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130+ Works 13,134 Members 209 Reviews 46 Favorited

About the Author

Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist nun
Disambiguation Notice:

born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown

Image credit: http://www.christinealicino.com/

Works by Pema Chödrön

Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears (2009) — Author — 641 copies, 14 reviews
Practicing Peace in Times of War (2006) 324 copies, 8 reviews
Getting Unstuck (2005) 241 copies, 8 reviews
How We Live Is How We Die (2022) 79 copies, 1 review
A Noble Heart (1998) 56 copies, 1 review
True Happiness (2005) 53 copies, 2 reviews
Tonglen, the Path of Transformation (2001) 46 copies, 1 review
Pure Meditation (v. 3) (2000) 28 copies
Good Medicine [VHS] (1999) 4 copies
Alles hier is welkom (2020) 3 copies, 1 review
Wisdom and Compassion [video recording] (2005) — Contributor — 3 copies
Opening the Heart (2012) 2 copies
Faire de sa vulnérabilité une force (2022) 2 copies, 1 review
Senza via di scampo (2018) 1 copy
Tonglen 1 copy

Associated Works

The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation (1976) — Foreword, some editions — 665 copies, 5 reviews
Wise Women: Over Two Thousand Years of Spiritual Writing by Women (1996) — Contributor — 203 copies, 1 review
Finding Freedom: How Death Row Broke and Opened My Heart (1997) — Foreword, some editions — 149 copies, 5 reviews
The Intelligent Heart: A Guide to the Compassionate Life (2016) — Foreword, some editions — 28 copies
The Analog Sea Review: Number Two (2019) — Contributor — 19 copies, 1 review
Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason: Pema Chodron (2006) — Guest — 4 copies
Crazy Wisdom: The Life & Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (2011, film) (2011) — Featured, some editions — 3 copies
Teachings on Milarepa (2008, film) (2008) — Featured — 3 copies, 1 review


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Common Knowledge



Several years ago during a very painful portion of my life, I was introduced by a therapist to Buddhist wisdom as an adjunct to my Christian faith.

I find these slogans useful and a good quiet meditation for the beginning of the day to align my heart, mind and purpose.

The chapters are very short and I believe I would be benefited by reading them regularly.
streamsong | 15 other reviews | Apr 4, 2024 |
This book is a transcription of a series of dhamma talks given by Pema Chodron during a "dathun" (one month retreat) in Gampo Abbey. The book is not the best introduction to buddhism. It doesn't have a clear structure and the language is a bit too fuzzy for my taste.
However, after reading so much books on buddhism by practitioners and teachers of the insight meditation tradition, the talks of Pema Chodron provide a new, more personal perspective on the dhamma and meditation. It's clear from the book that Chodron comes from Tibetan buddhism and her focus on dealing with suffering, cultivation compassion and 'gentleness' was really interesting.
I really enjoyed her explanation of tonglen meditation.
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jd7h | 11 other reviews | Feb 18, 2024 |
I’ve read and reviewed at least one other book by this author.

We learn in the introduction that the Buddha taught us that focusing too much on our own self-interest brings us pain and anxiety while extending our love and care toward others brings us joy and peace.

But the teachings in the book deal with the bardos. The word “bardo” refers to the passage following our death and preceding our next life.

The bardo teachings are based on an ancient Tibetan text called “Bardo Todrol”, in English “The Tibetan Book of the Dead”.

Bardo Todrol is meant to be read to those who have passed away and entered this state.

It describes the various experiences the dead person will go through and thus serves as a guide to help them navigate what may be a “disorienting” journey from this life to the next.

Hearing the Bardo Todrol “will optimize one’s chances for a peaceful death, a peaceful journey, and favorable rebirth”.

In the best-case scenario one will be liberated altogether from samsara , the painful cycle of life and death.”

A broader translation of the word “bardo” is “transition”. Actually, we are always in transition.

There are six bardos in The Tibetan Book of the Dead; the natural bardo of this life, the bardo of dreaming, the bardo of meditation, the bardo of dying, the bardo of dharmata, and the bardo of becoming.

Whe we understand that this life is a bardo, a state of continual change, we will be able to face any other bardos that may arise.

The bardo of dying begins when we realize we’re going to die and lasts until our final breath, Then comes the bardo of dharmata, which means “the true nature of phenomena”; then there is the bardo of becoming during which we make the transition to our next life.

In the present book Pema talks about these three bardos in detail.

The book is about fear of death and how we relate to it.

Pema wants us to become more at ease with death.

Opening to death will help you open to life.

She tells us that death happens every moment. “We live in a wondrous flow of birth and death, birth and death.”

Establishing our motivation in this way is known as “generating bodhichitta, the heart of compassion, or the mindset of awakening”.

There is a continual process of death and renewal, which is known as “impermanence”.

The Buddha stressed impermanence as one of the most important “contemplations” on the spiritual path.

“Contemplating impermanence is the perfect way into the Bardo teachings,”

The Buddha taught about the three types of suffering.

The first type is “the suffering of suffering”, e.g. war, starvation, abuse, neglect.

The seconf type is “the suffering of change”, We can never get our life to be just the way we want; we can never reach a position where we’re always feeling good.

The third type of suffering is known as “all-pervasive suffering”. It is the constant discomfort that comes from our basic resistance to life as it really is.

(This is my own type of suffering.)

Trungpa Rinpoche had a saying “Trust not in success. Trust in reality.”

Pema also quotes Thich Nhat Hanh as saying “It’s not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.”

She often refers to “groundlessness”. I just wished she had defined the word, since I don’t really understand what she means. The word does not appear in the Oxford English Dictionary.

It is Pema’s experience that applying the Bardo teachings has removed much of her fear and anxiety about death.

Also, it has made her feel more alive, open and courageous in her day-to-day experience of life.

In the appendix we learn about various practices – basic sitting meditation, meditating with open awareness, tonglen and the five Buddha families.

The above will give you an impression of the content of the book.

It didn’t make me less afraid of death because I'm not afraid of it to begin with. If anything, it made me feel that death is more complicated than I had thought.
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IonaS | Feb 16, 2024 |
the world does not need any more books written by white people, when there are plenty of good books on the same topic by people more qualified to talk on the subject.
EmberMantles | 56 other reviews | Jan 1, 2024 |


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