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

by Pema Chödrön

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2,315404,526 (4.25)24
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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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Thought it would be a perfect book to read at a time like this but maybe it's one of those books not read when you actually need it. It's something I've seen around and the title always intrigued me, but it's a title I had not had a chance to get to until recently.

I have to agree with the negative comments. I wasn't sure what I was looking for, but the book seems very vague, meandering and I'm not really sure what it was trying to tell me or what it was trying to do. Apparently it has been seen as victim-blaming and while I can see that, I'm also not sure if it quite goes there. That said, as a heads up this may definitely not be a book for everyone.

Perhaps if I was more familiar with the author or Buddhism this might have struck a deeper chord for me. This one just wasn't it and I'd skip it.

Bought as a bargain book but would recommend the library instead. ( )
  acciolibros | Apr 15, 2020 |
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
  PSZC | Oct 28, 2019 |
What a wonderful book. I don't know as it contains any new ideas but Pema disseminates Buddhist teaching is a very digestible relatable way and I think anyone's life could be improved by reading this book. ( )
  ZephyrusW | Feb 17, 2019 |
I found this book to be full of ideas and theories that I was not familiar with. It is a collection of talks and teachings that Chodron had given throughout her life as a Buddhist Nun. I am not as familiar with this style, so I found them slightly difficult to read and very redundant. Maybe her style is just to talk in circles, but it feels a lot like a transcript for a TED talk, and I think ultimately i would get more out of an audiobook than I did this. It will take a few re-reads go let it all sink in. ( )
  Karen.Helfrick | Jan 16, 2019 |
A must-read for those interested in or practicing Buddhism. I know I'll be reading this many more times throughout my life. ( )
  cavernism | Jan 11, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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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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