Tara Brach's new book, Radical Acceptance, is a gem. I recommend it for anyone, not just students of Buddhist meditation. There is something here for all of us who self-judge, who get so lost in fantasies, old hurts, worries and fabricated stories that we miss out on the peace, simplicity and happiness that can be found by just paying attention to this moment. And that is the key and what Tara so gracefully and gently points the reader to (through real-life examples and guided meditations and exercises) -- that we actually can, in our very mundane everyday lives, find the peace, simplicity and true happiness that our hearts really long for. Tara shows us how in practical and do-able ways.
I've read a number of books on Buddhism, and many of them include a fair amount of discussion on "suffering" and how much of our pain is perpetuated by our telling stories to ourselves. The mind (and heart) is seemingly forever tangled in a web of doubt, what-ifs, and events that exist mostly or entirely in one's head. As Mark Twain put it, "My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened."
That, in essence, is what /Radical Acceptance/ is about, but it goes above and beyond the seemingly brief gloss-over treatment traditional western Buddhist books give this subject. Tara Brach has crafted an amazing book that opens your eyes to just how much suffering we tend to bring upon ourselves. Despite the very serious nature of what this book deals with, it is a delight to read. With each turn of the page, you begin to see more and more clearly. It's like having a compassionate, age-old friend guide you down the road of your own emotions and thoughts.
If you take the time to truly digest what /Radical Acceptance/ is all about, I can guarantee it will change you forever. My brief description here cannot do it justice by any measure - just as the storytelling and strategizing of the mind cannot do justice to the vibrant reality of the world. You might think a book about suffering and self-delusion would be depressing, but it is entirely the opposite. It's like suddenly being able to see with clarity after being caught up in a dense fog for so long. And that, I believe, is the highest praise you can give any book.