“Radical Acceptance is the art of engaging fully in this world”
The final chapter of Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach brings all of the themes of the book together for one final reminder:
None of us are separate.
None of us are unworthy.
None of us can rid ourselves of feeling fear, anger, doubt, grief, or any other “uncomfortable” emotion.
We all get lost sometimes.
The essence of Radical Acceptance is to simply “pause, look at what is true, relax our heart and arrive again.”
“This is the path – arriving over and over again in the moment with a kind awareness. All that matters on this path of awakening is taking one step at a time, being willing to show up for just this much, touching the ground just this moment.”
I finished reading Radical Acceptance as part of an “amplify” goal this year. As part of that goal, I also approached reading it analytically (see How to Read a Book: The Ultimate Guide by Mortimer Adler for more on this approach). This experiment took longer than expected, however, the practice of summarizing every chapter in writing was invaluable. I absorbed much more of this book than any other non-fiction book in recent memory.
All of my previous summaries can be found below:
- The trance of unworthiness (Chapter 1)
- Radical Acceptance can break our trance (Chapter 2)
- Pausing is the foundation of Radical Acceptance (Chapter 3),
- Treating our experience with unconditional friendliness (Chapter 4)
- The importance of paying attention to physical sensations in the body (Chapter 5)
- How desires can fool us by being substitutes for our unmet needs (Chapter 6)
- The nature of fear and how to accept it (Chapter 7)
- Developing compassion for ourselves and others (Chapters 8 & 9)
- The critical role of forgiveness (Chapter 10)
Though the themes of Radical Acceptance are interwoven with Buddhist teachings and examples that might be too much for some, I would wholly recommend it to anyone looking for a healthy perspective on handling life’s ups and downs with awareness and love.