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I read this book every few years, and each time I engage with it I find yet another level of its wisdom and guidance. Each time, Tara seems to be talking directly to me, no matter what is going on in my life. I come away from each chapter restored, refreshed, inspired not to lose hope and to keep moving forward. Her teachings are so gentle, compassionate and clear. She has a rare gift of making Buddhism, from another time and place, relevant to the everyday joys and sorrows of contemporary western life. Without losing its spiritual depth and freshness and complexity.
I only got this book because it was on a cheap Kindle deal. I'm glad I got it, though, because I would never have gambled full price on it. It's a pretty florid guide to Buddhist mindfulness with an emphasis on love, full of over-ripe anecdotes milked for full mawkishness. Not the kind of stuff I would normally read. However, the key teachings really do shine through the purple prose, and they are powerful indeed. I found it a profoundly inspiring read and I suspect I will be dipping in and out of it for some time to come. It is a measure of the book's deep inner quality that I was able to live with the more flowery stuff that would normally irritate me into walking away.
The author has taken ideas and practices from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and related forms of psychotherapy, and combined them with Buddhist ideas to form Radical Acceptance. Each chapter contains one or more cases that apply this therapy, always successfully unlike in real life, to clients from her psychotherapy practice and her spiritual teaching groups. She also admits at one point in the book that she doesn't like men, particularly rich, white men, and it shows in the examples that she has selected. This book will probably appeal most to women with mental health problems and least to men.
Tara writes from the heart - what you don't realise is that after the "cuddle" the work begins. Various excerises at the end of each chapter help you to "peel your own onion" back and get in touch with your most painful experiences - an enlightening read but be prepared to do the work too.
Truly excellent book. I found myself stopping at so many phrases with my mouth open. So many "oh wow" moments. It's seriously hard to explain how deep this book goes into the types of thoughts you have about yourself but never quite verbalise.
This book contains many interesting personal stories from the author, which provide some degree of validity to the perspective she puts forth. It contains useful advice and information, while being an easy read - I took it on holiday and read it on the beach. Nonetheless, there are some sections that I know I will want to review again in greater depth.