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When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times [Hardcover]

Pema Chodron
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 1997
There is a fundamental happiness right within our reach, yet we usually miss it—ironically, while caught up in attempts to escape pain and suffering. Pema Chödrön's radical and compassionate advice for what to do when things fall apart in our lives goes against the grain of our usual habits and expectations and confronts us with traditional Buddhist wisdom. There is only one approach to suffering that is of lasting benefit, Pema teaches, and that approach involves moving toward painful situations to the best of our ability with friendliness and curiosity, relaxing into the essential groundlessness of our entire situation. It is there, in the midst of chaos, that we can discover the truth and love that are indestructible. Included in the book are: Ways to use painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and courage Ways to communicate that lead to openness and true intimacy with others Practices for reversing our negative habitual patterns Methods for working with chaotic situations Ways to cultivate compassionate, energetic social action


Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc (1 Jan 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570621608
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570621604
  • Product Dimensions: 22.3 x 14.5 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 240,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘As one of Pema Chodron’s grateful students, I have been learning the most pressing and necessary lesson of all: how to keep opening wider my own heart.’ Alice Walker

‘Pema’s deep experience and her fresh way of looking at things are like mountain water – clear and deep.’ Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

There is a fundamental opportunity for happiness right within our reach, yet we usually miss it – ironically, while we are caught up in attempt to escape pain and suffering. In this book, Pema Chodron's shows:
• Ways to use painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion and courage
• Ways to communicate that lead to openness and true intimacy with others
• Practices for reversing our negative habitual patterns
Methods for working with chaotic situations
• Ways to cultivate compassionate, energetic social action

Recently profiled in Oprah’s O magazine, Pema Chodron is a spiritual teacher for anyone – whether they have a spiritual path or not. Her heartfelt advice and wisdom (developed in her 20 years of practice as a Tibetan Buddhist nun as well as her years previously as a normal ‘housewife and mother’) give her a wide appeal. This advice strikes just the right note, offering us comfort and challenging us to live deeply and contribute to creating a more loving world.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Embarking on the spiritual journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult but true... 8 May 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book because I was interested in improving my personal patience. At first I found it difficult to get into the book; it felt like I was walking through treacle. I decided to slow down and really give the chapters some thought and it started to make sense. It doesn't hit you with a "wham" rather you suddenly find yourself doing something or in my case not doing something - losing my temper or arguing over a trivial matter.
It really helped me to focus on the "now" and not on the past or the future. I AM NOT religious in any shape or form but Buddhism practices and the associated way of life has always intrigued me. I will read more about this fascinating subject.
Buy this book, take your time and really digest the contents. I am certain that it will help improve you in some way.
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75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book eighteen months ago when I was struggling with life. Pema Chodron's compassion, experience and wisdom provided immediate comfort, transformed my outlook on life and started me on the road to learning more about meditation and later Buddhism. I often re-read chapters and have sent several copies to friends who have found it equally rewarding. The cassette tape version provides a useful alternative method of 'reading' the same book and complements the hardcopy version. A 'must have' for anyone in a hard place.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight to read 18 Dec 2003
Format:Hardcover
I found this book lying around a house I've recently moved from. I don't know who bought it or what it was doing there, but the timing for finding it couldn't be better. I was having a bit of a hard time, and life was generally pants. I picked up the book as the title intrigued me, and to be honest, it was the best medicine I could have hoped for. No matter who you are, or where you come from, there's is guaranteed to be something to relate to in here. I personally read so much that rang true, it made me feel glad to be part of this world.
I read the book a while ago, and will definately be buying it for myself, it's enlightening to read, no words can describe how wonderful it is.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Acceptance is the key. 12 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback
I have had an interest in Buddhism for about a year now & have read a number of books on the subject.

I found Pema Chordon's writings very accessible & fairly easy to follow.

Her writings about fear were very enlightening & challenged us to turn our understanding of fear on it's head.
Fear can be a constructive force in our lives "& fear is universal".Sometimes we tend to think that we are the only one to experience fear & that we are somehow weak if we feel fearful.Standing & facing our fears unleashes enourmous powers wthin us - "so the next time you encounter fear consider yourself lucky".

Pema considers how change affects our lives & our natural fear (that word again) of change.We see change as a negative aspect in our lives & pull away.She shows us that change is the essense of everything & that we should "recognise impermance as impermance".When we stop struggling to control lives ( an impossible task),we open the way to live in the now.Accepting things as they are frees us in way we never thought possible.

The Author shows us how to relax with our thoughts & to label them as , "just thinking".Instead: "we bring out the bellows & just fan away at it".

We learn that by helping others we help ourselves to grow.Developing a deep love of ourselves ( with all our faults) is the foundation on which we build our love of others:"Wise selfish people know that the best thing they can do for themselves is to be there for others".We see how we can give expression to this love by practicing Tonglen.

Acceptance,love & compassion are the keys to self growth.Patience is a virtue & we need to recognise that ther are no Paulite conversions.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is the best of its kind I have found in the last 20 years. Brilliant. Simple. No wasted words.
Pema Chodron is a VERY special person.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Thank you Pema Chodron for sharing this simple and accessible wisdom and experience. In a down-to-earth, non-preachy manner, Pema outlines the Buddhist approach to handling crisis, pain and chaos.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, practical advice from one who knows. 10 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been practising (or at least trying) Buddhist teachings for over 20 years, have used therapy to explore my self/my attachments and have explored a number of different personal growth tools and techniques during that time. I think it is fair to say that Pema Chodron's book is the first one that I have ever read that is written in plain English without excessive or heavy reference to Buddhist theory/terms and written so clearly from personal knowledge and experience rather than being couched in theoretical interpretation. Pema knows (underlined!) what she is talking about. This is a very good book, both for those wishing to understand what Buddhism means in practical terms and those on a therapeutic journey who want to understand themselves more fully. I could say so many good things, but the best one is simply this... this book is a postcard from someone who has already been on the journey and has had the compassion and insight to send us a simple and clear description of the road ahead... and to think she wasn't sure if this material would make a book! My thanks and gratitude go to Pema Chodron for sending this to us.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Open Up Your Heart!
I purchased this book to help me through a family crisis. Very deep and profound, going to have to read it at least twice before it starts sinking in as it revalues our ability to... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Ruth Bentley
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical guide to dealing with lifes difficulties.
Draws on all her Buddhist meditation experiences to offer very practical coping mechanisms for lifes difficulties. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary Carroll
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This book has became my bible! Pema is brilliant, she's like a modern prophet! read this book before you die
Published 1 month ago by Angela Castro (fassenfelt)
5.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favour, read this book
If things have fallen apart for you, do read this book. If things still intact, still read. You may learn one thing or two. Read more
Published 2 months ago by B. Yalcin
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots ot Think About
This book gives the reader a great deal to think about without being overpowering. It's easy to read and it's written in such a way that it can be read straight through or dipped... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jackie Brockway
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, enlightening read
This book contains practical, clear advice on coping with stress and pain. It provides invaluable tools for moving forward and achieving inner calm. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Apis mellifera
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Very usefull in practical spiritual advice and no-nonsense wriring relating to the current world. I have read this before and gave a copy to someone. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sheila G Winstanley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff!
Wisdom and insight doesn't get better than this. I've bought copies to give to friends going through difficult times - as the book contains far more accessible and useful wisdom... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Avatar Gyatso
5.0 out of 5 stars enlightening
i would recommend this book very highly as it gives good advice on ways to cope in times of stress .It was one of the books that I read and helped me a great deal.
Published 4 months ago by gire
1.0 out of 5 stars When things Fall Apart
I did not like the book at all - I felt it was a very dark book and should come with a health warning as I was very depressed after reading it - I don't want to be groundless or... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sandra O Loughlin
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