decided to stop at p.48). What I learnt up to this point of the book was that Brach was committed to some sort of ...more
Catherine Stapleton
Jun 27, 2008 is currently reading it
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
...more
Kerstin
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jennifer Byers
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first tried to read this book, it did not touch me and I was highly critical of it - even though I did not finish it. I am now coming back to it after many years and I find it is breaking my heart open in many ways. I am recognizing that my resistance has probably been about needing this work very much. This time, I plan to get all the way through!
Lisa
May 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Phillip Moffitt
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Miranda
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A life-changing book. I'm a devoted Brach fan and am addicted to her podcast dharma talks.
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666 followers
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
“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.” 138 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.” 110 likes
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