When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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by Pema Chodron
     
 

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The beautiful practicality of her teaching has made Pema Chödrön one of the most beloved of contemporary American spiritual authors among Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. A collection of talks she gave between 1987 and 1994, the book is a treasury of wisdom for going on living when we are overcome by pain and difficulties. Chödrön

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Overview

The beautiful practicality of her teaching has made Pema Chödrön one of the most beloved of contemporary American spiritual authors among Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. A collection of talks she gave between 1987 and 1994, the book is a treasury of wisdom for going on living when we are overcome by pain and difficulties. Chödrön discusses:

   •  Using painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and courage
   •  Communicating so as to encourage others to open up rather than shut down
   •  Practices for reversing habitual patterns
   •  Methods for working with chaotic situations
   •  Ways for creating effective social action

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Pema Chodron is one of those spiritual teachers who brings ancient wisdom to bear upon our daily triumphs and tragedies. . . . Incredibly wise and poignantly practical."—Spirituality & Health

"Chödrön's book is filled with useful advice about how Buddhism helps readers to cope with the grim realities of modern life, including fear, despair, rage and the feeling that we are not in control of our lives . . . Chödrön demonstrates how effective the Buddhist point of view can be in bringing order into disordered lives."—Publishers Weekly

"This is a book that could serve you for a lifetime."—Natural Health

"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

Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Tibetan Buddhist Pema Chodron believes that by attending ourselves, we heal ourselves. Her clear call for this root serenity has already won this book over one hundred thousand readers.
Publishers Weekly
Pema Chodron, a student of Chogyam Trunpa Rinpoche and Abbot of Gampo Abbey, has written the Tibetan Buddhist equivalent of Harold Kushner's famous book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. As the author indicates in the postscript to her book: "We live in difficult times. One senses a possibility they may get worse." Consequently, Chodron's book is filled with useful advice about how Buddhism helps readers to cope with the grim realities of modern life, including fear, despair, rage and the feeling that we are not in control of our lives. Through reflections on the central Buddhist teaching of right mindfulness, Chodron orients readers and gives them language with which to shape their thinking about the ordinary and extraordinary traumas of modern life. But most importantly, Chodron demonstrates how effective the Buddhist point of view can be in bringing order into disordered lives. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pema Chodron, a student of Chogyam Trunpa Rinpoche and Abbot of Gampo Abbey, has written the Tibetan Buddhist equivalent of Harold Kushner's famous book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. As the author indicates in the postscript to her book: "We live in difficult times. One senses a possibility they may get worse." Consequently, Chodron's book is filled with useful advice about how Buddhism helps readers to cope with the grim realities of modern life, including fear, despair, rage and the feeling that we are not in control of our lives. Through reflections on the central Buddhist teaching of right mindfulness, Chodron orients readers and gives them language with which to shape their thinking about the ordinary and extraordinary traumas of modern life. But, most importantly, Chodron demonstrates how effective the Buddhist point of view can be in bringing order into disordered lives. (Jan.)
Library Journal
An American Buddhist nun and author (Start Where You Are, LJ 6/1/94), Chdrn here passes on the teachings of the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, advising a loving kindness toward oneself and awakening a compassionate attitude toward our pain and the pain of others. The readings allow us to reconnect with a truth already known or to find a new way of looking at everyday chaos. Throughout, we are shown basic Buddhist beliefs and given instructions in discovering one's true nature through asking questions, facing one's fears, and dealing with the present. The instructions can be taken as meditations, affirmations, or simple reminders of how to transform our minds and actions into nonaggression, which benefits ourselves and society. Popular reading recommended for all libraries; Chodron is donating the proceeds of this book to the Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada.-Leo Kritz, West Des Moines P.L., Ia.
Tricycle Magazine
There are few Dharma voices as clear as Pema Chodron's, and few people who know more about things falling apart than mothers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781570623448
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/2000
Series:
Shambhala Classics Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
19,801
Product dimensions:
8.88(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.44(d)

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Pema Chodron is one of those spiritual teachers who brings ancient wisdom to bear upon our daily triumphs and tragedies. . . . Incredibly wise and poignantly practical."—Spirituality & Health

"Chödrön's book is filled with useful advice about how Buddhism helps readers to cope with the grim realities of modern life, including fear, despair, rage and the feeling that we are not in control of our lives . . . Chödrön demonstrates how effective the Buddhist point of view can be in bringing order into disordered lives."—Publishers Weekly

"This is a book that could serve you for a lifetime."—Natural Health

"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

Meet the Author

Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa. She is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. She is the author of many books and audiobooks, including the best-selling When Things Fall Apart and Don't Bite the Hook.

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When Things Fall Apart 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How many times have you heard a Buddhist intellectual relate a teaching by saying, 'this reminds me of a Gary Larson cartoon I saw once?' Ane Pema Chodron, an American Buddhist Nun, truly knows how to bend the Western ear toward Eastern thought. Further, she does so with honesty, humor and clarity in this amazing book. I purchased this at a time when for me things seemed to be 'falling apart.' It reminds one of the need to attend to and, indeed, love one's self as a path to attending to and loving others. Pema Chodron is truly someone I would love to meet one day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very powerful book. I am a Christian and a therapist but she raised some questions and issues that I wished I had studied many years ago. This is the most impactful book I have ever read
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book after my mother died, and it did help me. Specifically, I found helpful the concepts that suffering connects us to other humans, not just today but who have suffered down through history, and that such events can be viewed as a gift, to 'wake us up' and help us become enlightened. Nobody wants pain, but it is better to face it and have a way of dealing with it positively.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book to help us all survive these difficult times with loving kindness toward one another instead of blame and "me-first" mentality. It helped me "lean into" difficult times instead of running to the refrigerator or the mall. Just READ IT!
kcacciotti More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for one of my english classes as Saint Norbert College and it isn't really a self help book but it sure has helped me. Now I have this little pema that sits on my shoulder when I start to panic and she just tells be let it fall apart it will go back and fall apart again and again there is no use freaking out about it. I really like the stories in the book that she uses to get her point across as well. One book from school I don't mind hanging onto
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
During a desperately difficult time in my life, Chodron's counsel calmed me. I had no idea how my terrible situation would be resolved (or not) or how I would be able to continue on. Chodron said that it was CRITICAL for a suffering individual to learn how to care for herself inside this uncertain, suffering state, day by day, hour by hour, - and not to wait till everything was "all better" before agreeing to eat quality meals, bathe and dress, or go for a walk for an hour, even during great stress. She suggested that it is a far more laudable accomplishment to live well in uncertainty, than ever it is to wait until everything is fine before treating oneself like a loved human being. Sage advice I have kept close.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If youre sad, scared, angry, hurt or alone read this book. It will change your life. I always come back to this book.
LibraBB More than 1 year ago
I’ve read a plethora of “self-help” books over the past years – most of which had at least some useful nugget. This book was different. When I finished I commented to a friend “I don’t think I need to read any more books – I just need to read this one over and over.” Of course, the key is that it’s not just about reading but about doing what’s suggested – that’s the hard part.
415Pam More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book, and immediately started it again. Chodron is real, and gives real strategies for battling emotional demons like fear, anger, etc. She shares her own struggles, and gives great guidelines. I have used her lessons in my own meditation practices with great results. I even sleep better at night! This one is a keeper.
SofiaReddy More than 1 year ago
I think this audio book was helpful to me in learning more effective ways to use meditation in my life. It's definitely a must read for those who are interested in improving and refining their meditation practice. Pema Chodron reminds us, however, that there is no right or wrong way to practice meditation but there are some useful suggestions you can incorporate into your practice. I enjoyed several concepts she discusses and the references she makes are helpful. One important point she makes is about the challenge we face in making changes in our lives. Pema explains that our lives are similar to the rotating mill wheel that we decide needs to reverse it's rotation. She reminds us that at first, it takes a lot of effort and energy to begin the process of reversing the wheel's direction, but once you make the commitment and invest that time it then starts spinning in the other direction almost effortlessly. She also talks about fear and how we have to learn to face it in order to overcome it. She gives the example of a Buddhist monk visiting a Monastery where a fierce dog ready to attack is chained to a gate from which he breaks free and starts running towards the group. While the others run away in fear, the monk runs towards the dog with an equal fierceness that stops it in its tracks. I like that analogy in terms of how we must learn to face scary things in our own lives. We can either choose to run away from them or face them and defeat them. It's a profound read and not for the faint of heart. It definitely is a book I'll need to go back to often, because there is a lot of deepness to it that can't be fully absorbed in one setting. I find myself reflecting and journaling on many of the key points. I love the audio version because I can pause the CD where I need to and then go back to it when I'm ready for the next major point. I think I'll be re-reading it (or listening to it) soon. There's always something new to absorb each time.
inkman More than 1 year ago
This is a good book because things will fall apart, even this book. Everything in the universe falls apart. We should learn and know how to deal with it. Pema Chodron expresses this truth wonderfully.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pema Chodron reminds us that the only way to get through life's difficult moments is to go through them. Not to escape, to hide, but to face them head on, face them consciously. If we do this, she proves, we will get richness from our difficult experiences, even if we do not get comfort. Her take on the powerful and often misunderstood practice of tonglen is first rate. She shows us how to use tonglen to make our difficulties digestible, instead of pennances to be endured. In her view, spiritual progress is a move down to profundity, where we can find compassion to relate to others no matter what we --or they -- they are called to do. Much more satisfying than a climb to the peak where we stand alone, as if that would make us "better than others." Maybe at the profound bottom, other readers will find her promise of "the love that does not die," something I can't yet claim.
CJBrassard More than 1 year ago
There is a gentleness to the way Pema Chodron writes. Clearly, she comes from the Buddhist perspective - she is a Buddhist nun. However, she is also an American woman who has come to this spiritual tradition and represents it in a way a Western reader can easily relate to for their use in daily life. Great stuff!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a nice book for anyone, not just for those who feel that things are falling apart. It offers insight into accepting life just as it is, in this moment. The author shares her 'wisdom mind' in this concise and compassionate book about finding peace within the fundamental groundlessness of life.
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AutumnL More than 1 year ago
This book calmed the fear that lives in me sometimes.  Thanks to Pema I remember to love for the sake of all livings things and live my life by that code.
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Pema Chodron is the best!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very helpful in putting things into perspective