"I recommend this book highly to everyone." --Deepak Chopra, M.D.
This special updated version of the New York Times-bestseller, Kitchen Table Wisdom, addresses the same spiritual issues that made the original a bestseller: suffering, meaning, love, faith, and miracles.
"Despite the awesome powers of technology, many of us still do not live very well," says Dr. Rachel Remen. "We may need to listen to one another's stories again." Dr. Remen, whose unique perspective on healing comes from her background as a physician, a professor of medicine, a therapist, and a long-term survivor of chronic illness, invites us to listen from the soul.
This remarkable collection of true stories draws on the concept of "kitchen table wisdom"-- the human tradition of shared experience that shows us life in all its power and mystery and reminds us that the things we cannot measure may be the things that ultimately sustain and enrich our lives.
Remen is one of a growing number of physicians exploring the spiritual dimension of the healing arts. "Coherent, elegant, mysterious, aesthetic," she writes. "When I first earned my degree in medicine I would not have described life in this way. But I was not on intimate terms with life then." Now Remen is awed by the vitality of the life force, which she witnesses through her work counseling cancer patients and their doctors at Commonweal, a cancer-help center in California, and through her keen eye for the depths of ordinary people. Remen tells of those who, having fallen ill, discovered previously untapped wells of fortitude and who, ironically, gained a peace of mind they had never known when well. She often turns common wisdom on its head. Discussing the meaning of suffering, she cites one woman who mourned the loss of her chest pains after corrective surgery. These pains had come whenever she had compromised her integrity; now her "inner advisor" was gone. Some of the most poignant stories here are of doctors whose professional code rejects overt displays of emotion. Both patients and doctors can come to care profoundly for one another, Remen believes. A heartfelt call for change as well as a display of compassionate and courageous thinking, this meditation will speak especially to those whose lives have been touched by illness. BOMC and One Spirit alternate selections; first serial rights to Family Circle and New Age Journal.
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Kitchen Table Wisdom
My friend gave me this book after my 44 year old sister was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was hesitant to start reading it and unsure that it would help with my deep sense of despair. I could not have been more wrong. This book became my solace, my comfort, my guide and my escape as I watched my sister struggle through this awful disease. I have read and re-read each story many, many times. My copy is now dog eared, highlighted and underlined in nearly every chapter. I reflected on so many of the stories in the book and I see my story in them. I feel my pain in them. I hold my healing in them. What a miracle of support this has been for me. I recently ordered 10 copies of the book to give to my sister's friends and our siblings. I cannot express with enough emphasis what this book has meant to me. If you are looking for a book to make you think and to give you something to hold on to when your world seems like it is falling apart...you just found it.