ELIZABETH LESSER is the co-founder of Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, which offers conferences and workshops attended by twenty thousand people a year. Formerly a midwife, she attended Barnard College and San Francisco State University. The mother of three grown sons, she lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband.
Cofounder of the Omega Institute, a retreat and workshop center dedicated to spirituality and health, Lesser (New American Spirituality) combines stories from her own life with those of retreat participants and friends. The focus is on what she terms the phoenix process. This involves learning from losses and difficulties and letting go of old habits and modes of thought. Reminiscent of Rachel Naomi Remen's books (e.g., Kitchen Table Wisdom), the book is gentle in tone without falling into sentimentality and clear without being dogmatic or simplistic. Lesser gives the book more depth by wisely choosing varied examples of loss-divorce, death, career changes, and illnesses-and varied responses. In the end, this is not just another tract on handling grief but an explanation of how to recognize and respond to the losses, big and small, that occur throughout a person's life. Appendixes provide insightful reflections and guides to meditation, psychotherapy, and prayer. Appropriate for public libraries and collections related to spirituality and health.-Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll., NC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"A most extraordinary book...Lesser is a brilliantly gifted
--Caroline Myss, author of Sacred Contracts and Anatomy of the Spirit "Elizabeth Lesser bravely and beautifully explores one of the most compelling questions of life: How do we emerge from suffering and challenge with real, encompassing wisdom and love? Broken Open is personal, pragmatic, and enlightening."
--Sharon Salzberg, author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience "Rich in food for philosophical mastication, and sparkling in their stylistic clarity, the true-life stories in Broken Open are both entertaining and enlightening."
--Tom Robbins, author of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Still Life with Woodpecker, and Villa Incognito "Insightful reflections...Reminiscent of Rachel Naomi Remen's books (e.g. Kitchen Table Wisdom), the book is gentle in tone without falling into sentimentality an clear without being dogmatic or simplistic."
"Never again will a painful experience break me down. Instead, I'll use Elizabeth's book to help me break open into greater strength, acceptance, and awakening."
--Jane Fonda, actress, activist, and author of My Life So Far