Book Review: The Courage To Feel
“A therapist may bring all manner of skills and understanding into the therapeutic relationship, but if compassion is missing, a fundamental catalyst for healing is absent.”
Rob Preece brings together psychology from a Jungian perspective and Tibetan Buddhist practices of compassionate contemplation/ meditation in a way that is not only easily understood, but easy to incorporate into one’s own practice.
“The Courage To Feel” is a veritable handbook for practices such as exchanging self for others, tonglen and delving deep into the idea of recognizing all beings as motherly beings.
That idea of course is one of the roots of Tibetan Buddhism, and is believed, through the process of rebirth, that at one point in time all beings have been our mothers. That being the case, Rob lays out the groundwork in coming to terms with this and how to bring that awareness into our every day life.
He also brings his own personal relationship with his mother to the table, telling the reader that as difficult as it was, as adults, with rational thought capabilities, we can begin to forget the bad and realize what our mothers have done for us.
I didn’t feel like Rob was using lots of psychological terminology, which can sometimes bog down more scholarly Buddhist books. The writing is not only thorough and intelligent but written for the reader to be able to comprehend. I’d recommend this for anyone who enjoys the psychological study of Tibetan Buddhism but also for those who want to understand our relationships with all motherly beings.