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Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living (Shambhala Classics) (1994)

by Pema Chödrön

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1,2131512,481 (4.19)18
Start Where You Are is an indispensable handbook for cultivating fearlessness and awakening a compassionate heart. With insight and humor, Pema Chödrön presents down-to-earth guidance on how we can "start where we are"--embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives. Pema Chödrön frames her teachings on compassion around fifty-nine traditional Tibetan Buddhist maxims, or slogans, such as: "Always apply only a joyful state of mind," "Don't seek others' pain as the limbs of your own happiness," and "Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment." Working with these slogans and through the practice of meditation, Start Where You Are shows how we can all develop the courage to work with our inner pain and discover joy, well-being, and confidence.… (more)
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English (14)  French (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Pema never disappoints. Lots of chewy goodness here. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
I am pretty sure I have read this before but for some reason I can't find any record of it on my goodreads account. Pema Chodron is a Buddhist nun of some repute and has written a variety of English language books. This particular book is about learning to accept yourself and your situation whatever that may be, and how to develop compassion for others in even the most trying of circumstances. Many of Chodron's books are very accessible and approach things in a very practical and pragmatic modern way. This book however isn't one of those, it digs deeper into some of the more esoteric Buddhist ways. This doesn't mean that there is nothing of practical value, in fact there is plenty, but I personally prefer not to have to rely on belief to get results.

This isn't a bad book, it just isn't quite what I was hoping it was. ( )
  Brian. | Mar 12, 2021 |
I would have had a difficult time with this book if I had not been meditating and reading up on the subject for a while. It seems to have been derived from a series of talks on mind training "lojong", a certain teaching that incorporates slogans to reflect upon. Despite the jargon, she keeps up a friendly, chatty tone while presenting intense ideas about how to approach the experience of having a brain with thoughts and emotions. It's given me some new tools to work with. Thanks, Pema! ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
Don't let my three (and a half) star rating dissuade you from reading this. It's substantial, and I think it will help people. There was however an off-the-cuff remark about eating hotdogs or hamburgers for lunch that I found inconsistent with compassionate living, so I docked a star off. ( )
  jasoncomely | Nov 3, 2018 |
This book definitely requires a re-read, as do all of Pema's books. I find some of the slogans difficult to understand, having had no experience in Buddhism. But that doesn't take away the wisdom inherent in this book. I take her advice to help me understand not just other's actions but my own as well. ( )
  Soulmuser | May 30, 2017 |
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Start Where You Are is an indispensable handbook for cultivating fearlessness and awakening a compassionate heart. With insight and humor, Pema Chödrön presents down-to-earth guidance on how we can "start where we are"--embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives. Pema Chödrön frames her teachings on compassion around fifty-nine traditional Tibetan Buddhist maxims, or slogans, such as: "Always apply only a joyful state of mind," "Don't seek others' pain as the limbs of your own happiness," and "Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment." Working with these slogans and through the practice of meditation, Start Where You Are shows how we can all develop the courage to work with our inner pain and discover joy, well-being, and confidence.

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