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Paperback Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living Book

ISBN: 0877738807

ISBN13: 9780877738800

Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

An American Buddhist nun explains how to become compassionate and fearless by accepting the pain in individual lives in their present state through the study of fifty-nine traditional Tibetan Buddhist sayings.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

One of ten books to take on a desert isle

I'm not a Buddhist and I'm allergic to meditation, but I work in a bookstore. Seeing lots of Pema Chodron books (and a lot of different kinds of people buying them), I decided to take a peek one day. I wound up buying this book, reading a chapter or two that night. I slept more peacefully than I had in years.Also, unlike a lot of other books on Eastern religion that I've read, she uses really western metaphors, which makes the book very accessible.Besides, how could you NOT like a book that contains the line:"One of my favorite dharma teachers is Dr. Seuss; he captures the human condition so beautifully."So, if you'd like to know what Star-Belly Sneetches have to do with compassionate living with an open heart, this is definitely the book for you.

Beautiful, insightful, useful

I absolutely loved this book. I read it for a class about wisdom and of the 10 books we had to read I'm only keeping three; this is one. I didn't know anything about Buddhism before reading this and I don't feel that I need to be a Buddhist in order to benefit from Pema's insights. Her advice for living (taken right from lojong slogans from Buddhist traditions) can be taken on many different levels. I don't feel that you need to go deep into the practice in order to benefit from any of this books teachings. You take from it what you need to. I'm adding my voice to the many here who have praised her, Pema Chodron has written a wonderful, helpful book. If you're in pain emotionally I highly recommend it. If you just want to get some peace in your life I highly recommend it. Everyone needs help coping with living, even if it's just a little. Pema has given us a guide to one way of coping.

Starting a journey of the heart.

I read this book after first reading Pema Chodron's more recent dharma book, WHEN THINGS FALL APART (1997). In both of her books, Chodron explains that life's obstacles are actually fine opportunities for wakefulness. I recommend both books, despite their overlap in subject matter.Working with numerous lojong "slogans," this book is about awakening one's heart through tonglen meditation practice. Chodron writes in the Preface of her book, "if you have ever wondered how to awaken your genuine compassionate heart, this book will serve as a guide" (p. ix). We learn that through tonglen practice, "everything we meet has the potential to help us cultivate compassion and reconnect with the spacious, open quality of our minds" (p. 81).Life is full of "raw material for waking up" (p. 64). However, it's also up to each of us to wake up, Chodron observes (p. 69). Starting wherever we are in life, Chodron's instructive teachings encourage us to "lighten up" (p. 17; Chapter 15) and allow the world to speak for itself (pp. 25; 29-30). Chodron challenges us to contemplate lojong slogans including: "Always maintain a joyful mind" (p. 92). "Be grateful to everyone" (pp. 8, 56). "Drive all blames into one" (p. 50).Reading this insightful book is like having a heartfelt conversation with a wise friend. For me, this is what makes reading Pema Chodron such a rewarding experience. If you like the engagement this book offers, I also recommend Jack Kornfield's A PATH WITH HEART and AFTER THE ECSTASY, THE LAUNDRY.G. Merritt

Wondrous simplicity and clarity

Pema Chodron is a wonderful teacher, who shares time honored techniques of breathing in suffering and anger and breathing out compassion and love in a way that is so guileless and disarming that it is almost guaranteed to touch your heart.This book works on many levels... I am not a 'serious practitioner,' by any means, but someone who goes to work every day and has to deal with many frustrations and stresses, but this book offers practical methods that help you deal with just these impediments in your life, so that you can be happier, and give more happiness to others.I also sense that for someone who is more dedicated to making their life centered on spiritual practice, this book is a foundation for such a disciplined path as well.

Clarity, Insight, & Humor

This book is bound to become a classic! One of the Buddhist practices, called The Seven Points of Training the Mind, is very complex and is comprised of over 50 "slogans" or "proverbs" to live by. In this book, Pema Chodron ingeniously weaves all of them into the contents with caring, humor, and inspired examples of how these slogans 'work' in our every day lives. Throughout, the goal is always tonglen, a special meditative practice that can be done in formal practice or while walking, at work or with the family. This book is insightful, practical wisdom for today's world to expand into lovingkindness ... individual by individual.

Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living (Shambhala Classics) Mentions in Our Blog

Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living (Shambhala Classics) in Choose Success in 2020!
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