Loving What Is- Byron Katie

Loving What IsBook Info:

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie. Available as eBook, paperback (321 pages), or audiobook (9 hours, 7 minutes).

“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.”

Summary:

Loving What Is is a game-changer. It is written in a seminar format where people from various audiences are being led through what Byron Katie calls “The Work”. The purpose of The Work is to show us how our own attachment to our beliefs and assumption leads to suffering in life. Through seemingly simple questions, Byron Katie teaches us to closely examine our own situations and relationships. Ultimately we will see reality more clearly and experience freedom from previously held negative beliefs.

Things to Know:

  • This book isn’t specifically about meditation, but by practicing The Work, the reader learns to embody the essence of mindfulness. In this case, mindfulness is accepting reality for what it is. This acceptance and accountability reduces our suffering.
  • While this book is not written in a typical self-help format, the reader will be able to quickly understand how to apply the principles in their own life and situation. There are free downloadable worksheets on Byron Katie’s website that complement this book.

The Bottom Line:

Loving What Is would be helpful even for those who are quite self- aware and/or logically- minded. Anyone seeking relief from suffering from mental illness, difficult relationships, or old grudges, will find this book helpful. (But please note that the book is not meant as a substitute for the guidance of a physician or therapist.) Prepare to learn tools for freedom from suffering as you read this book!

The Verdict:

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The Anatomy of Peace- The Arbinger Institute

Book Info:

The Anatomy of Peace – Resolving the Heart of Conflict by The Arbinger Institute. Available as eBook, paperback (288 pages), or audiobook (6 hours, 5 minutes).

“Difficult people are nevertheless people, and it always remains in my power to see them that way.”

Summary:

The Anatomy of Peace demonstrates how to have a heart at peace even in times of war (literally or figuratively) through a fictional story about struggling parents and teenagers. As their teenagers set out on a two month long wilderness survival program- essentially a last-chance behavior modification program, a group of parents with very different backgrounds take part in a two day workshop to understand the things their children will be taught. The discussion tackles weighty subjects such as parent- child relationships, marriage relationships, racial strife, workplace culture, and gender issues.

Things to know:

  • I enjoyed the story format for teaching pretty deep concepts.
  • This book doesn’t have a gripping plotline, but it is still engaging because you are able to turn the lessons inward and experience a paradigm shift about the way you see the world.
  • The book gives the reader a tangible understanding of how to “be the change”- however that manifests in your life.
  • There are several diagrams and drawings in the book that might be harder to conceptualize if you are listening to the audiobook. However, the diagrams are available as a free download on The Arbinger Institute’s website.

The Bottom Line:

The Anatomy of Peace would be helpful for anyone experiencing conflict in relationships (and who doesn’t, at times?). The story is relevant for families, the workplace, politics, and societal issues.

The Verdict:

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Radical Acceptance- Tara Brach

Radical AcceptanceBook Info:

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha, by Tara Brach. Available as eBook, paperback (352 pages), and audio (12 hours 45 minutes).

“Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns… We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.”

Summary:

Searching for the relationship between mindfulness, meditation, compassion and authentic living? Tara Brach uses Buddhist principles for healing clients and readers alike. Radical Acceptance helps the reader see the connection between many meditation concepts. For instance, transforming difficult emotions, finding healing through sorrow, and letting go of what no longer serves you are all emphasized in this book. This book is personal, emotional, and expounds on many deep topics that will lead the reader to greater peace. The author shares many personal experiences so the reader can see what authentic living looks like. Topics such as self love, forgiveness, compassion, and trauma are all highlighted. Therefore, this book is very powerful for those looking for healing in those topics.

Things to Know:

  • This book dives into complex meditation and mindfulness concepts such as personal authenticity, freedom, and trauma.
  • Personal experience, emotions, and concepts taught through parables and analogies are at the core of this book.

The Bottom Line:

This book is an excellent read for those looking to use meditative tools and philosophy to transform difficult emotions in their life. In addition, it teaches the reader how to let go of habitual beliefs that no longer serve them. Those looking for specific outcomes from meditation will possibly not find this book helpful.

The Verdict:

Rochelle:

Alicia:

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