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How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life: Opening Your Heart to Confidence, Intimacy, and Joy Paperback – Bargain Price, December 26, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers of popular self-help books may recognize Piver as the author of The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say "I Do." But Piver has also been a student of Buddhism for 10 years and is an authorized meditation teacher. This little book distills what Piver has learned from meditation, retreats and sessions with her spiritual teacher, offering a skillful description of Buddhist meditation for the beginner. Her point is very simple: "There is a kind of happiness that is effortlessly present at all times. This happiness comes from stopping the relentless search to fulfill our own needs. It comes from relaxing with things exactly as they are." In that vein, she explores several basic Buddhist concepts and also lays out a sort of in-home retreat for greater self-awareness, a seven-day, hour-by-hour program of journaling, walks and meditation. In trying in this way to combine the more spiritual Buddhist and more pragmatic self-help genres, she produces a book that's both personal and contemplative, but that may not appeal to readers of either genre. (Apr. 5)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"I have long recommended meditation as central to a healthy lifestyle. Susan Piver teaches this important practice in a trustworthy and practical way--and shows us how to use its lessons to create a fearless life."--Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Healthy Aging
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (December 26, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0312355971
  • ASIN: B001PO66SK
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,361,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michelle Sweet on April 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When I read the title of this book I was a little taken aback--Afraid of my own life? Could I be? But Piver addresses issues and fears that are common themes in life--fears that are part of the human experience--and shows us in a methodically, and linear way, how to acknowledge and then diffuse those fears, by facing them head on. She disects some basic ideas in a very clear, direct, friendly and accessible way. It is as though Ms. Piver is sitting down to a cup of tea with you, to be that friend that listens and affirms all the crappy stuff that can happen to us, but then goes on to show us that by using the ancient practice of meditiation, ultimately, we can be ok with it. Or perhaps more accurately, it can be ok with us.

The meditation instructions are clear, specific and very accessible--and the 7 day meditation program looks like a great way take a committed practice of meditation to the next level. I'll say, it has inspired ME to get my butt to the cushion more, since reading the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Susan Piver's book is a wonderful introduction to Buddhism for the beginner. She explains the basic meditations of Buddhist practice with a fresh, light approach. Many Buddhist meditation texts are bogged down in background, and she skips the unnecessary details to cut to the chase. She is able to use references to the everyday situations most people encounter, and apply principles in the book.
This is my "go-to" book for my practice and I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book on Buddhism that weaves Susan's own stories and challenges into the fabric of a meditation practice.
I found it accessible, straightforward, and compelling.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book because "How Not to be Afraid of Your Own Life" sounded like EXACTLY what I needed at the time. I bought this book about 2 years ago, and I still go back to it once and a while. It got me into Buddhism, meditation, and I did the at-home retreat and it felt like a turning point for me. I had debilitating anxiety and felt like fear kept me in a straight jacket. This book was no miracle, but it was like a breath of fresh air. This book can offer you a helping hand. A kind, compassionate, "sweetie, I've been there." A new perspective on life, on what brings joy. Her personal stories were cathartic for me to read, and her meditation instruction is good. And like I said, the retreat was awesome.

In short, this book is well titled and surprisingly helpful. I recommend it. :)
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Format: Paperback
Susan Piver's book is a very good place to start if you want to get familiar with the basics of a beginning Buddhist meditation practice. Her easy, honest, straight forward style takes the woo-woo factor of spiritual jargon down to a real life level...which is where a spiritual practice starts and ends, anyway. I find I return to this book as a refresher when I have read pithier texts and I just want my spiritual big sis to translate for me. It is also a handy book to share with curious friends who want to know what this Buddhism thing is all about. I agree with other reviewers who are a little off-put by the title...it sounds like one of those magic bullet self help books, but don't let that put you off. For a beginner, it is a lovely introduction to what can be a lifelong practice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't remember where I heard about this book, but it is the BEST book I have read on meditation. At first, I was taken aback by its title. I thought I am not afraid of my life. However, the book describes how we all have fears that we don't recognize. The most intriguing part for me was that I had been contemplating for a long time about doing a retreat at home for a day or two. Susan Piver gives directions for a 36 hour retreat at home or at a hotel, etc. if you can't travel to a retreat center, etc. Please check this book out--you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life by Susan Piver is for anyone actively seeking to make a change. Based on years of study on meditation and Buddhism - and her own experiences - Piver helps make meditation an easy tool to integrate into day-to-day living. Part self-help book, part self-discovery mentor, and part Buddhist guide, this book is 100% valuable, applicable, and relevant. Piver goes far beyond the "big picture" of meditation as she delves into the everyday aspects of Buddhism and healthy living. She provides the tools that can make a life centered on meditation and Buddhist teachings possible.

How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life contains everything a person needs to improve their state of mind and well-being, and to accept the aspects of their lives and themselves that they can't change. Piver argues that no one need wait for the "right time" to make a positive change in their life. As a result, this book is an extremely accessible guide for almost anyone ready to embark on an inner journey of incorporating meditation and Buddhist living into everyday life.

The most valuable feature of How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life is the "Try This" tips scattered throughout the book. These are practical, relevant, and easy tips that aim to integrate mediation into everyday situations. The book culminates with Piver's detailed guide to creating a personal meditation retreat - no expensive classes or exotic destinations are required. The reader is empowered in making an immediate and profound change through the power of self-reflection and self-discovery. Everything thing you need is within yourself, and Piver shows you how to access your own personal wealth of knowledge. Piver's sense of humor is refreshing and revitalizing. Not only is this book an invaluable tool for teaching and reference, it's also an absolute joy to read.
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