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Storms Can't Hurt the Sky: A Buddhist Path Through Divorce Paperback – March 1, 2008


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Storms Can't Hurt the Sky: A Buddhist Path Through Divorce + When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600940501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600940507
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When his wife walks out on him, novelist Cohen (Red Hook) is stunned: "I didn't call out, didn't follow her to the door, I just lay down on the couch... as if I was settling into the coffin of our marriage." How he gets through the subsequent weeks and months provides the focus for this philosophical self-help. Cohen isn't trying to convert anyone, just passing along the key Buddhist principles he gleaned from a few lectures and applied to his own situation. Sound advice and short chapters fill his narrative of recovery, unadorned by bullet-pointed lists, side-bars or "get-enlightened-quick schemes," which should do much to engage readers and keep them that way. Subjects like anger management, self-pity and substance abuse lead Cohen to the heart of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths that promise an end to suffering for anyone: "Our sadness and happiness and anger... come only from within," meaning that control over them can and must also come from within. Encouraging and accessible throughout, Cohen's book will make a useful tool for readers going through a difficult break-up.
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Review

"Anybody who has ever experienced the breakdown of a relationship, let alone a divorce, will find that once started, this book is impossible to put down. A deeply personal and honest account of one man's journey that becomes universal...This is an inspirational and insightful story."--"Mandala" "A practical, down-to-earth guide."--"Hillsdale Independent," 5/23/08 "Offers practical suggestions for people in difficult relationships...evocative and illuminating memoir-cum-guidebook...Cohen has a knack for seamlessly weaving together conceptual material and personal anecdotes. In the end, the book speaks not only to people struggling through the trauma of divorce but also to anyone interested in how Buddhist teachings apply to everyday life."--"Tricycle" "Highly readable yet subtle book...Very grounded and straightforward...An enjoyable book, well worth reading."--"The Middle Way," August 2008

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Customer Reviews

Probably the greatest book I have ever read.
Tyler Sparks
I am very grateful to the author for writing such a profoundly helpful book.
Shane Sparks
Hope it helps others as much as it helped me!
S. Long

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A beautiful book. Deeply compassionate and very helpful. It reminds me again why I'm a Buddhist, something that has been in the back burner the last few years. It highlights the rationality, common-sense, radically mind-boggling insights and practicality and timeless wisdom of Buddhism.

Cohen found Buddhism when his wife of 4.5 years left him without saying a word and never came back. Being a freelance/struggling author living in expensive NY in the middle of mundane life's challenges, his world came crashing down on him. He was torn with anger, resentment, fear, loneliness, confusion, daily mental agitation, sadness, grief...and, last but not least, longing and love of his wife and the haunting memories of the good old days. And the endless whys of how it ended the way it did.

It's recommended reading for anyone in such situation or even those who want a better relationship with their loved ones, or just want a more skillful way of dealing with life and all its issues. He wonders if things would have been different had he found Buddhism while he was still married to his wife. It helps puts things in perspective and try to understand that everyone, whoever he/she is, is in this world for one thing and one thing only: the search of happiness and the avoidance of suffering. Everyone of us responds and behaves at the level of our delusion: desirous attachment, self-cherishing and anger. If every married couple applies this wholesome understanding of their partner, imagine how many marriages can be saved.

The mind is like the sky, every thought and turbulence caused by it is like the clouds. They will all come and pass by, leaving the sky clear once again. Hence storms can't hurt the sky.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By HJ on August 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have read dozens of books since my separation and while many were helpful, this is the one that is profoundly changing how I feel. Gabriel Cohen helped me realize how much I control my feelings about what has happened and how I can react from now on. I read a few pages every day, taking time to digest what were some challenging propositions: understand my ex's pain? fill my heart with compassion so there's no room for anger? This is a great book no matter where you are in the breakup of a long-term relationship; it will give you the insight and tools to create a happier future.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By RGNYC on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was impossible for me to put down. It reads like an adventure mystery until the very end when you realize it was, perhaps, the delusions who dunnit! It is profoundly personal, heart wrenching, and poignant yet it's also full of humor and inspiring suggestions. Enjoy!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Shimmura on April 9, 2008
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This is a wonderful book. The author describes the end of his marriage, how difficult it was to cope with, how he discovered buddhism at some point along the way and how he was helped by what he learned.
Some books on buddhism must be read slowly in order to understand and absorb what is being said. This author skillfully interweaves his own story with buddhist ideas presented in simple terms. He's just a regular guy going about his life, and struggling, at times, the way many of us do. He's not trying to convert us to buddhism, and anyway, buddhism doesn't really conflict with other religions, it enhances them.
Even if you're not in the middle of a divorce, this book can help you get a handle on the things we all struggle with, in a fairly easy to understand way. In addition to the author's personal story, there is useful advice at the end on how to get started on your own path to understanding.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Raoul Markbruce on December 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
I purchased this recently released book as I was beginning the process of going through my own first divorce after a 30-year long relationship. Having already had a little experience with Buddhist thought, Gabriel Cohen brought me to a place where I could much more adequately handle the ups and downs of what is probably always a traumatic experience in life. Gabriel does a phenomenal job of presenting his personal path through a divorce interwoven with his growing introduction and assimilation of Buddhist thinking and coping strategies and how they could have led him on an entirely different path had he discovered them earlier. The book flows well and is easily readable in all respects. In the final outcome the reader is left with not only a road map for re-thinking, but a calm feeling that "it really doesn't have to be mortal combat". My only criticism, and I suspect Gabriel might agree in retrospect, is that the subtitle is a bit misleading. It is indeed a Buddhist path through divorce, but it is much more; it is really a Buddhist path through relationships whether they be melting down into divorce or still functioning interactions. This book has helped me immensely, and while the scenario is still unfolding for me, it may well end up being an instrumental piece in bringing my partner and I back together.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By DG on May 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most honest and inspiring books I've read in a long time. I loved every single page! Gabriel Cohen manages to artfully - and with a brilliantly dry humor - present a path through divorce that shows, in very practical ways, how one can mitigate the pain and confusion that is inherent in the process and how to ACTUALLY grow from it. If you are going through a divorce - or a loss of any kind - do yourself a favor and read this book.
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