October 15, 2010

Toni Bernhard reads from her new book

The Tricycle Book Club is currently reading How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers by Toni Bernhard (Wisdom Publications, 2010, $15.95 paper, available in all e-book formats). Foreword by Sylvia Boorstein.

Join us here on Monday, October 18 to start discussing the book with the author (sign up is free and easy).

To gear up for the discussion, after signing up on the Tricycle Community you can listen to Bernhard read a chapter from How to Be Sick.

From the chapter "Tonglen":

If you feel hesitant to try tonglen [Tibetan Buddhist practice of breathing in the suffering of the world and breathing out compassion] for fear that breathing in other people's suffering could overwhelm you, you're not alone. Here's the response given by the eco-philosopher and Buddhist scholar, Joanna Macy, when that very concern was raised at a Spirit Rock workshop. First, she reassured the woman asking the question that her capacity to hold others' suffering was greater than she imagined. Then she said:

If you really could alleviate all the suffering in the world by breathing it in, wouldn't you?

Listen to Bernhard read the rest here.

Toni Bernhard was a law professor at the School of Law at the University of California, Davis until forced to retire due to illness. During her twenty-two years on the faculty, she served six years as Dean of Students. In 1992, she began to study and practice Buddhism. Before becoming ill, she attended many meditation retreats and led a meditation group in Davis with her husband. She lives in Davis with her husband, Tony, and their hound dog, Rusty.

Information on purchasing the book can be found at www.howtobesick.com.

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Norma Houghtaling's picture

I'm quite interested in this subject as I've been dealing with chronic pain for various reasons many years now...

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[...] Tricycle » Toni Bernhard reads from her new book [...]

Genju's picture

I'm reading it now and recommend it highly. As someone with fibromyalgia which was diagnosed the year I was to begin my new career, I really resonate with Bernhard's perspective on the gifts and surprises that knowing how to be sick brings.