Broken Open

Broken Open

How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

Book - 2004
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"If we can stay awake when our lives are changing, secrets will be revealed to us--secrets about ourselves, about the nature of life, and about the eternal source of happiness and peace that is always available, always renewable, already within us." --ELIZABETH LESSER During times of transition, amid everyday stress, and even when we face seemingly insurmountable adversity, life offers us a choice: to turn away from change or to embrace it; to shut down or to be broken open and transformed. In the more than twenty-five years since she cofounded the Omega Institute--now the world's largest personal-growth and spiritual retreat center--Elizabeth Lesser has been an intimate witness to the ways in which human beings deal with change, loss, and difficulty. She herself has struggled to submit to what she calls the "Phoenix Process"-- allowing herself to be broken open in order to rise like the mythical bird from the ashes of past mistakes and suffering. In this beautifully written, often funny, and always inspiring book, Lesser has gathered together true stories about ordinary people who by design or disaster decided to step boldly into a fuller life. Here are profoundly moving narratives of fears overcome and risks taken; of hard times and difficult passages; of betrayal, divorce, sickness, and death; and of the day-to-day challenges of raising children, earning a living, and growing older. By sharing her own most human traits, Lesser helps us feel less lonely in our own struggles, and more optimistic about the possibility of transformation.Broken Openalso introduces us to some of the world's greatest spiritual teachers--both ancient and living--and imparts the wisdom of various traditions, from Buddhist meditation to Sufi dance, and from Christian prayer to contemporary psychotherapy. Eminently practical, Lesser provides tools to support us in our quest for a clearer sense of purpose and a new passion for life. Broken Openis not only a testament to the inner richness and potential of every life but also a deeply trustworthy guide to the dynamics of healing and growth--how we resist and how we surrender, how we stay stuck and how we grow, and how we can turn misfortune into insight, and grief into joy. It helps us to discover within ourselves a fearless heart, a clear mind, and a shining soul.
Publisher: New York : Villard, c2004.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780375508066
0375508066
Characteristics: xxv, 307 p.

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m_ms_uk
Aug 16, 2016

Why is it so traumatic, I have just been through the toughest year of my life trying to deal with the death of my Love and my father and there have been many times when I thought that being dead myself would surely be better than trying to deal with the death of two people that were a significant part of my life and all the misery that went with it.
What I want to know is, what is the point of grief, why is it so awful to the point that you feel your own life is not worth living, why is the experience so shocking and what do we really gain from it.
I know I am not the same person and that everything is different now, I don't view that as a bad thing really but what it took me to get to the other side of this is something I find hard to deal with and I wonder what your thoughts are on grief?
Can we ignore it and just get on with our lives because some people seem able to do that, whereas I couldn't carry on, I couldn't even function at all for months and months. Maybe that's a tough journey

s
SunKing2
Mar 24, 2012

I was expecting an overly sentimal self-introspective look, but it's not, even though she says it's going to be. There is much more emphasis on what she's learned from her brilliant teachers, and from others who've gone through difficult times. It's worth the read to the end, and there's a nice gem in the appendix on some meditation tips.

i
itstartswithano
Apr 29, 2011

The best "self-help" book I've read so far. Lesser offers another way to look at and deal with the painful stuff in our lives. She's been there, she gets it. If you liked "The Road Less Travelled" by M. Scott Peck, you'll probably enjoy this gem.

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