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The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness

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Book Overview

It's possible to say yes to life in all its manifestations, Pema Chdrn teaches--by embracing all the happiness and suffering, all the intelligence and confusion that are a natural part of our... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

a masterpiece

i have read many books on spirituality over the years, and this has been one of my top two that most memorably changed my life. (the other one being 'autobiography of a yogi'. it is not that others have not shaped me, but this one was a dramatic shift in thinking for me. i have referred several people to it, quoted from it at times, and would love to see this being read by more, and it is already fairly well known and is in a new cover. i call pema the goddess of hard times. this book for me was everything i wished that 'when things fall apart' would have been for me. thankfully i didn't stop at that book, and found this one. when things fall apart was forgettable for me. this one was my favorite, and 'start where you are' i found to be good, but i don't seem to quote from it, nor have the fond memories like i do of wisdom of no escape. pema is a great asset to buddhists and people all around the world seeking more compassion and a greater sense of humanity in their souls. this book is her greatest work as far as i am concerned. well worth a read, well worth 'practicing' not just reading. the concepts are best experienced, not just intellectualized. intellectually they are counter intuitive, and a few friends have reacted without really getting the essence of it which is the practice and inner transformation available.

Faith, hope and charity

This book came to me after suffering a severe Gout attack. My life was a mess, manifesting itself in my poor dietary habits. After limping home from the hospital, I scanned my bookshelves for something to read, as I convalesced. The Wisdom of No Escape sat on my bookshelf for a few years. Everytime I would see the title, I'd think, "sounds depressing". Well, it's not. It is a very honest and straight forward guide book for the human creature. It basically tells you that life is hard and it's that hardness that makes it worth living. I also got the impression that the author believes that Heaven and Hell and reincarnation are all part of everyone's daily experience. Everytime something repeats itself in your life, you are experiencing a living reincarnation. The key seems to be in keeping it all new and fresh.

Like salve for the soul

This was the first Pema Chodron book I'd ever read and it was transforming! I was familiar with Buddhist teachings prior to reading this, but found that her book made those sometimes complex teachings very accessible. Don't be scared off if you're not Buddhist, however. The principles here give one a different perspective on life--it's a psychological approach rather than a religious approach. Pema Chodron's THE WISDOM OF NO ESCAPE gave me an excitement about exploring my inner world and helped me to see that wherever I'm at in life is okay--I don't have to struggle against the process of Life. It's a book I've returned to time and again.

Finding our own true nature.

"Each of us has all that it takes to become fully enlightened," Pema Chodron writes in this book. "We have basic energy coursing through us. Sometimes it manifests as brilliance and sometimes it manifests as confusion" (p. 22). Chodron's 108-page book is based on a series of "talks" she delivered in the spring of 1989 at Gampo Abbey, a Buddhist monastery in Nova Scotia founded by Chodron's teacher, Chogyam Trungpa. "The message . . . for the reader," Chodron writes in the book's Preface, "is to be with oneself without embarrassment or harshness. This is instruction on how to love oneself and one's world" (p. x).This book is nothing less than liberating. It offers the power to awaken your heart, and the power to awaken your courage. "Working with obstacles is life's journey" (p. 68) Chodron tells us. "The purpose of your whole life is not to make a lot of money, it's not to find the perfect marriage, it's not to build Gampo Abbey. It's not to do any of these things. You have a certain life, and whatever life you're in is a vehicle for waking up. If you're a mother raising your children, that's the vehicle for waking up. If you're an actress, that's the vehicle for waking up. If you're a construction worker, that's the vehicle for waking up. If you're a retired person facing old age, that's the vehicle for waking up. If you're alone and you feel lonely and you wish you had a mate, that's the vehicle for waking up. If you have a huge family around you and you wish you had a little more free time, that's the vehicle for waking up. Whatever you have, that's it" (p. 71).Written before her perhaps better known books, this may be my favorite Pema Chodron title. I have returned to it many times since it was first published in 1991. This is a good dharma book, written with Chodron's characteristic wisdom and clarity.G. Merritt

Just marvelous!

This is my favorite Pema Chodron book! You can open its pages anywhere, any time, in any frame of mind, and receive wide benefit to mind and heart. It is spiritual teaching of the only useful kind, practical teaching deliberately intended not to implant, but rather to unsheathe what is already native, but hidden. Pema Chodron leaves one to oneself -the very best teaching!- and by the faintest strokes of wisdom, insight, and practiced sensibilities leaves one higher, deeper, and more able to live freely within oneself. I think she is an extraordinary teacher, in the very best tradition of Western Buddhist training. If Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia is fortunate indeed to be gifted with this extraordinary woman, likewise are we. It seems I open that amazing turquoise cover (a more illustrious blue than even the fine photo on this page indicates!) several times a week. It is a book one gratefully lives with. I have given it to friends, family, and even a few strangers! I recommend it with confidence, compassionate purpose, and indeed a great deal of joy.
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