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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 9 December 1996
This book changed many of my perspectives on life. Ms. Chodron teaches a simple method to handle daily up and downs along with the really tough situations. If you've always been waiting for everything to be just right before starting a spiritual practice/meditation, etc, but have never gotten to that perfect place, this is the book for you.
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on 10 September 2007
Pema has done it again! She manages to write about the spiritual path and buddhist teachings with such simplicity and earthiness. This is not detached in any way. A moving book that teaches us all about ourselves and that nothing is forbidden, we are simply human beings moving through our life together. If you are on the path to discover who you really are then this is a book you should read.
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on 20 May 2015
Pema Chodron's books are changing my life, slowly one step at a time but this is one of those books that has had a massive impact on my life in a good way. I struggle with anxiety, depression and more recently acute grief. The world was feeling more and more a place where I didn't want to be, or see place for me in it. Pema helps you look at the world in a different way, and her techniques have really helped me look at the world in a different way.

If you struggle with anxiety, stress, depression. If the world in spinning too fast for you; Get this book. These conditions are not easy or quick to fix but this book makes a big difference to how you live 'with them' and this makes more things seem possible. If you are wondering which of Pema's books to get and you can only get one, for anxiety issues I'd recommend starting with this one.
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on 21 August 2013
I didnt find Pema for a while after I started practicing Buddhism but since I have my life and practice have totally transformed. What makes Pema's teachings in this book and others so profound is that she doesnt tell you to get rid of anything. Unlike a lot of Buddhism that can often describe practice as removing or fixing things within yourself, Shambhala Buddhism (which is taught in this book) starts and finishes with you being perfect just as you are. There is nothing to change. Hence the title "Start Where You are". Her teaching is about connecting with the tenderness beneath all of the suffering, justification and confusion. The tenderness of the heart is something that we all share, without exception. This is why this book will change your life.

I would recommend it to everyone but especially those who seem to struggle with self-doubt or self aversion. I find all Buddhism is basically the same underneath its just some types suit different types of minds.
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on 1 February 1999
Chodron's book was such a fresh breath! While most books are giving us the top ten reasons why we should deny, hide or get rid of our not-so-good feelings and emotions, she suggests that we start right there and breathe them in. She points out that as our feelings are shared simultaneously with millions of others, we are never alone. This is so obvious, but the point is rarely made.
Chodron teaches us that the self-improvement market can join the human experience! We are worthy as is.
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on 10 August 2009
Another well-written book from this author.... This one specifically has more references to Buddhist meditation practice and 'slogans', but with a very open and readable approach. She takes apart some otherwise abstract concepts and brings them to earth in a human and practical way. This book would be good for anyone curious about how spiritual practice can be part of everyday life or someone who has learnt Shamatha practice and would like to refine it.
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on 30 July 1999
Pema Chodron is a wonderful teacher, who shares time honored techniques of breathing in suffering and anger and breathing out compassion and love in a way that is so guileless and disarming that it is almost guaranteed to touch your heart.
This book works on many levels... I am not a 'serious practitioner,' by any means, but someone who goes to work every day and has to deal with many frustrations and stresses, but this book offers practical methods that help you deal with just these impediments in your life, so that you can be happier, and give more happiness to others.
I also sense that for someone who is more dedicated to making their life centered on spiritual practice, this book is a foundation for such a disciplined path as well.
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on 16 November 2010
Pema Chodron is well known in buddhist circles, or even those interested in self development in general, as a prominent spritual teacher who can articulate the ideas of eastern mysticism in a way western people can easily understand. This book is devoted to the slogans used in the seven point training of the mind also known as the lojon training of the mind in compassion. The advice she offers seems very simple and yet is critical to opening our hearts and minds in acceptance of ourselves and others. She suggests things are not as solid as they seem we shouldn't expect things to be certain and it is in this uncertainty or groundlessness that we can really learn about ourselves and the world. We spend so much time protecting the soft spot beneath our armour that we end up rejecting exactly those experiences that help us grow and that ultimately make us happy in a lasting stable way.

I would strongly reccomend anyone interested in their spiritual development or who would like to become just a little more contented to read this book. Anyone who likes this book might also like to read "When things fall apart" by the same author
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on 28 July 1998
A good book, by a good writer. I would caution however that unless you are very familiar with Buddhism in general, this book could easily lose you. I have dabbled in Buddhism for many years and had trouble grasping some of her concepts. I had to read some sections several times to get their meaning. But overall it's very good.
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on 1 March 2013
Chodron's writing is perfectly balanced, with a warm, compassionate feel to it. Without ever being judgemental or didactic, she gently encourages you to realise the nature of life, to shift your focus away from the past and the future, to accept and relax into the present moment and to focus on others rather than yourself. Whilst some Buddhist terminology is used, the messages are nonetheless clear. It's a beautiful work; subtle, yet immensely powerful in its message and teachings. I am truly grateful to have found this book and can't recommend it highly enough.
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