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4.7 out of 5 stars95
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 May 2003
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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on 12 December 2009
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.Practicing these principles day in day out, for the rest of our lives, is our journey not a destination.

"Sometimes you just have to let everything fall apart".

I would recommend this book to anyone seeking to gain a greater understanding of life & how we can live our lives to our maximum potential.
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on 15 August 2001
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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on 26 November 1998
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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on 21 March 1999
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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on 26 May 1999
This book has not only enlightened my life, but in my everyday dealings with people. I find I can relate with them through the mind stimulating thoughts that Pema has written. These writings have changed my life into a whole new perspective in living. I have found the person I know least about is myself. The discovery of myself has been facinating.
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on 7 May 2011
Though I am Thai Buddhist, the heart and simplicity, yet profound message of "becoming our own best friends" as tought by Pema Chodron in this beautiful book, has been life changing for seven people that I gave this book too, to help them in times of suffering. Though I have practiced many years with many respected teachers, I was encouraged, challenged and thrilled when I first read this book in 2005, the message was not new to me, but was put in such a real way that I grew tremendously in my understanding. My heart felt thanks to the authoress and all who have shone a light on the path to happiness in the production of this great book.
I would recommend this book to EVERYONE ! Regardless of belief! Whether we're having trouble accepting others or ourselves, or whether were trapped in addiction, illness or misery, this book is A MUST. Equally as so to anyone who feels life is great! In fact, EVERYONE!
My own struggles and habitual patterns have changed more, each time I have read this book, than through the many years of "looking inward". Each time I read, I become more aware of who and what I am. I accept and befriend myself more and therefor grow in self repect, discipline, wisdom and gentleness; the result of which, I've seen my habits fall away, seen myself become more secure, honest, authentic and direct. My way of understanding and dealing with others has also changed a great deal thanks to this book.
I hope one day to have the pleasure of meeting Pema Chodron. It would be a great honor to bow before her as a light in our Sangha. If I were wealthy, I would buy enough copies of this book to provide them freely to ALL hospitals, help centers a libraries.
May all beings find and end to suffering and happiness
May our sister, Pema Chodron have a long and fulfilling life and may she find happiness and enlightenment.
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on 13 June 2010
I think that this is an amazing CD - an edited version of a book that I just could not read, but found I could listen to. For me the book was just so heavy and I gave up - afterall if your life has just fallen apart reading a complex book is perhaps not the easiest thing in the world to do. This audio version read by the author (who is a good and experienced reader)is still complex (I had to re listen again and again), but like most worthwhile things that do not come easily it is worth the perseverance - Pema Chodron is an incredibly sage woman. Personally, I would not recommend listening to this audiobook if feeling depressed - even though the message is one of great hope I think that you would need to be 'on the mend' and actively looking for answers before being able to cope with the depth of information - but that is just my opinion and I give this book 5 stars because I think that it is, ultimately life altering - and there are not too many books I can say that about.
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on 18 December 2003
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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on 5 December 2007
A very gentle, calming, comfortable read, this book is taken from the transcripts of various talks which Chodron edited while taking a year out. She looks in detail at suffering and how to live with it rather than how to obliterate it. She mentions loss, addiction, distraction, boredom - the whole picture of what might be described as negativity. Not once does she say, 'Pull yourself together.' Instead the advice is to sit with your feelings, make friends with them and yourself, label your thoughts, meditate, treat yourself (and others) with loving-kindness. I feel like I've been hugged by a very wise and very compassionate being and will seek out more of her work.
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