Yoga and the Quest for the True Self
By Stephen Cope
(Bantam, Paperback, 9780553378351, 384pp.)
Publication Date: September 5, 2000
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Millions of Americans know yoga as a superb form of exercise and as a potent source of calm in our stress-filled lives. Far fewer are aware of the full promise of yoga as a 4,000-year-old practical path of liberation—a path that fits the needs of modern Western seekers with startling precision. Now Stephen Cope, a Western-trained psychotherapist who has lived and taught for more than ten years at the largest yoga center in America, offers this marvelously lively and irreverent "pilgrim's progress" for today's world. He demystifies the philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga, and shows how it applies to our most human dilemmas: from loss, disappointment, and addiction, to the eternal conflicts around sex and relationship. And he shows us that in yoga, "liberation" does not require us to leave our everyday lives for some transcendent spiritual plane—life itself is the path. Above all, Cope shows how yoga can heal the suffering of self-estrangement that pervades our society, leading us to a new sense of purpose and to a deeper, more satisfying life in the world.
Stephen Cope is a psychotherapist who writes and teaches about the relationship between contemporary psychology and the Eastern contemplative traditions. He holds degrees from Amherst College and Boston College. He is currently Scholar-in-Residence at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts, the largest residential yoga center in the world. This is his first book.
"What a delight to find a book on spiritual practice that's as compelling to read as a good novel. This honest, intelligent, and beautifully written book is required reading for anyone interested in spiritual practice today."
— Lilias Folan, host of the PBS series Lilias!
"A tour de force...a book grounded in yoga psychology that will be meaningful and useful to spiritual practitioners in many traditions."
—Sylvia Boorstein, author of It's Easier Than You Think and That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist
"A down-to-earth, wise, spiritually mature and compassionate teaching that integrates the best of yoga and our own Western humanity. Destined to be a classic."
—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart