Tears Become Rain: Stories of Healing and Transformation Inspired by Thich Nhat Hahn is a new anthology on navigating grief, compiled by authors and editors Jeanine Cogan and Mary Hillebrand. Part of how the duo’s intentions are clear not just by objective and guided, subjective reasonings on behalf of the reader.
Courtesy to those most near and dear to the book’s thematic journeys, Cogan and Hillebrand keep things simple and direct, never in opposition to the reader’s perceived intelligence. Simply put, they just tell it like it is. “Tears Become Rain is not full of solutions, and it does not address all of our problems. But each story illustrates a way to be okay with strong emotions, wherever and however they arise.
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In each story, Thầy is there, showing us that when we live completely in the present moment, we can discover the beauty of what is right in front of us and choose to water our seeds of joy… (Thich Nhat Hahn) learned experientially, implementing in his own life the Buddha’s teachings about understanding impermanence and showing ourselves compassion… Throughout his life, Thích Nhất Hạnh has shown us that we have the special ability—and the opportunity, if we accept it—to stop and look closely at the source of our tears. We can quietly, slowly, with our in-breath and our out-breath, peel back the figurative onion
layers of our complex existence. And, just like if we were peeling a real onion, that process may bring tears; how we hold that suffering is up to us. ‘The way out is in,’ Thầy explains. ‘To go back to oneself and take care of oneself, learning how to generate a feeling of joy, learning how to generate a feeling of happiness, learning how to handle a painful feeling, a painful emotion, listening to the suffering allows understanding and compassion to be born. And we suffer less.’”
Regarding the authorship base both women have been able to compile, Cogan and Hillebrand have this to say. “It has been an honor to be trusted by so many courageous authors,” they write. “A personal story is different from fiction; it springs from our own experience, emotionally and psychically steeped in passionate purpose, and can therefore feel like a high-stakes endeavor. Our belief in the power of speaking from the heart and listening deeply bonded all of us on the path of producing this book.
We are grateful for this opportunity to shine a spotlight on the art of spiritual transformation and to inspire anyone with whom it resonates. From the start, we wanted this book to be a place for people to thoughtfully share ideas and ways to bring more peace into their own lives and into the world at a time when it seemed to be going in the other direction… We experienced how powerfully our actions affect others. Our authors’ stories reminded us of the infinite possibility of cultivating beauty, joy, and peace in all circumstances.”
Based on this alone, along with the powerful nature of the stories they were able to acquire, Cogan and Hillebrand deserve to be seriously commended.