- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Shambhala; New edition edition (Sept. 26 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1570623449
- ISBN-13: 978-1570623448
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 281 g
- Average Customer Review: 97 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
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."
"...the person we set out to help may trigger unresolved issues in us. Even though we want to help, and maybe we do help for a few days or a month or two, sooner or later someone walks through that door and pushes all our buttons. We find ourselves hating those people or scared of them or feeling like we just can't handle them. This is true always, if we are sincere about wanting to benefit others. Sooner or later, all our own unresolved issues will come up; we'll be confronted with ourselves."
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