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86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2007
A friend of mine gave me this book when I was going through a tough time - I felt empty, hated the world, my life, a few people around me, I felt closed, lost... I'm sure you get the idea, and we all go through those feelings.

At first glance I thought, "oh great, new age mumbo-jumbo", but then I began to read it. I had no idea about Buddhism - all I knew was that buddhist monks wore those orange robes and shaved their heads and chanted Ohmmmmmmmmm, so it's safe to say I was objective from the get-go. But Tara Brach really captivates you with her style of writing. It's just so simple, straight to the point, and very humourous at times.

The book's sub-title, "Embracing your life with the heart of a buddha", might give some the impression that you have to be a buddhist to understand or comprehend this book - the truth is, you don't. Unlike some spiritual/religious books I've heard of, there is no dogma in this book, or in Buddhism for that matter. You take what you read, and apply the points that feel right for you. That's the approach I took when reading this book, but found that most, if not ALL Brach wrote hit a chord within me, and by the end of the book, I found that my outlook had changed. I began to feel more comfortable with my life, my situation, etc.

I was actually sad to return this book to my friend - in fact, I took my time in reading it - 3 months to be precise, and found that I was writing down quotations/points that I found useful. Towards the middle of the book I found that I was writing down almost half of what I was writing, and gave up. Instead, I've just placed my order on Amazon for my own copy.

My friend put it best - "This book is my life guide - I can pick it up at any point, forward to the chapter that applies to the situation that I'm in, and use it as a guide."

I can't recommend it enough - top marks to Tara Brach, and I really hope I meet her one day, just to thank her for helping me find the way. :)
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2008
An excellent book. However customers of Amazon should note that the "Perfect Partner" recommendation from Amazon is for the EXACT SAME BOOK WORD FOR WORD, but with a different sub-title.

So, don't waste your money buying the suggested "Perfect Partner" book. Just buy one or other of the two, identical, Radical Acceptance books by Tara Brach.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I enjoyed reading this book - it is a mix of personal experience, and Tara Brach's client stories. At times the author is almost too honest, as she describes the times we all have when our behaviour falls short of what we would expect of ourselves.

The author is clearly very familiar with many Buddhist texts and stories, however there are no references given to the sources.
An appendix of references and a bibliography would be a good addition to future editions.

The explanation of resistance is particularly good - this is a concept which I heard of before, but understand it better after having read this book.

The book is not perfect, and there is room for improvement - at risk of invoking the author's ire, I will list some suggestions here for improvements:

At times, the author's honesty even could cause doubts about the approach of using meditation to reach self-acceptance: is too much time spent on retreats, and trying to meditate, perhaps *not* the best way to live ?

A difficulty I have with the book, is the length and the structure.
Also there is a great deal of name dropping, which can at times be irritating.

A more 'left brain' approach, with shorter and more direct methods of practising mindfulness, can be found in Padraig O Morain's "Light Mind: How Mindfulness Can Enhance Your Daily Life".

So perhaps if you are a left brainy type, then Padraig's book is worth a look.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2010
This is one of my favourite self help books. The book consists largely stories and insights with meditation exercises in between chapters which make the book easy to dip in and out. I have read this book several times and my copy is covered in pencil marks where I have highlighted insightful and interesting parts to be re-read later. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to still their monkey mind and find peace in life.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2010
I found this book very inspiring and helpful. Our own negative beliefs about ourselves - often hidden in our mind in a dark place of shame and guilt and unworthiness - have such deep influences and prevent us from being happy and living with an open heart. Radical acceptance does not mean giving in and acting out, but accepting with an open heart - and in that way touching our basic goodness so we can live from there. Highly recommended!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2010
A superbly written book which looks at the many inner conflicts we all suffer from, but offering very attainable ways in which to deal with them. The case studies of previous clients that Tara has worked with go a long way to create a more personal identification with the difficulties of living with our emotions. An abundance of meditations are also included where relevant in the chapters, though I would guide the reader to Tara's website to download them in their MP3 format to make them more accessible.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2009
I like this book. I have re-read it several times and every time I feel as though somebody very intelligent, kind and understanding is speaking with me. I enjoy its essence and the style of writing with which the author conveys it. If you are experiencing emotionally troubling times and are in need of a friendly book, buy it. You will not regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2012
I have read or browsed several books on the subject of self-compassion, mostly written by various psychologists with a scientific slant; this book is by far the most meaningful of all them. Written from a spiritual, not scientific, perspective, this book speaks straight from the heart and is genuinely the first self-help type book I've read that has clicked with me in such a deep way that I have felt moved to really live its message. Other books of this type have simply been read and relegated to a drawer. Not so with this one. Finally I feel I have a clear and practical guide to living in a way that is more self-compassionate and accepting. Eugene Gendlin's Focusing might be a useful partner to this book as some of the meditations and descriptions in Radical Acceptance sound very similar to the focusing process.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2012
I am very grateful for the CD with the meditations on it. They really work it's very good to have techniques that are half-way between psychotherapy and meditation ... using the powerfulness of meditation to heal your wounds.

They are easy to use and so very useful. And they make a difference, it's not just another CD.

Thanks to Tara.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2010
radical Acceptance is a good choice of words, because most of us do the exact opposite when we encounter our inner suffering: We resist it, turn away from it or try to suppress it, and all these activities simply strengthen the reactive pathways that cause suffering. Acceptance is about opening the mind and heart to be fully present for our suffering and for anything else, for that matter. This is what leads to healing and to the arising of inner intelligence and creativity. I would also recommend The Path of Mindfulness Meditation: Finding Balance in the Midst of Chaos: The Application of Mindfulness and Vipassana Meditation for Personal Transformation for those interested in exploring mindfulness meditation in more detail.
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