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When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (1996)

by Pema Chödrön

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2,716494,265 (4.26)25
Pema Chödrön's perennially best-selling classic on overcoming life's difficulties cuts to the heart of spirituality and personal growth--now in a newly designed 20th-anniversary edition with a new afterword by Pema--makes for a perfect gift and addition to one's spiritual library. How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart--when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? The answer, Pema Chödrön suggests, might be just the opposite of what you expect. Here, in her most beloved and acclaimed work, Pema shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.… (more)
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English (47)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Unfinished ( )
  AstridG | Apr 28, 2022 |
I know that Pema Chodron is an ordinary mortal, just like me, and would not wish to be deified, but her words may just be my savior. When Things Fall Apart is a short book that nonetheless demands to be read slowly and savored. I had started it before, but never finished. Now that I have finished, I'm quite sure that I could read it a hundred times and still have more to learn. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
I truly value this book. Chodron clarifies and redefines some of the main obstacles I've come to in trying to "understand" Buddhism, which mainly surround my perception of its seeming negativity. Perhaps it's because she's a woman (I've only read male Buddhist perspectives so far), maybe it's because she's an American (I've only read Asian Buddhist perspectives), or maybe it's because she's just a good writer. Either way, Chodron focuses more on the journey and less on the destination, which makes it great for those who find the ground has slipped from beneath them. I will always come back to this book.

*****

I can't tell you just how many times I've come back to this book over the years. Chodron gives me a loving kick in the pants every single time and reminds me to open myself up to every experience, no matter if it's the best or shittiest. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
A good explanation of some foundational Buddhist beliefs, written with Chodron's typical humility and wisdom. The title is a little off-putting, as it is not really a recovery kind of book, but is for all times, not just difficult ones. ( )
  evenlake | Mar 23, 2021 |
Quite possibly the most impacting book I have ever read in my life. I picked this up when I thought things were going wonderfully. I had no idea how much more there was in life. "As I become more wholehearted in my journey of gentle honesty, it comes as quite a shock to realize how much I've blinded myself to some of the ways I've caused harm. My style has been so ingrained that I've not heard when others have tried to tell me, either kindly or rudely that I am causing harm by the way I am or the way I relate with others. I've become so used to the way I do things that somehow I thought that others were used to it too." Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Heart advise for difficult times, intimacy without fear... I honestly avoided this book because of the Buddhist perspective. Instead, it was a beautiful LIFE perspective, not a book on Buddhism. Coming from a thick Christian perspective, I found this book to have a healthy, fertile journey of what everyone who wants fullness, peace, healing. Absolutely the most wonderful book I have ever read. ( )
  CultDoctor | Mar 1, 2021 |
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Pema Chödrön's perennially best-selling classic on overcoming life's difficulties cuts to the heart of spirituality and personal growth--now in a newly designed 20th-anniversary edition with a new afterword by Pema--makes for a perfect gift and addition to one's spiritual library. How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart--when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? The answer, Pema Chödrön suggests, might be just the opposite of what you expect. Here, in her most beloved and acclaimed work, Pema shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.

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How can we go on living when things fall apart—when we are overcome by pain, fear, and anxiety? Pema Chödrön’s answer to that question contains some spectacularly good news: there is a fundamental happiness readily available to each one of us, no matter how difficult things seem to be. To find it, according to traditional Buddhist teaching, we must learn to stop running from suffering and instead actually learn to approach it—fearlessly, compassionately, and with curiosity. This radical practice enables us to use all situations, even very painful ones, as means for discovering the truth and love that are utterly indestructible.
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