"Both psychotherapy and Buddhism seek to provide freedom from suffering," writes Bruce Tift, "yet each offers a completely different approach to this intention." Each way of working contains valuable tools to help us heal, grow, and find happiness—but how can we know which one to choose when these methods appear to contradict each other? Already Free opens a fresh and provocative dialogue between these two profound perspectives on the human condition.
In Already Free, therapist and Buddhist practitioner Bruce Tift examines how psychotherapy's "Developmental" approach of understanding the way our childhood experiences shape our adult selves both challenges and supports the "Fruitional" approach of Buddhism, which tells us that the freedom we seek is always available. Here he offers unique wisdom and imminently practical guidance on:
- Therapy and meditation—the strengths and limitations of each practice, and how you can use them together effectively
- What is freedom? How our assumptions about personal liberation often undermine our ability to experience it.
- How we can stop generating unnecessary anxiety for ourselves without numbing our emotions
- Why we use "neurotic organization" to limit our life experience, and how to challenge this self-perpetuating process
- Cultivating a healthy state of mind regardless of our history or current circumstances
- Uncovering and untangling codependent dynamics, the four evolving stages of relationships, and much more
"In Already Free, Bruce Tift is a clear, wise, and honest seer who reveals deep understandings about how we relate to our experience, anxiety, and struggle. At once, this book holds a mirror to our emotional life, while opening a window to the depth of our being. This book is fresh, real, and useful."
—Mark Nepo, author of Reduced to Joy, The Endless Practice, and The Book of Awakening
"Tift masterfully shows us how to accept inner forces that seem in opposition, move beyond struggle and self-absorption, and claim a life in which nothing is excluded."
—Parker J. Palmer, author of Healing the Heart of Democracy, Let Your Life Speak, and A Hidden Wholeness
"A fresh, penetrating, and thought-provoking exploration of how therapeutic process and spiritual realization are not only compatible, but necessary to each other in order to make the full human journey in our modern world."
—Reginald A. Ray, author of Touching Enlightenment
"A rare gift from a virtuoso, a masterful Operator's Manual for life—for how to remove suffering and live authentically. Beautifully written, immensely practical, and infinitely wise, this book is destined to become a classic. Read it. It can change your life."
—Andrew Holecek, author of The Power and the Pain