Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

Radical Acceptance

Summary
  1. Only by being aware of and consciously accepting your negative thoughts and feelings, will you ever be able to work through them and grow. Tara Brach shares many personal stories, guided meditations, actionable steps, etc. to help you work through any feelings of unworthiness.
Key Takeaways
  1. Radical acceptance – recognize what is true and embrace it with an open heart. The willingness and courage to experience ourselves and our life as is. It is a state of unlimited freedom
  2. Much human suffering comes from mistakenly identifying ourselves and our experiences as something separate from the rest of the world
  3. Recognize what you resist and reject – body, looks, intelligence, etc. As these traits are made conscious and accepted, they lose power over us
  4. By radically accepting, you are mindful of everything going on, every thought and not trying to pull away. It means fully feeling both joyful and painful emotions without holding back any part of it
  5. Acceptance is not resigning ourselves for better or for worse. When you completely accept yourself, you can begin making big, lasting changes
  6. Do not deny nor suppress desires. Recognize it and why you are feeling that way
  7. Take several mini pauses every day to check on your breathe and mindset. Take longer pauses (retreats, etc) throughout the year. Helps you open up completely to the experience of the moment, become conscious of it and accept it
  8. The worst part of pain is the anticipation of it
  9. Buddha’s teaching that desiring causes suffering comes from clinging to things or experiences that naturally are transient, it is not the desires themselves which inherently cause suffering
  10. Suffering comes from resisting and fighting your temptations, not the actual temptations
  11. Be very mindful that the stories you create, around fear or anything else, are just that, stories. They are not fact and can very well be completely off
  12. Attention is the most basic form of love
  13. Try not to classify others (depressed, alcoholic, etc) as this makes us blind to the actual person
  14. When we are open, honest and authentic, we open the door for others to do the same
What I got out of it
  1. The practices and steps outlined in this book will help you come to terms with any feelings of unworthiness slowly accept and get over them. A bit repetitive in her examples but I’m sure she discusses any problem situations that you have come across. Don’t resist your pain or disappointments, become aware of them, how they make you feel and accept them. Only then will you be able to get over it

Read Radical Acceptance

  • Don’t waste your short time on this planet feeling like there is something wrong with you. Feeling unworthy goes hand in hand with feeling separate from others and from life. May manifest as addictions – to drugs, alcohol, other people, work, etc.
  • Make the love of yourself perfect
  • Seeing clearly and holding our feelings with compassion are the first steps to reaching radical acceptance
  • Radical acceptance allows you to see and accept things as they are without judging in any way. By bringing these emotions into your conscious, you begin the process of getting over them
  • The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom
  • When you are able to pause, you are more able to fully absorb the moment
  • Everything that frightens us is something helpless that needs our love and acceptance
  • You can work pauses into your day by defining one activity and before you do that activity, remember to pause
  • Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional
  • If pain is bad enough, we dissociate from their bodies and the rest of the world
  • The cure for the pain is in the pain. Focus on it and accept it completely. Breathe into it and be ok with it
  • Not experiencing desires is not enlightenment. This just leads to hardening against life. Being aware and accepting of your desires will help you enjoy them immensely and in moderation
  • Only be “leaning into” fear, letting go and radically accepting it will you ever be able to get past it
  • Realize that feeling shame, fear, whatever does not make you bad. It makes you human. Realize everybody feels this
  • Do not get sucked into your own feelings and story where you separate and distance yourselves from everyone and everything
  • People now tend to meditate and try to find themselves in an isolated way. However, the deepest findings come only through relationships and other social interactions

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