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How to be Sick


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About the Author

Toni Bernhard fell ill on a trip to Paris in 2001 with what doctors initially diagnosed as an acute viral infection. She has not recovered.

In 1982, she'd received a J.D. from the School of Law at the University of California, Davis, and immediately joined the faculty where she stayed until chronic illness forced her to retire. During her twenty-two years on the faculty, she served for six years as dean of students. In 1992, she began to study and practice Buddhism. Before becoming ill, she attended many meditation retreats and led a meditation group in Davis with her husband. She lives in Davis with her husband, Tony, and their hound dog, Rusty. Toni can be found online at www.tonibernhard.com.


"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."--Elizabeth Roemer, PHD, co- author of The Mindful Way through Anxiety

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