Summary and book reviews of My Grandfather's Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen M.D.

My Grandfather's Blessings

Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging

By Rachel Naomi Remen M.D.

My Grandfather's Blessings
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2000,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

From the New York Times bestselling author comes the wisdom to heal ourselves and those around us.

With Kitchen Table Wisdom, Dr. Remen established herself as an important new voice bringing hope and healing to a difficult world. Her book spent more than three months on the New York Times bestseller list, and maintained even longer runs on the Boston, San Francisco, and Denver lists.

Now she has written My Grandfather's Blessings, a work that further examines the human heart and celebrates those who serve life so beautifully, so effortlessly, so selflessly often without knowing.

It was Rachel Remen's grandfather, a kabbalistic rabbi, who gave her the eyes to see that service is what heals the isolation and loneliness in us all. Service happens every day in ways we don't notice: we serve each other; life serves us; and it is discovering the place of service in ourselves that leads at last to wisdom. As Remen says, "Every life serves a purpose which is both simple and profound. We are here to grow in wisdom and to learn to love better. What this says is that there are many life paths but all life has a spiritual agenda. And all people are on a spiritual path." These stories give us a profound sense of strength that is achieved by knowing that we belong to each other, and to life itself.

"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

From The Introduction

Often, when he came to visit, my grandfather would bring me a present. These were never the sorts of things that other people brought, dolls and books and stuffed animals. My dolls and stuffed animals have been gone for more than half a century, but many of my grandfather's gifts are with me still.

Once he brought me a little paper cup. I looked inside it expecting something special. It was full of dirt. I was not allowed to play with dirt. Disappointed, I told him this. He smiled at me fondly. Turning, he picked up the little teapot from my dolls' tea set and took me to the kitchen where he filled it with water. Back in the nursery, he put the little cup on the windowsill and handed me the teapot. "If you promise to put some water in the cup every day, something may happen," he told me.

At the time, I was four years old and my nursery was on the sixth floor of an apartment building in Manhattan. This whole thing made no sense to me at all. I looked at...

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Reviews

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Library Journal

Remen's grandfather believed that all humans are connected. He taught his granddaughter that each of us is blessed by kindness and the joy of being alive. He believed that the purpose of humanity was and is to share our blessings with others. The author seemingly absorbed all of her grandfather's teachings and has used them to benefit her patients and community in her medical practice. She has been counseling patients with chronic and terminal illnesses for over 20 years and is currently a clinical professor of family and community medicine at the University of California at the San Francisco School of Medicine.

Author Blurb Daniel Goleman
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.

Author Blurb Marianne Williamson
Rachel Naomi Remen has done it again. My Grandfather's Blessings is a massage to the heart. It is a wonderful book.

Author Blurb Dean Ornish
Rachel is a true genius of the heart, mind, and soul. This is one of the most extraordinarily moving books I have ever read, one of the few books that really can transform your life. I am a better person for having read it.

Author Blurb Sam Keen
A book of great charm and rare wisdom. I felt blessed by these stories.

Author Blurb Harold Kushner
This lovely book, like its author, is itself a blessing. Where some doctors treat symptoms, Dr. Remen heals souls.

Author Blurb Christiane Northrup
This book is a wonder and a gift to the world - which it is sure to bless. My Grandfather's Blessings is so full of wisdom, light, and life-changing insight that I found myself reading it slowly, savoring each story, and taking notes so that I could remember that each of us can bless life and thus repair the world just by being ourselves. Let Rachel Remen's stories show you how.

Author Blurb Caroline Myss
My Grandfather's Blessings is a lovely, warm, inspiring book for the soul. From the moment you begin reading the first story, you know that once again, Rachel has succeeded in transmitting truths that bring tranquility to the human spirit.

Reader Reviews
Joan

Ispiratioal
This book is truly a inspiration. It points out how much in life we take for granted. There is that part of all of us that ignores the good that we encounter every day.

J. Scott Strauss, MS
A wonderful book to live by! I strongly recommend MY GRANDFATHER'S BLESSINGS to people who have undergone or undergoing drastic life changes. I am a person who have been through major life changes because of chronic physical and mental disabilities ...   Read More

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