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Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. has been counseling those with chronic and terminal illness for more than twenty years. She is cofounder and medical director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program in Bolinas, California, and is currently clinical professor of family and community medicine at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine.
When she was four years old, Remen's grandfather brought her an unusual present: a paper cup of dirt, which he instructed her to water daily. She did, with increasing boredom, until she was astonished to find that a plant had sprouted. "My grandfather was a scholar of the Kabbalah, the mystical teachings of Judaism," Remen tells us. Through this exercise and others, he taught her that the "spark of God" exists, even in the most unpromising places. Through a series of unpretentious, affecting vignettes, the author of the bestseller Kitchen Table Wisdom encourages readers to recognize and celebrate the unexpected blessings in their own lives. Many of her recollections are linked to her experiences as a medical student and a physician working with cancer patients, but the most memorable ones relate to Remen's deep engagement with her grandfather, who died when she was seven. She gently illustrates her advice through simple yet powerful stories, such as that of a young woman whose husband helped her discover the real meaning of beauty years after her devastating mastectomy; of a widow who learned to cherish her husband's memory with love instead of with "a monument of pain"; and of a little boy who recognized that it's easier to love just a few toys than it is to love many. "Wisdom," Remen writes in this exceptional book, "lies in engaging the life you have been given as fully and courageously as possible and not letting go until you find the unknown blessing that is in everything." Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"This book is a gift to the world--which it is sure to bless."--Christiane Northrup, M.D., bestselling author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom"The stories in My Grandfather's Blessings are simple and profound, with healing lessons for all of us."--Andrew T. Weil, M.D. "Rachel Naomi Remen is nature's gift to us, a genius of that elusive and crucial capacity, the human heart. She has much to teach us about healing, loving, and living."--Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence "Rachel Naomi Remen has done it again. My Grandfather's Blessings is a massage to the heart. It is a wonderful book."--Marianne Williamson, bestselling author of Illuminata "This lovely book, like its author, is itself a blessing. Where some doctors treat symptoms, Dr. Remen heals souls."--Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People "A lovely, warm, inspiring book for the soul."--Caroline Myss, bestselling author of Anatomy of the Spirit and Why People Don't Heal "Through a series of unpretentious, affecting vignettes, the author of the bestseller Kitchen Table Wisdom encourages readers to recognize and celebrate the unexpected blessings in their own lives...She gently illustrates her advice through simple yet powerful stories...[an] exceptional book."--Publisher's Weekly (starred review)