Learning to Breathe

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Learning to Breathe, by Alison Wright. Hudson Street Press; us.penguingroup.com

A violent bus accident on the way to India for a three-week silent meditation retreat left photojournalist Alison Wright's body a shambles. Unable to move or speak, she relied on meditation techniques and concentrated on her labored breath to stay conscious while she waited 14 hours for medical attention. Three weeks later she flew home where, as she explains in her memoir, her real work began.

Wright recounts the years of surgeries, painkillers, and difficult physical and emotional therapy. Through it all, Wright's meditation practice gave her the strength to continue fighting and heal body and soul. Three months after the accident, ready to take control of her rehabilitation and determined to clear her mind of its drug-induced fog, Wright flushed her meds down the toilet. From that point forward she relied on meditation, yoga, and other alternative healing therapies to control her pain and gain strength.