The sequel to the bestseller The Great Work of Your Life shows us the way through our darkest times to our truest calling.
How do we make sense of our lives when our world seems to be falling apart? This beautifully written guide from scholar and teacher Stephen Cope shows that crises don’t have to derail us from our purpose—they can actually help us to find our purpose and step forward as our best selves.
In this sequel to his best-loved book, The Great Work of Your Life, Cope again takes the ancient yogic text the Bhagavad Gita—the epic narrative of the warrior Arjuna’s odyssey of self-discovery—as a roadmap for our journey to our own true calling. Then he builds on that foundation using the stories and teachings of famous figures, as well as stories of ordinary people and his own rich personal experience. Along the way, we find striking examples for finding meaning and purpose in our lives:
Gandhi shows how to tap our spiritual resources and listen for our inner voice
Sojourner Truth and Henry David Thoreau inspire us to seek out the unmistakable signs of dharma in the midst of chaos
Marian Anderson and Ruby Sales shed light on dharma’s mystic power and how we learn to trust in it
In the spirit of Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart, this book is required reading when you find yourself forging a path through crisis—or seeking a way through your darkest times to your truest self.
About the Author
Stephen Cope is Scholar Emeritus at the renowned Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the founder and former director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living. He is a Western-trained psychotherapist who writes and teaches about the relationship between Western psychological paradigms and the Eastern contemplative traditions, and is the best-selling author of such books as The Great Work of Your Life and Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work. Website: stephencope.com
“Inspiring, beautifully written, uplifting, tough, and tender. A powerful book to raise your spirits and help you navigate these uncertain times with a clearer vision and a loving heart.” – Jack Kornfield, best-selling author of A Path with Heart
“If I could hand-deliver a copy of this book to everyone, I would do it. What a brilliant and–more importantly–necessary contribution to the wisdom of our collective soul. Please read this book.” – Caroline Myss, best-selling author of Anatomy of the Spirit and Intimate Conversations with the Divine
“Masterful storytelling . . . Inspiring accounts of leading figures in human history are woven together with the relevance of ancient Indian philosophy and the contemplative practices of yoga and meditation. This book is an essential read for anyone who is facing life challenges and hopes to grow spiritually through them—in other words, everyone.” – Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Director of Yoga Research, Yoga Alliance; Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Yoga Therapy
“When faced with a life event that shakes you to the core, what is your response? Stephen Cope points to the Bhagavad Gita and people throughout history to show the way in his latest book: The Dharma in Difficult Times. Written with charm and introspection, it takes us on a journey to learn just how deep we can go when faced with the things that knock us down. You will want to read every last bit, savoring the fascinating research and compelling connections.” – Sharon Salzberg, best-selling author of Lovingkindness and Real Change
“Cope masterfully combines storytelling with substance. That mastery was on full display in his first book about dharma–The Great Work of Your Life. In this new book, he takes us even deeper into the mysteries of dharma, distilling wisdom from the lives of both ordinary and extraordinary human beings who have been challenged in the deepest possible ways. He leaves us with very useful tools for our own journey through difficult times.” – Dr. Suneel Gupta, Harvard Medical School faculty, best-selling author of Backable
“Stephen Cope is at the height of his considerable powers as mystic, scholar, and master storyteller. To say that this is the right book at the right time would be an understatement. Illuminated by the ancient wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita, Cope has laid out a clear path for how to utilize difficult times to deepen life purpose, sense of meaning, and capacity for mature compassion. In the lineage of all great mystics, he both invites and implores us to fully comprehend that when we face our greatest difficulties as opportunities for spiritual growth, this not only saves us, it also saves the world. With this audacious and brilliant book, Cope has thrown down the gauntlet: Will you fully take up your Dharma in these difficult times?” – Gail Straub, co-founder of The Empowerment Institute and author of The Rhythm of Compassion
"The issue of meditation and discovering one’s dharma cannot happen overnight. So this book is for deeply introspective people who desire to live on a higher plane of respect and service to all people. This book is not a regular self-help book that tells you to exercise, do yoga, set boundaries, and be kind to live your best life. But if you want a better life full of fulfillment, Stephen Cope will show you the true essence of living in his book. There is so much to this exceptionally written and edited book that left me in awe, and I can only rate it 4 out of 4." — OnlineBookClub.org