How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow

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Overview

Intimately and without jargon, How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow describes the path to peace amid all of life's ups and downs. Using step by step instructions, the author illustrates how to be fully present in the moment without clinging to joy or resisting sorrow. This opens the door to a kind of wellness that goes beyond circumstances. Actively engaging life as it is in this fashion holds the potential for awakening to a peace and well-being that are not dependent on whether...

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How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow

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Overview

Intimately and without jargon, How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow describes the path to peace amid all of life's ups and downs. Using step by step instructions, the author illustrates how to be fully present in the moment without clinging to joy or resisting sorrow. This opens the door to a kind of wellness that goes beyond circumstances. Actively engaging life as it is in this fashion holds the potential for awakening to a peace and well-being that are not dependent on whether a particular experience is joyful or sorrowful. This is a practical book, containing dozens of exercises and practices, all of which are illustrated with easy-to-relate to personal stories from the author's experience.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Drawing inspiration from the Buddha’s awakening, Bernhard addresses this ancient tradition’s core ideas in a wise, gentle guide to reducing suffering. Her previous book (How to Be Sick) described her efforts to adapt skillfully to a chronic, life-changing illness. Here she explores Buddhism’s heart to show how “we have the potential to awaken to a peace and well-being that are not dependent on whether a particular experience is joyful or sorrowful.” With assurance the author blends clear explanations, examples, and easy practices (such as the “tracing exercise” to identify the source of dissatisfaction) from her circumscribed life to explore how wisdom, mindfulness, and open-heartedness can improve well-being. The relevance of classic topics such as the three marks of existence (impermanence, no fixed self, and suffering) is deftly investigated. Her discussion of “tanha” (desire) teases out the difference between wholesome aspirations and harmful craving, a sometimes thorny topic for students of Buddhism. While the market is saturated with good introductions to Buddhism, Bernhard excels at demonstrating from personal knowledge that the Buddha’s promises to ease suffering aren’t just empty words. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“Toni Bernhard deftly presents deep, profound teachings in an amazingly simple, accessible way. It's like taking a powerful healing medicine that goes down like a delicious milkshake. Bravo!”—James Baraz, author of Awakening Joy

“Toni Bernhard's beautiful book is a new invitation to investigate the Buddha's teachings in the laboratories of our own lives. How to Wake Up will be greatly appreciated by readers new to the Buddhist path, as well as by seasoned practitioners.”—Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness

“This is a book for everyone.”—Alida Brill, author of Dancing at the River's Edge

“All-purpose advice as good as your grandmother gave you, and just as straightforward and heartfelt.”—Barry Boyce, editor-in-chief of Mindful magazine

“Toni Bernhard has done it again—sharing wisdom teachings in a way that makes them mightily accessible and helpful without any sacrifice of depth. I love this book!”—Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance

“This remarkable, warm, encouraging, and crystal-clear book expresses the ancient wisdom of the Buddha in universal, twenty-first-century terms. I honestly think it is one of the best Buddhist books I've read in a long time.”—Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Buddha's Brain

“I'm often asked what book to read as a comprehensive introduction to Buddhist practice. Now I have one: How to Wake Up.”—Kevin Griffin, author of One Breath at a Time

“A beautiful, wise, and practical book presenting the Buddha's teaching for our contemporary world.”—Gil Fronsdal, author of The Issue At Hand

“The beauty of this book is how clear, wise, and helpful it is. Both while reading it and after, you can put it to use; this is what literature is for. It's something to cherish and practice.”—Kim Stanley Robinson, author of Shaman and 2312

“A fresh and articulate voice interpreting ancient wisdom for our modern times.”—Sylvia Boorstein, author of It’s Easier Than You Think

“Practical and insightful. In this book you'll find a path to living with greater ease and freedom, awakening to possibilities you may not have known existed before.”—Elisha Goldstein, PhD, author of The Now Effect

“Clear, concise and accessible to anyone wishing to cultivate a path of greater awareness and understanding.”—Christina Feldman, author of Compassion

“A wonderfully clear guide to engaging all the joys and sorrows of our experience with awareness, grace, and wisdom.”—Joseph Goldstein, author of A Heart Full of Peace

“Toni writes with clarity and insight that makes ancient Buddhist teachings accessible to our modern lives.”–Danea Horn, author of Chronic Resilience

“This wonderful book is an easy-to-follow guide that will help you learn skills of mindfulness and compassion, ultimately leading to true happiness.”—Kristin Neff, PhD, author of Self-Compassion

“Toni Bernhard has away of articulating the Buddha's profound understanding of the nature of the human condition in such a way that truly brings it into the contemporary world and makes it relevant for everyone.”—Dr. John Peacock, University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre

“Toni Bernhard has a stunning talent for telling stories and offering
insights. How to Wake Up give us tools for navigating our way through the
joys and challenges of an ordinary human life in a way that alleviates
suffering and cultivates balance.”—~Oriah Mountain Dreamer, author of The Invitation

James Baraz
"Toni Bernhard deftly presents deep, profound teachings in an amazingly simple, accessible way. It's like taking a powerful healing medicine that goes down like a delicious milkshake. Bravo!"
Sharon Salzberg
"Toni Bernhard's beautiful book is a new invitation to investigate the Buddha's teachings in the laboratories of our own lives. How to Wake Up will be greatly appreciated by readers new to the Buddhist path, as well as by seasoned practitioners."
Tara Brach
"Toni Bernhard has done it again—sharing wisdom teachings in a way that makes them mightily accessible and helpful without any sacrifice of depth. I love this book!"
Rick Hanson
"This remarkable, warm, encouraging, and crystal-clear book expresses the ancient wisdom of the Buddha in universal, twenty-first-century terms. I honestly think it is one of the best Buddhist books I've read in a long time."
Gil Fronsdal
"A beautiful, wise, and practical book presenting the Buddha's teaching for our contemporary world."
Sylvia Boorstein
"A fresh and articulate voice interpreting ancient wisdom for our modern times."
Elisha Goldstein
"Practical and insightful. In this book you'll find a path to living with greater ease and freedom, awakening to possibilities you may not have known existed before."
Christina Feldman
"Clear, concise and accessible to anyone wishing to cultivate a path of greater awareness and understanding."
Joseph Goldstein
"A wonderfully clear guide to engaging all the joys and sorrows of our experience with awareness, grace, and wisdom."
Kristin Neff
"This wonderful book is an easy-to-follow guide that will help you learn skills of mindfulness and compassion, ultimately leading to true happiness."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781614290568
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 181,493
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Toni Bernhard is the author of the award-winning How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers and How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow. Until forced to retire due to illness, Toni was a law professor at the University of California-Davis, serving six years as the dean of students. She has been a practicing Buddhist for over 20 years. Her blog, "Turning Straw Into Gold" is hosted on the website of Psychology Today. She can be found online at www.tonibernhard.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    I loved Toni Bernhard's first book so much that I lectured mysel

    I loved Toni Bernhard's first book so much that I lectured myself not to expect too much from this one, feeling that my expectations might be too high. But she's done it again -- given readers a wise and gentle guide to navigating life on life's terms, with all its normal joys and sorrows.

    "How to Wake Up" offers clear, easily understood explanations of the Buddha's core teachings on wisdom, mindfulness, and open-heartedness, along with practical suggestions for putting them to use. This is no trendy, "Buddhism Lite" self-help book. The language may be unpretentious, but it's clearly anchored in deep knowledge and understanding. An experienced teacher, Bernhard illustrates each concept with common-sense examples from her own life, examples that anyone can relate to. Each chapter includes gentle, practical suggestions for how the reader can experiment with using these ideas in everyday life.

    Although not a newcomer to Buddhism, I found myself enthusiastically highlighting phrases and paragraphs I want to refer back to, and I enjoyed practicing each of the suggested exercises from chapter to chapter. They were easy to do, and gave me fresh perspective on meeting life's daily bumps and challenges with equanimity. This book will join the small number of favorites I keep on my nightstand for easy reference. It's easily the best introduction to Buddhist principles I've ever read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    How To Wake Up is a great book. Toni's beautiful writing style g

    How To Wake Up is a great book. Toni's beautiful writing style gently guides readers on how to re-evaluate how their thoughts guide their emotions. Similar in style to her first book, How To Be Sick, Toni uses stories from her personal life to show how she has learned to approach her own struggles differently from practices she has learned through many years of Buddhist practice. A great read for anyone looking to gain a healthier approach toward life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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