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

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

by Toni Bernhard


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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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781614290568
Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
Publication date: 08/27/2013
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 441,036
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About 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

Table of Contents

Introduction: Ten Thousand Joys, Ten Thousand Sorrows 1

Cultivating Wisdom

1 Change, Change, Change 9

2 Self as Ever-Shifting Flow 19

3 Can't Get No Satisfaction 27

4 Want/Don Want: The Unquenchable Thirst 35

5 Looking More Deeply at Suffering and Dissatisfaction 47

6 Five Habits of Mind that Are Obstacles to Waking Up 57

Cultivating Mindfulness

7 The Mindfulness Path 75

8 Tools for Sharpening Your Mindfulness Skills 85

9 From Multiple Hindrance Attack to Five-Minute Mindfulness 95

10 Choiceless Awareness 103

11 Awakening to the Body through Mindfulness 113

12 Death Awareness Practice 121

Cultivating an Open Heart: Kindness, Compassion, Appreciative Joy, and Equanimity

13 The Psychological States of Awakened Beings 133

14 To Cultivate an Open Heart, Set Aside Judging 149

15 Kindness and Friendliness 159

16 Compassion: Start with Yourself 167

17 Appreciative Joy: An Antidote to Envy and Resentment 181

18 Equanimity: Fully Engaging This Life as It Is 187

19 Intentionally Turning Your Mind to the Sublime States 199

In the End…

20 Onward Down the Path 209

Acknowledgments 213

Bibliography 217

Index 219

About the Author 229

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

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

“A fresh and articulate voice interpreting ancient wisdom for our modern times.”—Sylvia Boorstein

Customer Reviews