You are here

click image to enlarge

Standing at the Edge

Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet
Hardcover Book
Publisher: 
Flatiron Books
 | 
April, 2018
ISBN:
9781250101341
In stock now: 
5
$34.99 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Joan Halifax has enriched thousands of lives around the world through her work as a humanitarian, a social activist, an anthropologist, and as a Buddhist teacher. Over many decades, she has also collaborated with neuroscientists, clinicians, and psychologists to understand how contemplative practice can be a vehicle for social transformation. Through her unusual background, she developed an understanding of how our greatest challenges can become the most valuable source of our wisdom—and how we can transform our experience of suffering into the power of compassion for the benefit of others.

Halifax has identified five psychological territories she calls Edge States—altruism, empathy, integrity, respect, and engagementthat epitomize strength of character. Yet each of these states can also be the cause of personal and social suffering. In this way, these five psychological experiences form edges, and it is only when we stand at these edges that we become open to the full range of our human experience and discover who we really are.

Recounting the experiences of caregivers, activists, humanitarians, politicians, parents, and teachers, incorporating the wisdom of Zen traditions and mindfulness practices, Standing at the Edge is a powerful guide on how to find the freedom we seek for others and ourselves, it is a book that will serve us all.

When we learn to recognize the Edge States in our lives, we can stand on the threshold of change and see a landscape abundant with wisdom, tenderness, and basic human kindness. At the same time, we can see a desolate terrain of violence, failure, and futility. Having the strength to stand at the edge, we can draw lessons from places of utter devastation—the charnel grounds—of refugee camps, earthquake-destroyed areas, prisons, cancer wards, homeless encampments, and war zones, and at the same time be resource by our basic goodness and the basic goodness of others. This is the very premise of coming to know intimately the Edge States: How we develop the strength to stand at the edge and have a wider view, a view that includes all sides of the equation of life. How we find life-giving balance between oppositional forces. How we find freedom at the edge. And how we discover that the alchemy of suffering and compassion brings forth the gold of our character, the gold of our hearts.

 “An important, thorough book. Halifax covers every angle of our interactions with compassion, even willing to tread on its dark side. As I read I found myself excited, inspired, nodding my head at its clear truth. Written in precise, beautiful prose, this is not an abstract tome—it’s backed by Halifax’s years of experience, close observation, and honest scrutiny. This needs to be read by everyone so we have a new language for love.” —Natalie Goldberg, author of The Great Spring

“A clearly written labor of love, a deep and detailed plunge into the positive as well as the difficult aspects of active engagement in the world of suffering. She weaves in illustrative examples, relevant research from neuroscience and social psychology, and, most importantly, practices that can be taken up to help all of us, no matter where in this troubled world we work, to restore much-needed balance, kindness and sanity, both for ourselves and those we serve."Jan Chozen Bays, author of Mindfulness on the Go

Publisher’s Description: 

"Joan Halifax is a clearheaded and fearless traveler and in this book she offers us a map of how to travel courageously and fruitfully, for our own benefit and the benefit of all beings." From the foreword by Rebecca Solnit

Standing at the Edge is an evocative examination of how we can respond to suffering, live our fullest lives, and remain open to the full spectrum of our human experience.

Joan Halifax has enriched thousands of lives around the world through her work as a humanitarian, a social activist, an anthropologist, and as a Buddhist teacher. Over many decades, she has also collaborated with neuroscientists, clinicians, and psychologists to understand how contemplative practice can be a vehicle for social transformation. Through her unusual background, she developed an understanding of how our greatest challenges can become the most valuable source of our wisdomand how we can transform our experience of suffering into the power of compassion for the benefit of others.

Halifax has identified five psychological territories she calls Edge States—altruism, empathy, integrity, respect, and engagement—that epitomize strength of character. Yet each of these states can also be the cause of personal and social suffering. In this way, these five psychological experiences form edges, and it is only when we stand at these edges that we become open to the full range of our human experience and discover who we really are.

Recounting the experiences of caregivers, activists, humanitarians, politicians, parents, and teachers, incorporating the wisdom of Zen traditions and mindfulness practices, and rooted in Halifax's groundbreaking research on compassion, Standing at the Edge is destined to become a contemporary classic. A powerful guide on how to find the freedom we seek for others and ourselves, it is a book that will serve us all.

Community Reviews

Login or Register to post a review