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Extended Audio Sample Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow Audiobook, by Elizabeth Lesser Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 5 3.78 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth Lesser Narrator: Susan Denaker Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2008 ISBN: 9780739384749
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In the more than twenty-five years since she co-founded Omega Institute—now the world’s largest center for spiritual retreat and personal growth—Elizabeth Lesser has been an intimate witness to the ways in which people weather change and transition. In a beautifully crafted blend of moving stories, humorous insights, practical guidance, and personal memoir, she offers tools to help us make the choice we all face in times of challenge: will we be broken down and defeated, or broken open and transformed? Lesser shares tales of ordinary people who have risen from the ashes of illness, divorce, loss of a job or a loved one—stronger, wiser, and more in touch with their purpose and passion. And she draws on the world’s great spiritual and psychological traditions to support us as we too learn to break open and blossom into who we were meant to be.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Elizabeth Lesser bravely and beautifully explores one of the most compelling questions of life: how do we emerge from suffering and challenge with real, encompassing wisdom and love. Broken Open is personal, pragmatic and enlightening. Sharon Salzberg, author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience
  • "Never again will a painful experience wipe me out. This book shows how you can transform any difficult transition into a time of great strength and awakening. Jane Fonda
  • There's more food for philosophical mastication--and more sparkling good sense--in one lucid chapter of Broken Open than in a library of ordinary books on similar subjects. Tom Robbins
  • Elizabeth Lesser has written a most extraordinary book that examines our relationship to the changing nature of life. Lesser, a brilliantly gifted writer, has created a treasure chest of personal stories that bring wisdom, insight, compassion, and common sense to the experiences familiar to so many of us as the years of our lives unfold within their immortal cycle of endings and new beginnings. CAROLINE MYSS, author of Sacred Contracts and Anatomy of the Spirit
  • “Never again will a painful experience break me down. Instead, I’ll use Elizabeth’s book to help me bread open into greater strength, acceptance, and awakening.”

    Jane Fonda, actress, activist, and author of My Life So Far

  • “Elizabeth Lesser bravely and beautifully explores one of the most compelling questions of life: How do we emerge from suffering and challenge with real, encompassing wisdom and love? Broken Open is personal, pragmatic, and enlightening.”

    Sharon Salzberg, New York Times bestselling author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience

  • “Insightful reflections…the book is gentle in tone without falling into sentimentality and clear without being dogmatic or simplistic.”

    Library Journal

  • “A most extraordinary book…Lesser is a brilliantly gifted writer.”

    Caroline Myss, author of Sacred Contracts and Anatomy of the Spirit

  • “Rich in food for philosophical mastication, and sparkling in their stylistic clarity, the true-life stories in Broken Open are both entertaining and enlightening.”

    Tom Robbins, author of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natasha | 5/17/2011

    " This book found me when I most needed it and what a journey it has inspired! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 5/2/2011

    " I though this book was amazing. It was so uplifting, and so beautifully written. The stories were short, but oh so sweet. This book really spoke into my life at a time where much inpiration was needed. It refreshed my soul. Definitely a keeper. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 2/12/2011

    " Lisa, thank you for this wonderful gift! One of those special books that I will return to for wisdom at various times in my life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 2/1/2011

    " I have gone back to this book several times to reference. If there was any book I would recommend to friends going through challenging times this book would be "IT". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 1/4/2011

    " Great book for all who are open minded and a bit of a free spirit...although you will appreciate it more with a couple of toes on the ground. ;O) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristi | 12/13/2010

    " Currently loving this book! Several quotes and passages have resonated with me. Will see at the end... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mojdehp | 12/3/2010

    " I had to read this for a class. Pretty repetitive and self-indulgent. Could barely finish this book and only did so because I had to! Little bits and pieces of it are ok. But it could have been about ten pages long and had the same effect, if not a better one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diane | 12/2/2010

    " The author tries to cover too much ground with her thesis that personal pain can open us up to new experiences and a whole new way of looking at the world. I'm never comfortable with the death of child being grouped in with divorce and job loss. There is loss and there is LOSS. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauri | 11/27/2010

    " Great book. Good writer. I like her free spirit and transparency. I could relate to every page. Good for midlifers going through change. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ash | 11/21/2010

    " it's really cool book! it made me understand life more yet i was only 15 :) "

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About the Author
Elizabeth Lesser is the co-founder of Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, which offers conferences and workshops attended by twenty thousand people a year. Formerly a midwife, she attended Barnard College and San Francisco State University. The mother of three grown sons, she lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband.
About the Narrator

Susan Denaker is an actress and Earphones Award–winning narrator. Her extensive theater credits include numerous plays in the West End of London, national tours, many English rep companies, including a season with Alan Ayckbourn’s company in Scarborough. In the US, she has appeared in Our Town and Sweet Bird of Youth at the La Jolla Playhouse and Breaking Legs at the Westport Playhouse.