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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This inspiring guide to healing and growth illuminates the richness and potential of every life, even in the face of loss and adversity—now updated with additional toolbox materials and a new preface by the author
In the more than twenty-five years since she co-founded Omega Institute—now the world’s largest center for spiritual retreat and personal growth—Elizabeth Lesser has been an intimate witness to the ways in which people weather change and transition. In a beautifully crafted blend of moving stories, humorous insights, practical guidance, and personal memoir, she offers tools to help us make the choice we all face in times of challenge: Will we be broken down and defeated, or broken open and transformed? Lesser shares tales of ordinary people who have risen from the ashes of illness, divorce, loss of a job or a loved one—stronger, wiser, and more in touch with their purpose and passion. And she draws on the world’s great spiritual and psychological traditions to support us as we too learn to break open and blossom into who we were meant to be.
About the Author
ELIZABETH LESSER is the co-founder of Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, which offers conferences and workshops attended by twenty thousand people a year. Formerly a midwife, she attended Barnard College and San Francisco State University. The mother of three grown sons, she lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband.
“A most extraordinary book . . . Lesser is a brilliantly gifted writer.”—Caroline Myss, author of Sacred Contracts and Anatomy of the Spirit
“Elizabeth Lesser bravely and beautifully explores one of the most compelling questions of life: How do we emerge from suffering and challenge with real, encompassing wisdom and love? Broken Open is personal, pragmatic, and enlightening.”—Sharon Salzberg, author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience
“Rich in food for philosophical mastication, and sparkling in their stylistic clarity, the true-life stories in Broken Open are both entertaining and enlightening.”—Tom Robbins, author of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Still Life with Woodpecker, and Villa Incognito
“Insightful reflections . . . Reminiscent of Rachel Naomi Remen’s books (e.g. Kitchen Table Wisdom), the book is gentle in tone without falling into sentimentality an clear without being dogmatic or simplistic.”—Library Journal
“Never again will a painful experience break me down. Instead, I'll use Elizabeth’s book to help me break open into greater strength, acceptance, and awakening.”—Jane Fonda, actress, activist, and author of My Life So Far