In this wonderful collection, with warmth, humor, & kindliness, Pema gives down-to-earth ways to improve life through Buddhism: meditation (mindfulness, tranquil abiding & a bit of insight), the 4 Immeasurables (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, & equanimity) Bodhichitta, & Tonglen (sending and receiving) meditation. She explores Atisha's Slogans of (cf. her "Start Where You Are"), Lojong mind training (transforming obstacles into your practice; poisons into loving kindness & compassion). Tonglen (exchanging your joy for others' suffering) including on-the-spot Tonglen (done just when suffering appears) to subdue egocentricity & develop Bodhichitta/loving kindness. She espouses having the courage to experience discomfort, to change one's worldview, & face one's emotions squarely. Ani (honorific for a Buddhist nun) Chodron's wonderful turns of phrase include: "We look for strength in what weakens us, "We've gotten really good at making matters worse, "seeking happiness without a hangover. "the places of meeting your edge are the places of tantrum, & "emptiness is openness." She also provides valuable stories such as: the man who went into a coma, was moved elsewhere, woke up thinking he was dead, & lived the rest of is life that way.
She points out where her master, Trungpa Rinpoche digressed from the literal meanings of some of these practices & some changes suggested by the great 14th century master, Longchenpa (Longchen Rabjam). For example, the latter suggested meditating upon equanimity to establish stability prior to radiating loving kindness etc. Embedded in the technique is to radiate each item consecutively, but building up to stronger feelings within each sending--first apply it to someone you care about, then a neutral person, then someone you mildly dislike & finally to everyone. For example, compassion is the wish that everyone be free of suffering & the cause of suffering. Trungpa Rinpoche's modifications include: joy being the appreciation of peoples' basic goodness (empathetic joy IMHO). Joyfully, this set solves my usual problem with Pema's sets: that they're too short! I'd also recommend the 6-tape "Awakening Compassion" & "Noble Heart" sets. If you haven't had the great uplifting joy of experiencing Pema's tapes, this collection is a fine start.