Read How to Be Sick Online

Authors: Toni Bernhard,Sylvia Boorstein

How to Be Sick

Table of Contents
more advance praise for
How to Be Sick
“This is a book for all of us.”
author of
Happiness Is an Inside Job
“An immensely wise book. Health psychology has been poisoned by
the view that the best way to approach illness is through a muscular,
militant resistance. Toni Bernhard reveals how letting go,
surrendering, and putting the ego aside yield insights and
fulfillment even in the presence of illness. A major contribution.”
author of
The Power of Premonitions
Healing Words
“Everyone should read this book—anyone who is sick, anyone who loves someone who is sick, and anyone who has ever experienced things being other than they’d hoped they would be. Toni Bernhard open-heartedly shares the deep pain and equally deep joy of her experience in a way that allows us to validate the pain of our own circumstances, and still find joy and contentment within any context. She offers simple, deeply wise practices that reduce the suffering associated with grasping for things to be other than they are by allowing us to accept and enjoy things exactly as they are, including our own desire for something else. Her willingness to step fully into her life after it’s been dramatically narrowed by illness, and to share this process with us, inspires us each to live our own lives more fully, accepting the challenges that arise, and finding the joys inherent in each moment. Toni’s writing feels like a good friend, helping us cultivate compassion for ourselves and those around us, as we make our way through whatever life presents to us. Her honesty in sharing her struggles and setbacks helps us be kinder to ourselves as we experience our own. I plan to buy a copy for everyone I love.”
co-author of
The Mindful Way through Anxiety
“A profound, compassionate, and intimate guide for living wisely.”
—GIL FRONSDAL, author of
The Dhammapada:
A New Translation of a Buddhist Classic
“When we lose our physical health, it can seem like we’ve lost our
life. Toni Bernhard, with unflinching realness and deep insight,
shows us how the fires of loss can clear the way for a new and
profound capacity for appreciation, love, and understanding.
This book can bring you more fully alive by healing your spirit.”
—TARA BRACH, author of
Radical Acceptance
“Told with relentless honesty and clarity.”
author of
Confession of a Buddhist Atheist
“An encouraging book that treats sickness as something to
welcome because, when you are sick, that is the obstacle that has
to be your gate. This book is full of compassion about how to sit
sweetly with your difficulties—which means not making yourself
wrong for
—JOHN TARRANT, author of
Bring Me the Rhinoceros
and Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life
“Toni Bernhard offers a lifeline to those whose lives have been
devastated by illness, and shows us all how to transform suffering
into peace and even joy.”
—LYNN ROYSTER, director of the Chronic Illness
Initiative at DePaul University
“A roadmap to finding grace and balance amid affliction.”
Woman Awake
“Practical, wise, and full of heart.”
—JAMES BARAZ, author of
Awakening Joy
“This warm and engaging book can help with
even the most difficult situation.”
—THOMAS BIEN, PhD, author of
Mindful Therapy

How To Be Sick
is a good friend to keep close by so that illness
doesn’t become the enemy.”
—ED & DEB SHAPIRO, authors of
Be the Change
“Don’t pass up this book—and don’t be misled by the title. This
book isn’t about being sick as much as it as about living right
now. This practical yet exceedingly graceful book is a love story—
about life, the endurance of the human spirit, and the power of a
sustaining relationship.”
—ALIDA BRILL, author of
Dancing at the River’s Edge
“Living a life of peace and contentment is not difficult when life is
cooperating—but what happens when the reality of our lives is
suddenly turned upside down and shaken by hardship or
affliction? This book is an inspiring and instructive guide for
coping with a chronic condition or life-threatening illness but it is
much more than that. Each chapter is about unpacking the highest
truth in the lowest places of our lives.
The book is called
How To Be Sick
but it’s really about how to live.”
—JIM PALMER, author of
Divine Nobodies
“An intimate, gripping, profound, and eminently useful book about
being joyfully and wisely alive no matter what happens to you.”
—RICK HANSON, PHD, author of
Buddha’s Brain
“Who would have thought that there is a ‘how to’ for being sick?
But now there is! Deeply moving and impressive. I highly
recommend her book as a must-read for anyone who is ill or
caring for someone ill. Her gifts will transform you.”
—LEWIS RICHMOND, author of
Healing Lazarus
“A warm and compassionate guide for navigating illness on a
personal and practical level, a level physicians rarely see or discuss
with their patients. The greatest compliment I could give this book
is that I will be recommending it to all of my chronically ill
patients as a guide for remaining happy even in
the absence of good health.”
—DR. ALEX LICKERMAN, former director of
primary care at the University of Chicago
“A unique and creative adaptation of spiritual practice to the
challenges of chronic illness.
How to Be Sick
is a wise,
compassionate book that will help all of us live well.”
—DOROTHY WALL, author of
Encounters with the Invisible
“Each of us finds our way to live with the challenges and
uncertainty of illness. Toni Bernhard found a path that led to
balance, wisdom, and love. She caringly points us to the possibility
of finding happiness even in the midst of difficult conditions.
That is a true gift.”
—FRANK OSTASESKI, founder of the Metta Institute

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