This edition includes a new preface by the author. Ken Wilber. KEN WILBER is the developer of an integral "theory of everything" that embraces the truths of all the world's great psychological, scientific, philosophical, and spiritual traditions. He founded the Integral Institute, a think-tank for studying issues of science and society, in

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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Here is a deeply moving account of a couple's struggle with cancer and their journey to spiritual healing. Grace and Grit is the compelling story of the five-year journey of Ken Wilber and his wife Treya Killam Wilber through Treya's illness, treatment, and, finally, death. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.

Published February 6th by Shambhala first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. I do not know how to report the change necessity so I do this here. I have paperback and counted all pages it has pages not which is not true. So how can it be changed? Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order.

Feb 08, Rob rated it it was amazing Shelves: , all-time-favorites. My dear cousin lent me her copy of this book a few months back and at the time told me it was one of her all-time favorite books -- now after completing it myself -- I completely understand why. This has to be one of the most emotionally touching and spiritually rewarding books I have ever read.

As well as one of the most sincere and amazing love stories I could ever imagine. It offers such personal insight into the dying process - but even more so into how that process can change ones perspectiv My dear cousin lent me her copy of this book a few months back and at the time told me it was one of her all-time favorite books -- now after completing it myself -- I completely understand why.

It offers such personal insight into the dying process - but even more so into how that process can change ones perspective on how to truly live. Absolutely beautiful.

It definitely has left me with a new appreciation for the love I have in my life and for our capacity to change. Our capacity to grow. To improve. To help. And to love. The understanding that we are here for a higher purpose. Like my cousin - it has found its way onto my all-time favorite list. View all 4 comments. Dec 12, Linda rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , cancer.

Recommended by a good friend I love and respect, a psychologist by profession and warm and sensitive spirit by nature, when she heard my brother was battling pancreatic cancer. It took me a long time -- 3 years, actually -- to get to this book.

I have to admit, the reason was that I was afraid to read it. My friend lent me her copy during the months when my brother was being treated for cancer, and I didn't know if I would be able to handle reading about someone who lost her own battle.

I finally Recommended by a good friend I love and respect, a psychologist by profession and warm and sensitive spirit by nature, when she heard my brother was battling pancreatic cancer. I finally picked it up this year, and as fate would have it, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer while I was reading it.

So much for avoiding reading it during a trying time in my life As it turns out, though, my fears were pretty well unfounded. As my friend had said herself, Grace and Grit was a very uplifting story of someone who was transformed over the course of her 5-year battle with recurring cancer, who reached a new level of understanding and peace in her life and served as an inspiration to all who knew her as well as to many who have read her story since.

The story is that of Treya Killam Wilber and her husband Ken Wilber, who meet and fall instantly in love, are married within months, and just weeks later are hit with the devastating news that Treya has been afflicted with breast cancer. Their 5 years together are dominated by Treya's health -- episodes of remission and recurrence, a wild array of treatments and approaches, the cancer's increasing aggressivity -- and their struggle as a couple as their love grows but their relationship is tested by the slings and arrows of their outrageous fortune.

The book is also an examination of their spiritual progression, and much space is given over to explanations of spiritual seeking and practices from Ken Wilber, a well-known expert in the field of what most people would characterize as new-age-type spiritualty, As a result, I would say that reading this is not for the faint of heart.

I often found myself wishing I could excise away most of that discussion, and give much more time over to Treya's story. One of the nice parts of the book is that Ken includes excerpts from Treya's journals, and I would have enjoyed hearing even more of her voice. To be honest, Ken himself sometimes comes off in the book as someone who rather likes to hear himself speak -- although he does deserve much recognition for being stoically honest in owning up to some of his own failings as Treya's partner and caregiver, and he does not dress up his own mistakes.

The best and most interesting parts of the book were those that had to do with Treya. I have my own struggles with against? Having said that, since I didn't actually skip any part of the book, the spirituality parts did spark a few intriguing questions even for me, but it was not what I came to the book to get.

For example, when Treya gets her first diagnosis of cancer, she captures in her journal her feelings of untethered isolation and bewilderment at the future, writing simply: "Should I prepare to live? Or should I prepare to die? I do not know.

No one can tell me. They can give me figures, but no one can tell me. One lesson I hope to remember from Treya's story is this: "Pain is not punishment, death is not a failure, life is not a reward.

The first and most important complaint I have about the writing itself is that I finished the book really feeling that Ken failed to show , rather than tell , his readers about the kind of person Treya was. Again and again, Ken remarks on how wonderful she was, how everybody not only loved her but was inspired, moved, transformed by her. However, he rarely if ever gives examples of this, and as such, it's really hard just to accept what he says at face value. I mean, I'm sure she was a nice person and all, but isn't everyone who is close to someone going to say, oh, she was such a wonderful person?

Just telling me over and over again doesn't convince me that she was any more extraordinary than any other nice human being on the earth. If you really want to convince me, help me feel what was special about her. As my high school composition teacher taught us, use examples to make your point, illustrate with details. Of course, I'm sure he would say all the right things about women's rights and gender roles, etc.

But at the same time, throughout the book women -- but not men -- are always introduced with some comment about their good looks. It really felt like no woman who entered the narrative was described without reference to her physical beauty.

And despite the obvious deep-soul connection Ken has with Treya, most descriptions of why he loves her or why he was attracted to her begin first with a comment about how beautiful she was. I found it really condescending and trivializing toward women.

If he did the same thing with men, it would sound ridiculous -- it would sound as ridiculous as it is. Take this description of one woman, for example: "She was tall, statuesque, good-looking, with black hair, red lipstick, a red dress, and black high heels.

Now imagine he said of a man they had just met: "He was tall, magnificent, handsome, with sandy hair, shiny white teeth, a blue suit, and black wingtips. Pretty basic stuff, Ken. Time to read up on a little feminism. To be fair, I do think this is largely unconscious on his part, but that still doesn't make it right.

If you're not, there is still a lot to learn from in the book in terms of living with cancer. For example, the best explanation of chemotherapy I have ever come across can be found on page "Aside from surgery, the main forms of Western medicine's attack on cancer -- chemotherapy and radiation -- are based on a single principle: cancer cells are extremely fast-growing.

They divide much more rapidly than any of the body's normal cells. Therefore, if you administer an agent to the body that kills cells when they divide , then you will kill some normal cells but many more cancer cells.

That is what both radiation and chemotherapy do. Of course the normal cells in the body that grow more rapidly than others -- such as hair, stomach lining, and mouth tissue -- will also be killed more rapidly, hence accounting for frequent hair loss, stomach nausea, and so on.

But the overall idea is simple: Since cancer cells grow twice as fast as normal cells, then at the end of a successful course of chemotherapy, the tumor is totally dead and the patient is only half-dead. For example, this description of conversations with Treya's doctor in Germany when asked about particular treatments used in the US: " 'We don't do it because the quality of life is so much lower.

You must never forget,' he said, 'around the tumor is a human being. When I read this, I thought not so much of forgiveness, but of my field, grassroots rights work and community organizing.


Grace & Grit: Spirituality & Healing in the Life & Death of Treya Killam Wilber

Shambhala Publications: Boston, Although it is primarily a tribute to Treya and her remarkable healing into life and death, it is many other things as well. This book makes an important contribution to the distinction between the disease process and the meaning given to it by society. Is cancer the fault of its victims and their personalities?


Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber

Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? The story of a woman's long fight against serious illness, told by her psychologist husband, and combined with extracts from her own journals. It conveys insights into psychotherapy and women's spirituality and into meditation, questioning both conventional and New Age approaches to illness.

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