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The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times Mass Market Paperback – 13 Mar 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 13 Mar 2007
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications; Reprint edition (13 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590304497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590304495
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1.4 x 18.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,475,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘It's short, and so beautifully written that the reading is a pleasure – speaks to people of all religious persuasions. The clearsighted practicality of Chödrön's approach to the practice of meditation is a persuasive introduction to its benefits in our daily lives. Her voice is , understanding, gently humorous, always kind and seemingly infinitely wise.’ The LA Times

‘As one of Pema Chödrön’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

‘It is a lively and accessible take on ancient techniques for transforming terror and pain into joy and compassion.’ O, the Oprah Winfrey magazine

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

We always have a choice, Pema Chodron teaches: We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kind.
This title has gone straight onto the bestseller lists in the USA, where it has just been published. 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. Particularly in these difficult times, 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 the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I’ve been interested in meditation for most of my adult life & have practiced a wide range of different techniques with different organisations. Favouring more secular practices, I always shied away from Tibetan Buddhism & its esoteric cultural trappings. For instance, when I was first taught Ton Glen meditation, it involved visualizing myself as a Buddha with a particular symbolic meaning, who was holding various symbolic objects, etc. Even though I was briefly told what they were, a lack of familiarity with this image made it difficult to relate to. Then I recently attended a Mindfulness course in which the teacher taught a secularized, Western-friendly variation of Ton Glen. Rather than a Buddha, he asked us to visualise ourselves at an earlier age, and then give this earlier self all the compassion, forgiveness & emotional support which they had needed at the time. This was an incredibly powerful experience for me. And, as it turned out, it was the version of Ton Glen which features heavily in this book.

Prior to this, I hadn’t really used visualizations in meditation & it wasn’t something which appealed to me. Yet I found this version of Ton Glen to be incredibly powerful. No prior book-learning of the Tibetan Buddhist canon was necessary & the emotional link to a difficult time in my past helped to connect with some deeply-rooted feelings & mental processes. The consensus in the group discussion afterwards was that it had helped those of us who had no problem with meditating on compassion for others but who struggled to find compassion for themselves. This, as Pema Chodran points out in this book, means we had not been extending our compassion to everyone in the universe.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very insightful book on meditation. It talks about opening ourselves while taking a hard look at who we are and not escaping our problems. Is not a cheesy self help book... in fact, it's very no-nonsense. I would not recommend it to a beginner, because it speaks about the struggles you can find during the practice. Even though is short, it is not an easy read, not because it's boring - is actually, fascinating - but because it is complex. You may find yourself trying to absorb the words and re-reading them to fully understand the message (maybe I'm just dumb). The main reason I say is not for beginners is that you need to be a meditaton practicioner, without the practice you won't relate to the problems she's addressing. If you worry that your meditation practice is failing you, or you have neglected it, or you simply worry about it not being perfect, this book is for you. It's definitely more than what meets the eye, I know this because the first two pages I was not convinced and then I ended up completely blown away but it's realistic, analytical approach and sometimes even cold hard truths.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like Pema Chodron's writing style. She expresses herself in a really clear and kind manner. But, I think I would prefer to hear the contents of this book delivered in a workshop as it's difficult to take on board some of her teachings by just reading them. (She tends to use lists with 4 items a lot).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really enjoyable, a good read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book made me feel raw and uncomfortable at times - being like a mirror, reflecting back elements of my 'self' that aren't noble or particularly nice. But, she counters that with honest, direct and compassionate advice to a) ease up on yourself, b) it doesn't really matter, and c) attactching to negative self-references is not the point. Not particularly academic, but then that's just what you need for realistic, day-to-day guidance that can be put to use in your daily doings. Simple, potent and useful.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book provides a gentle introduction into some of the basic practices within the Buddhist school of thought.

Some of the practices that were presented included Meditation, Slogans of Atisha, Tonglen and the Four Limitless Qualities (Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity).

The practices aim to present an alternative ways of dealing with common emotions and feeling that we encounter in our daily life. The practices are presented as a way of helping us break away from the self destructive patterns of behaviours and attitudes that we have accumulated and were forced to pick up along the way in our lives. The key ideas in the book revolve around the opening of both the mind and heart to all the emotions that we experience and the situations we find ourselves in.

This was my first book on this subject, and as such I found it a little of a challenge to follow some of the concepts that were presented in the book, and my only minor criticism is the lack of sufficient examples that could have been used to illustrate some of the points that were being made.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have found the voice of my teacher in this book. Erudite and esoteric. Inspiring and inaccessible. Infuriating and enlightening. By finishing the book, I am only just starting it.
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Format: Paperback
I had read a few books by connected authors on this theme, which is very dear to my heart as I have found these practices and teachings so very very useful and liberating. So I bought this book as a present for my partner as it is small, and seemed to cover a whole range of themes very nicely.
Now, more and more, I find myself dipping into it myself, again and again. Pema Chodron seems to have distilled all the most essential Teachings of Buddhism into this little book, in a way that is so very approachable, practical and useable.
This is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful book. I can't recommend it enough. What an amazing, beautiful, free and loving society we might have in the future if lots of people really bring these Teachings into their lives. Please read it, then give a copy to a friend...
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