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Learning to Breathe: One Woman's Journey of Spirit and Survival

Learning to Breathe: One Woman's Journey of Spirit and Survival [Kindle Edition]

Alison Wright

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Product Description


"[A] profound writer... a true pilgrim...There is muscle and tears here, and the fiercest flame of inspiration."-Richard Gere

Product Description

An extraordinary spiritual memoir about the will to survive . . . one breath at a time

While traveling in Laos on a winding mountain road, the bus that award-winning journalist Alison Wright was riding in collided with a logging truck. As she waited fourteen hours for proper medical care-in excruciating pain, certain she was moments from death-Alison drew upon years of meditation practice and concentrated on every breath as if it would be her last.

Despite countless surgeries and a grueling recovery, Alison set herself the goal of achieving a new dream: to one day climb Mount Kilimanjaro-and she reached the summit on her fortieth birthday. Gasping for air once again, she stood at the highest point in Africa, determined to never again take a single breath for granted. Perfect for readers who love spiritual authors traveling abroad, such as Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea), this memoir is an amazingly inspirational tale of how a life-changing accident transformed one woman's faith.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 928 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1594630461
  • Publisher: Plume (14 Aug 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001DU5JX4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #650,572 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Inspiring! 26 Oct 2008
By W. H. McDonald Jr. - Published on
Author Alison Wright's book "Learning to Breathe: One Women's Journey of Spirit and Survival" is more than just a personal story - it speaks of the greater self and our ability to find courage and power within. I was truly touched by reading her inspiring story. She takes what happens to her and moves past the pains and the potential hardships and learns something much greater about her own self.

The reader is taken along on this spiritual journey of discovery. Alison is able to communicate her experiences not only in the physical sense of what was happening but also from a point of view that allows the reader to fully sense what she was feeling and thinking. The real story is her inner journey and that is what makes her work so much more powerful.

I bought this book for my older sister to read as a birthday gift and will gift other women in my life with copies as well. I feel that women need to see and read about strong courageous women; and to me, Alison Wright truly represents what a true hero is. She faced her pain and fears and through her will power and determination she met her future dreams with success.

This book is both inspirational and entertaining and will be hard to put down. I read it though in one sitting because I wanted to know the full story and how she came out. The book earns The American Authors Association's highest book rating of FIVE STARS. This book also gets my personal endorsement and fullest recommendations. This book is no doubt one of the top 10 best inspirational books of the last decade.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fact checking 1 Jun 2009
By asriversflow - Published on
I was excited to read this book, having an interest both in adventurous women and Buddhism, however, I have to agree with Publishers Weekly that harder editing would have helped.
I was surprised to read that, during Wright's visit to Wat Pa Ban Tat monastery in Thailand described on pages 93-4, a Thai monk would call Wright a 'bodhisattva.' Thai monks belong to the Theravada tradition that uses the term `bodhisattva' to refer only to the past lives of the Buddha, such as those recounted in the Jataka tales. This is a major distinciton between the Theravada and Mahayana traditions. In the Tibetan Mahahyana tradition, however, that Wright is familiar with, both monastics and lay practitioners are referred to as `bodhisattvas' once they have taken vows to deliver all beings.
Another instance that surprised me occurs on page 209. Wright throws out, "Next stop Uganda, to white-water raft the Zambezi River, in hair-raising class five rapids." The Zambezi certainly doesn't flow anywhere near Uganda. It rises in Zambia about 690 miles southwest of Uganda, and flows south through Angola and Zambia to the border with Zimbabwe, and then east to Mozambique and finally to the Indian Ocean.
Wright is a gifted photgrapher dedicated to humanitarian issues. Her story of determination and courage deserved better editing in general. It is often presented in a style that seemed like a rush from here to there in the pursuit of physical recovery. I wished for more of her insights and development as a Buddhist practitioner, especially on her development of lovingkindness on the path of a bodhisattva.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much better! 15 Aug 2009
By Carol J. Horky - Published on
This inspiring memoir could have been so much better if the author or her editor knew how to spell, knew the difference between too and two; knew the difference between whose and who's, the difference between better and best, etc. Strange also was her description -- in the third-to-last page of the book -- of finally learning about the death of Alan Guy. And then five pages later, in her Acknowledgments, writing: (Alan, please call me. I still owe you a beer.) Sloppy stories, incorrect geography, incomplete references. Her story of physical survival deserves better.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Survival by meditation 22 Jun 2011
By Beachstone - Published on
Verified Purchase
I'm glad I read this book. It's not what I thought it would be about but I'm glad I read it. This woman's amazing recovery is inspirational for anyone needing hope in times of great difficulty.
Having said that I was waiting for a bit more philosophical perspective and a little less self-promotion. This story is tragic and I don't discredit that by any means. My feeling is that as a reader I was looking for more spirituality on the journey. Sometimes the book feels like a "look what I've done" and less a story of where she is going.
I applaud Alison's courage, determination and hope. And I am impressed that her meditation practice helped her to live, for without that she would not have survived at all.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this story will knock you down to the ground 25 Oct 2009
By see jane read - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Feeling a little low and down on your luck? Read this woman's miraculous story of survival and you'll wonder what you were whining about. I couldn't put it down, I read it straight through. It's a prime example of how the human body is fragile and tough in equal parts, and how spirit can transcend the physical. I was making my way through a very trying illness when I read this book and it inspired me to keep pushing.
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Popular Highlights

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“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” &quote;
Highlighted by 23 Kindle users
Faith is the other side of the story—it’s what enables us, despite our fears, to fully engage with the unknown. This trust in ourselves, the world around us, or a higher power, requires us to question and examine our lives and define our own inner truths; and it makes us willing to explore. Unlike beliefs, which are something we obtain from the outside and are ingrained in us via our traditions or heritage, faith is something that resides within us. It’s what gives us the courage to move forward. &quote;
Highlighted by 22 Kindle users
And good intent is very important. Most important in all that you do. Never forget. Whatever your actions, it’s the intention you hold in your heart that truly matters.” &quote;
Highlighted by 19 Kindle users

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