'Radical Acceptance offers us an invitation to embrace ourselves with all our pain, fear and anxieties, and to step lightly yet firmly on the path of understanding and compassion. Please enjoy this nourishing and healing book.' Thich Nhat Hanh
In the West, most of us have suffered the fear of not being 'good enough', feeling insecure about our appearance, our sexuality, our intelligence, our spiritual progress or - often most importantly - being worthy of love. When these feelings of insufficiency or self-aversion are strong, we fear abandonment and rejection. Many people have already found the Buddhist perspective on our emotional life to be extremely valuable - and this book will be a major practical contribution to the subject.
A psychotherapist and Buddhist meditation teacher in the tradition of Jack Kornfield (who contributes a foreword), first-time author Brach offers readers a rich compendium of stories and techniques designed to help people awaken from what she calls "the trance of unworthiness." The sense of self-hatred and fearful isolation that afflicts so many people in the West can be transformed with the steady application of a loving attention infused with the insights of the Buddhist tradition, according to Brach. Interweaving stories from her own life as a hardworking single mother with many wonderful anecdotes culled from her therapy practice and her work as a leader of meditation retreats, Brach offers myriad examples of how our pain can become a doorway to love and liberation. An older Catholic woman in one of Brach's weekend workshops, for example, recounts how she learned to ask God to help hold her pain. Like her colleagues Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein and others in the Vipassana or Insight meditation tradition, Brach is open-minded about where she gathers inspiration. Garnishing her gentle advice and guided meditation with beautiful bits of poetry and well-loved if familiar dharma stories, Brach describes what it can mean to open to the reality of other people, to live in love, to belong to the world. Obviously the fruit of the author's own long and honest search, this is a consoling and practical guide that can help people find a light within themselves.