True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

Front Cover
Bantam Books, 2012 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 290 pages
How do you cope when facing life-threatening illness, family conflict, faltering relationships, old trauma, obsessive thinking, overwhelming emotion, or inevitable loss? If you're like most people, chances are you react with fear and confusion, falling back on timeworn strategies: anger, self-judgment, and addictive behaviors. Though these old, conditioned attempts to control our life may offer fleeting relief, ultimately they leave us feeling isolated and mired in pain.

There is another way. Beneath the turbulence of our thoughts and emotions exists a profound stillness, a silent awareness capable of limitless love. Tara Brach, author of the award-winning Radical Acceptance, calls this awareness our true refuge, because it is available to every one of us, at any moment, no exceptions. In this book, Brach offers a practical guide to finding our inner sanctuary of peace and wisdom in the midst of difficulty.

Based on a fresh interpretation of the three classic Buddhist gateways to freedom—truth, love, and awareness—True Refuge shows us the way not just to heal our suffering, but also to cultivate our capacity for genuine happiness. Through spiritual teachings, guided meditations, and inspirational stories of people who discovered loving presence during times of great struggle, Brach invites us to connect more deeply with our own inner life, one another, and the world around us.

True Refuge is essential reading for anyone encountering hardship or crisis, anyone dedicated to a path of spiritual awakening. The book reminds us of our own innate intelligence and goodness, making possible an enduring trust in ourselves and our lives. We realize that what we seek is within us, and regardless of circumstances, “there is always a way to take refuge in a healing and liberating presence.”

Advance praise for True Refuge

“Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience as well as ten more years of personal experience on the path of awakening, Tara Brach's superb second book brings readers ever more deeply in touch with our true nature. This book is a precious gift, filled with insight, shared from heart to heart.”—Thich Nhat Hanh

True Refuge is a magnificent work of heart. For anyone interested in developing a deeper understanding of the mind and how to improve the quality of their life, this book offers unique insights and easily learned practices that literally can transform your life's path. Read, explore, and enjoy!”—Dan Siegel, author of Mindsight and The Whole-Brain Child

“This is a special book, lovely, loving, wise, and helpful. It is like having a sage and caring friend sit with you, offering comfort, insight, and guidance for your own true journey home.”—Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart

“Tara Brach writes from the heart to the heart. With candor and calmness, she shares her own and others' struggles to overcome our deep and constant human dilemmas. Whenever I read Brach, I feel more peaceful and hopeful. I trust myself and the universe more. I feel more connected and grounded in what the Lakota Sioux call Wakan Tanka, The Great Mystery. True Refuge is itself a refuge and I thank the author for it.”—Mary Pipher, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling author of The Green Boat and Reviving Ophelia
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Velmeran - www.librarything.com

I found that this book shed some light for me on how to find internal balance. It is well written and easy to follow with many parables to illuminate the context. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - phoenixcomet - LibraryThing

A friend gave me this book and I didn't have much interest in reading it. I am grateful that I did choose to read it. The stories of connecting with one's heart and the process by which to do so ... Read full review

Contents

one Winds of Homecoming
5
The Trance of Small Self
16
The Path to Presence
28
FOUR Three Gateways to Refuge
45
Cultivating Mindfulness
61
six Awakening to the Life of the Body
77
The Prison
96
EIGHT Investigating Core Beliefs
114
teN SelfForgiveness Scan
178
Releasing the Second Arrow
181
Eleven A Forgiving Heart toward Others
200
Awakening the Heart of Compassion
220
thirteen Prayer in the Face of Difficulty
245
The Gateway of Awareness
249
FourTEEN Exploring Inner Space
266
A Heart That Is Ready for Anything
272

Guided Reflections and Meditations
133
NiNe
137
Receiving Love
157
Twelve
170
Firteen Prayer of Aspiration
282
Acknowledgments
288
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About the author (2012)

Tara Brach, Ph.D., is the author of Radical Acceptance, winner of a Books for a Better Life Award. She is the founder of the Insight Meditation Community in Washington, D.C., and has conducted workshops across the country. She lives in Great Falls, Virginia, with her husband, her mother, and three dogs.

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