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Soul Without Shame [Paperback]

Byron Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 1998
Whether we call it the inner critic, superego, or just plain nag, most of us have a "judge within" who's constantly on our case. A comprehensive guide to understanding how the inner critic works, this book offers practical, positive suggestions for breaking free of it. Using straightforward language and examples from everyday life, Byron Brown shows:

   •  Where the inner judge came from
   •  How it operates
   •  Why it trips us up
   •  Why we believe we need it
   •  How to develop awareness of it
   •  How to disengage from it
   •  The "soul qualities" we can develop to weaken its influence

Each chapter begins with an episode of the "Frank and Sue story," dramatically illustrating how the inner critic works; each chapter ends with a simple exercise designed to help the reader move along the path of self-discovery.

Frequently Bought Together

Soul Without Shame + Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame
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Product Description

From Amazon

With Foreword, introductory quote, and chapter-end quotes by noted spiritual teacher A.H. Almaas, the reader is alerted to the fact that the author is a student of the Diamond Approach, yet the work stands perfectly well alone without previous introduction to the Ridhwan School. Focusing on the development and structure of the superego, Brown explains how its supposed moral guidance is more than suspect, exposing it as the harsh, purely mental, often untruthful critic it is. Assisting the reader through steps designed to encourage recognition of the endless tirade of blame, criticism, and comparison heaped upon the self by the superego, he provides 30 simple practices to increase self-awareness, decrease incessant judgment, and release this overrated mental projection's stranglehold on heart and soul. --Randall Cohan

From Publishers Weekly

Brown, a disciple of the Diamond Way Approach, a "modern spiritual path based on self-understanding," encourages readers to rediscover their life spirit by silencing their inner critics in this dense and rather ponderous guidebook. Chapters alternately muse on soul characteristics such as compassion and explain how the self-defeating superego, which the author calls "the judge," can be identified, understood and finally disengaged. Inexplicably, Brown never refers to the many classic and contemporary thinkers who have written brilliantly on these topics (a bibliography lists only eight books, four by Diamond Approach founder A.H. Almaas, who also provides the book's foreword). Reading this book is thus a little like sitting at the Indy 500 and watching someone try to reinvent the wheel. Painstaking explications of commonly understood concepts, frequent restatement and a hectoring tone ("The fact is, you do not recognize yourself as soul. You do not know the source of your own aliveness") make for laborious reading. Some of Brown's insights?particularly about the ways bodily awareness can both signal and halt the self-judgment cycle?are helpful, but fuzzy generalities far outnumber practical suggestions, while stories that might ground the book in actual experience are often unintentionally funny: "Frank observed the hairs sticking out of his nostrils and wished his fingers didn't enjoy scraping the inside of his nose so much."
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth it Sept. 19 2003
It seems like a repeat of so many topics that speak about mindfulness. If you've read a few books on Zen and mindfulness, then you're probably easily bored with new authors finding new ways to say, "pay attention!" This book steps away from the rest by using the ideas of Almaas and essence. This is a very useful book to read slowly and repeatedly. It does not contain any miracle methods for killing the superego, but it has lots of simple and useful exercises to explore the depth of your judge.
I especially recommend this book to shy people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Very well laid out, presenting concepts in bite size pieces and with lots of supporting examples in simple terms. I found I resonated deeply with many of the issues raised. For the first time felt myself naturally doing the exercises at the end of the chapters because they made perfect sense. I gained much joy and hope from myself through this book. It's feels like having a friend confide their worst fears to you and realising that you feel exactly the same way and had been too scared to speak out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very practical... Jan. 11 2010
By Magda
If you really....I mean REALLY want to change, you MUST get this book. I'm half way through...and wow...I would say it can be as effective as actual psychotherapy sessions. Sometimes I found myself smiling to myself reading and reflecting on the various passages and exercises. It has been such a relief. I cannot deny there were moments of someone peering right through they have you all figured out. Yes, my ego at work here!! I am invited to confront some of my demons. I feel lighter and so much more liberated since having read, reflected on and applied the learning of the book. If you're stuck within your own vicious judgement cycle, this book just may the beginning of something new for you.
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By A Customer
Tony Schwartz, author of What Really Matters, says it well in his blurb on the back cover: "Soul Without Shame is that rare book that blends intellectual depth, genuine originality, and practical usefulness. As Byron Brown envisions the 'inner critic,' (the superego) it is a force that most of us accept as a necessary moral compass in our lives, but which in fact attacks us relentlessly and insidiously. Gracefully and persuasively, Brown makes the case that we literally become our own worst enemies, undermining even our most determined efforts to grow and prosper. This book offers rich and fresh insights into an aspect of inner work that is far too often neglected, and also sets out systematic ways to break free of the prison of judgment--both of ourselves and of others."
Byron Brown has achieved a deceptively simple, compelling, systematic and clear distillation of basic superego analysis--as practiced in the Diamond Way so superbly developed by A. H. Almaas (Hameed Ali). The book might be more accurately and successfully marketed with a title such as Soul Without Judgment, if Shambhala just had to use popular buzz words.
From A. H. Almaas' blurb: "In very clear and available language, this book details how to recognize the inner critic and how to deal effectively with it. Byron Brown's presentation is useful for any individual who wishes to be free from the inner suffering and coercion of this ancient foe of our humanity, but it is specifically directed to those interested and engaged in the inner journey toward realization and enlightenment."
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is fabulous -- a must read! March 9 1999
By A Customer
I love this book! It's one of the best books I've ever read. For me it's in the same category as Fromm's Art of Loving and Buber's I and Thou--that is a book that makes such an impression that you don't forget it for decades. Soul Without Shame is well written, deeply thought provoking, and practical. I found myself making use of ideas from the book before I finished reading it. The exercises and practices at the end of each chapter are very worthwhile. Chapter 8 (Engaging the Judge) and Chapter 12 (Why Judge?)were chapters that resonated for me. I strongly recommend this book to people who are interested in becoming more aware of their own thought patterns and for those trying to quiet the inner critic so they can express their creativity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Constantly useful! Feb. 4 2004
25 years ago I began a journey. It began with an extremely useful book entitled "A New Guide to Rational Living" by Ellis and Harper. During the intervening years, I've read dozens of books, all of them varying between mildly interesting and useless. This outstanding example of a true and simple understanding of the perception of the world is a real find. I expect to delve into more books along this method of work, with this as a truly profound primer.
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