If you have had enough of various simplistic books that tell you the world will deliver your wildest dreams or whatever you want if you just ask, and instead you want tough love, then this is a book for you. Joseph Goldstein has lots of experience and knowledge of Buddhism - an approachable, interesting, scientifically credible spiritual tradition that is 2,500 years old. Goldstein makes the Buddha's teachings fresh and accessible and provides new ways of thinking about a range of life's ups and downs. A gem of a book and a treat to listen to Joseph's wry, self-deprecating humour as he explains his encounters with ancient wisdoms.
I wouldn't often say this about a book, but this is a life-changer. For those of us plagued by feelings of unhappiness, self-doubt, anger or similarly destructive feelings, this book helps open out new pattern of being kinder to yourself and more compassionate towards others. So it can change you! But it doesn't pull any punches. Sharon Salzberg takes the listener through different kinds of loving-kindness before expanding upon a way of developing it used by many Buddhists, which involves openness, honesty and meditation. She explores all the mixture of critical stuff that makes up anger, or vindictiveness or hatred etc., skillfully linking personal feelings to wider cultural trends. Then she shows the benefits of loosening up, letting go of all those energetically negative but self-damaging feelings we hold towards others. This book gets right down into the nitty-gritty of spiritual practice and shows, whatever faith you hold or none, how to get some more space round those feelings. It then describes why its important that we let them go. You are given greater insight into why its important to change as well as ways of becoming more open and spacious. It's a challenging, accessible and worthwhile book that yields more and more at every repeated listening.