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How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregiversby Toni Bernhard
Synopses & Reviews
This life-affirming, instructive and thoroughly inspiring book is a must-read for anyone who is — or who might one day be — sick. And it can also be the perfect gift of guidance, encouragement, and uplifting inspiration to family, friends, and loved ones struggling with the many terrifying or disheartening life changes that come so close on the heels of a diagnosis of a chronic condition or even life-threatening illness.
The author — who became ill while a university law professor in the prime of her career — tells the reader how she got sick and, to her and her partner's bewilderment, stayed that way. Toni had been a long-time meditator, going on long meditation retreats and spending many hours rigorously practicing, but soon discovered that she simply could no longer engage in those difficult and taxing forms. She had to learn ways to make being sick” the heart of her spiritual practice — and through truly learning how to be sick, she learned how, even with many physical and energetic limitations, to live a life of equanimity, compassion, and joy. And whether we ourselves are sick now or not, we can learn these vital arts of living well from How to Be Sick.
"Her story is authentic and speaks right to the heart.... Full of hopefulness and promise, the valuable tools she offers are sure to comfort others who are suffering devastating loss and illness." Huffington Post
"An immensely wise book. Health psychology has been poisoned by the view that the best way to approach illness is through a muscular, militant resistance. This books shows otherwise.... [A] major contribution." Larry Dossey, MD author of Healing Words
Author Toni Bernhard offers hope and inspiration for those who must live with a chronic illness. From the relentlessness of symptoms and coming to terms with a life of comparative isolation to weathering fears about the future and dealing with the health care system, Bernhard draws on her own story of illness and recovery to teach readers to adapt to unexpected and sometimes sudden life changes. How to Be Sick offers simple practices, ranging from those that are traditionally Buddhist to others the author devised while coping with her own illness. With a chapter on the work of Byron Katie, whom Bernhard found particularly helpful, and much more, any reader — Buddhist or otherwise — can find solace and healing with How to Be Sick.
About the Author
Toni Bernhard received a J.D. from the School of Law at the University of California, Davis, and immediately joined the faculty where she stayed until chronic illness forced her to retire. During her twenty-two years on the faculty, she served for six years as Dean of Students. In 1992, she began to study and practice Buddhism. She lives in Davis with her husband, Tony, and their hound dog, Rusty.
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