When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times Paperback – Sep 26 2000
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Much like Zen, Pema Chodron's interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism takes the form of a nontheistic spiritualism. In When Things Fall Apart this head of a Tibetan monastery in Canada outlines some relevant and deceptively profound terms of Tibetan Buddhism that are germane to modern issues. The key to all of these terms is accepting that in the final analysis, life is groundless. By letting go, we free ourselves to face fear and obstacles and offer ourselves unflinchingly to others. The graceful, conversational tone of Chodron's writing gives the impression of sitting on a pillow across from her, listening to her everyday examples of Buddhist wisdom. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Pema Chodron, a student of Chogyam Trunpa Rinpoche and Abbot of Gampo Abbey, has written the Tibetan Buddhist equivalent of Harold Kushner's famous book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. As the author indicates in the postscript to her book: "We live in difficult times. One senses a possibility they may get worse." Consequently, Chodron's book is filled with useful advice about how Buddhism helps readers to cope with the grim realities of modern life, including fear, despair, rage and the feeling that we are not in control of our lives. Through reflections on the central Buddhist teaching of right mindfulness, Chodron orients readers and gives them language with which to shape their thinking about the ordinary and extraordinary traumas of modern life. But, most importantly, Chodron demonstrates how effective the Buddhist point of view can be in bringing order into disordered lives.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Pema's advice for us to sit with our uncomfortable feelings, to face them, acknowledge them without judgement and to appreciate the sense of being groundless were the words that helped me accept my situation.
Life is about impermanence, change is inevitable. I am trying to find peace in the chaos that is life, to take things one day at a time and not create grand illusions of what my life will be like.
And, as I read, I realised that the past is the problem with its regrets but so is the future with its urges for satisfaction. The only real problem with the present is that it last for such a short time!
In this book Pema draws from the traditional Buddhist wisdom in order to give us thorough and kindhearted advice on what to do when, as the title suggests, "things fall apart." There is only one approach that grants lasting benefit, Pema tells us here, and that entails approaching these situations with openness and inquisitiveness. Teaching us to embrace our painful emotions, she shows the way on how to gain both wisdom and compassion not just towards and for ourselves, but for all people.
"The Tibetan Buddhist equivalent of Harold Kushner's "When Bad Things Happen To Good People." - Publishers Weekly
"This is a book that could serve you for a lifetime." - Natural Health Magazine
Admittedly, the initial concepts appeared bizarre to me. "Make friends with your demons" and "Chaos should be regarded as extremely good news" came across as masochistic. But when one has hit rock bottom, we tend to discover our humility, which allows us to be more open to new ideas. When I read the phrase "Things become very clear when there is nowhere to escape," I found myself nodding in agreement. From that point on, I embraced each line-word for word.
The best gift one can give to themselves or others is a copy of "When Things Fall Apart." It is indeed a book that I found much hope and comfort in. I just ordered Pema's book collection and look forward to learning more about practicing tonglen from her.
Some of my other favorite passages from the book:
"...nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. If we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. It just keeps returning with new names, forms, and manifestations..."
"As long as we don't want to be honest and kind with ourselves, then we are always going to be infants. When we begin just to try to accept ourselves, the ancient burden of self-importance lightens up considerably. Finally there's room for genuine inquisitiveness, and we find we have an appetite for what's out there."
"...Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Great Book full of teachings to stay present, practice loving kindness and overcome guiltPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Clear, direct and supremely helpful in life's ongoing challenges.Published 5 months ago by Zosia Aynsley
By now you know, I'm a fan. I find Pema's words jewels to carry me through in my own life and in my work as a clinician.Published 5 months ago by dieranova
Pema Chodron has given us the tools we need to live a life worth living!Published 6 months ago by Joyce Colhoun
As with books written by Thich Nhat Hanh and The Dalai Lama, Pema Chodron writes with a loving and gentle style. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Tiny Thought Guy
I found it hard to relate to this book because the things that caused Pema to "fall apart" were less in severity than the reasons I picked up the book. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lori
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