How do you cope when facing life-threatening illness, family conflict, faltering relationships, old trauma, obsessive thinking, overwhelming emotion, or inevitable loss? If you re like most people, chances are you react with fear and confusion, falling back on timeworn strategies: anger, self-judgment, and addictive behaviors. Though these old, conditioned attempts to control our life may offer fleeting relief, ultimately they leave us feeling isolated and mired in pain.
There is another way. Beneath the turbulence of our thoughts and emotions exists a profound stillness, a silent awareness capable of limitless love. Tara Brach, author of the award-winning Radical Acceptance, calls this awareness our true refuge, because it is available to every one of us, at any moment, no exceptions. In this book, Brach offers a practical guide to finding our inner sanctuary of peace and wisdom in the midst of difficulty.
Based on a fresh interpretation of the three classic Buddhist gateways to freedom truth, love, and awareness True Refuge shows us the way not just to heal our suffering, but also to cultivate our capacity for genuine happiness. Through spiritual teachings, guided meditations, and inspirational stories of people who discovered loving presence during times of great struggle, Brach invites us to connect more deeply with our own inner life, one another, and the world around us.
True Refuge is essential reading for anyone encountering hardship or crisis, anyone dedicated to a path of spiritual awakening. The book reminds us of our own innate intelligence and goodness, making possible an enduring trust in ourselves and our lives. We realize that what we seek is within us, and regardless of circumstances, there is always a way to take refuge in a healing and liberating presence.
Praise for True Refuge
Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience as well as ten more years of personal experience on the path of awakening, Tara Brach's superb second book brings readers ever more deeply in touch with our true nature. This book is a precious gift, filled with insight, shared from heart to heart. Thich Nhat Hanh
True Refuge is a magnificent work of heart. For anyone interested in developing a deeper understanding of the mind and how to improve the quality of their life, this book offers unique insights and easily learned practices that literally can transform your life's path. Read, explore, and enjoy Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., author of No-Drama Discipline
This is a special book, lovely, loving, wise, and helpful. It is like having a sage and caring friend sit with you, offering comfort, insight, and guidance for your own true journey home. Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart
A healing and helpful meditation . . . a gracefully written spiritual gem on awareness, refuge, and presence. Spirituality & Practice
A] richly detailed, hopeful book . . . This accomplished example of spiritual self-help offers a gentle path for change in the face of suffering. Publishers Weekly
This book is an undertaking and one that can change your life if you embrace it. It is heartfelt and practical . . . full of grit, honesty, and clarity. Beliefnet
About the Author
Tara Brach, Ph.D., is the author of Radical Acceptance, winner of a Books for a Better Life Award. She is the founder of the Insight Meditation Community in Washington, D.C., and has conducted workshops across the country. She lives in Great Falls, Virginia, with her husband, her mother, and three dogs.
Advance praise for True Refuge
“Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience as well as ten more years of personal experience on the path of awakening, Tara Brach’s superb second book brings readers ever more deeply in touch with our true nature. This book is a precious gift, filled with insight, shared from heart to heart.”—Thich Nhat Hanh
“True Refuge is a magnificent work of heart. For anyone interested in developing a deeper understanding of the mind and how to improve the quality of their life, this book offers unique insights and easily learned practices that literally can transform your life’s path. Read, explore, and enjoy!”—Dan Siegel, author of Mindsight and The Whole-Brain Child
“This is a special book, lovely, loving, wise, and helpful. It is like having a sage and caring friend sit with you, offering comfort, insight, and guidance for your own true journey home.”—Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart
“Tara Brach writes from the heart to the heart. With candor and calmness, she shares her own and others’ struggles to overcome our deep and constant human dilemmas. Whenever I read Brach, I feel more peaceful and hopeful. I trust myself and the universe more. I feel more connected and grounded in what the Lakota Sioux call Wakan Tanka, The Great Mystery. True Refuge is itself a refuge and I thank the author for it.”—Mary Pipher, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling author of The Green Boat and Reviving Ophelia
“Tara Brach has done it again. True Refuge inspires the confidence needed to face our deepest, most difficult emotions. With tenderness and understanding, she teaches us the practical techniques that can help us loosen the grip of these emotions and arrive at a place of peace and basic goodness which is our essential nature. As more and more citizens learn and practice these techniques, it can begin a transformation that will allow a kinder, compassionate, and more mindful nation to emerge.”—Congressman Tim Ryan, author of A Mindful Nation
“There is something very special about this exquisitely written book—its clarity, beauty, simplicity, and humanity practically sing to you. Inspiring and uplifting to read, it also has eminently practical, implementable, step-by-step guidance to practice and live by. And the fifteen brief, powerful guided meditations offer an easy, gentle entry toward inner peace and wisdom. While turning the pages, I thought of a half dozen people who could really use this book as a friendly, loving reference point—myself included!”—Belleruth Naparstek, author of Invisible Heroes and creator of the Health Journeys guided imagery audio series
“This is a beautifully written book that directly taps into the beating heart of wisdom and compassion. It offers useful, pragmatic advice on how to deepen one’s mindfulness practice and have greater self-compassion when faced with suffering. A wonderful follow-up to Radical Acceptance, this is a must-read for anyone who wants to develop greater insight and open-heartedness in their life.”—Kristin Neff, Ph.D., author of Self-Compassion
“This book is a rare gift. It speaks to the tender heart in us all when things go wrong in our lives. In a natural and deeply personal way, Tara Brach accompanies the reader into “presence,” a warm embrace of who we are and the life we’re given. She offers tools and gentle guidance for living safely and peacefully even in the midst of challenging circumstances. At once inspiring, humble, and wise, this book uniquely captures the ineffable, healing essence of mindfulness meditation practice.”
–Christopher Germer, Ph.D., Clinical Instructor, Harvard Medical School, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion