Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation (Paperback)
Why are more and more psychotherapists embracing meditation practice, while so many Buddhists are exploring psychology? "Both psychology and Buddhism seek to provide freedom from suffering," explains Bruce Tift, "yet each offers a completely different approach for reaching this goal." In Already Free, Tift opens a fresh and provocative dialogue between these two profound perspectives on the human condition.
Tift reveals how psychotherapy’s "Developmental" approach of understanding the way our childhood wounds shape our adult selves both contradicts and supports the "Fruitional" approach of Buddhism, which tells us that the freedom we seek is always available. In this investigation, he uncovers insights for connecting with authentic experience, releasing behaviors that no longer serve us, enhancing our relationships, and more. "When we use the Western and Eastern approaches together," writes Bruce Tift, "they can help us open to all of life—its richness, its disturbances, and its inherent completeness."
About the Author
Bruce Tift, MA, LMFT, has been in private practice since 1979, has taught at Naropa University for 25 years, and has given presentations in the US, Mexico, and Japan. A practitioner of Vajrayana Buddhism for more than 35 years, he had the good fortune to be a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and to meet a number of realized teachers.
TAMI SIMON founded Sounds True in 1985 as a multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She has dedicated her life to transformational learning and accelerating spiritual awakening in the world. Tami hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she interviews many of today’s leading teachers and luminaries. She lives with her wife, Julie M. Kramer, and their two spoodles, Raspberry and Bula, in Boulder, Colorado.
“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. Already Free represents the cutting edge in the contemporary conversation about healing and awakening and their relationship.” —Reginald A. Ray, author of Touching Enlightenment
“In Already Free, Bruce Tift shares his experience in helping people discover how to hold and transform fear and other difficult internal patterns. Valuable for anyone seeking personal growth, Bruce’s work also introduces his reader to some of the ways Buddhist teachings and contemporary psychology can complement each other.” —Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and The Kindness Handbook
“Elegantly weaving together insights from Buddhism and psychotherapy, Bruce Tift addresses some of the most important inner work we can do—embracing our own condition, shadow as well as light, with unconditional kindness. The freedom in Already Free is not a freedom from anything, but the freedom to live fully and well. Recommending exercises and offering practical advice, 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
“In Greek mythology, Tiresias was a blind seer who mapped the unseen truth of our journey. In Already Free, therapist Bruce Tift is a clear, wise, and honest seer who uses 35 years of practice to reveal deep understandings about how we relate to our experience, anxiety, and struggle. At once, Bruce Tift holds a mirror to our life as emotional creatures, while opening a window to the depth of being that is ever near. This book is fresh, real, and useful.” —Mark Nepo, author of Reduced to Joy, The Endless Practice, and The Book of Awakening
“With this book, Tift immediately joins the rank of elite writers on the rich interplay between psychology and Buddhism. Every page offers an insight delivered with intelligence, sensitivity, and the authority of personal experience. Distilling a lifetime of learning and clinical expertise, this is 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
“This book shows us more than how Buddhism can meet psychotherapy. It deftly integrates the two traditions. We find here a source-book of practical ways to be both psychologically healthy and spiritually enlivened.” —David Richo, author of The Power of Grace