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The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times (2001)

de Pema Chödrön

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1,479189,557 (4.19)11
Lifelong guidance for learning to change the way we relate to the scary and difficult moments of our lives, showing us how we can use all of our difficulties and fears as a way to soften our hearts and open us to greater kindness. We always have a choice in how we react to the circumstances of our lives. We can let them harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and allow our inherent human kindness to shine through. Here Pema Chödrön provides essential tools for dealing with the many difficulties that life throws our way, teaching us how to awaken our basic human goodness and connect deeply with others--to accept ourselves and everything around us complete with faults and imperfections. She shows the strength that comes from staying in touch with what's happening in our lives right now and helps us unmask the ways in which our egos cause us to resist life as it is. If we go to the places that scare us, Pema suggests, we just might find the boundless life we've always dreamed of. This book is printed on deckled edge paper.… (mais)
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As I was brushing my teeth this morning after finishing this book, this line came into my head:

When I find myself of times of trouble, Pema Chodron calls to me, speaking words of wisdom: Let it be...

Corny, huh? Totally true. I read When Things Fall Apart over a year ago when I was going through a really rough time, and when I hit a serious road block nearly two months ago, I picked this'n up. In similar fashion with my reading habits of late, I only just finished this wonderful morsel. I won't be stashing it away on the old bookshelf just yet though. I've still got tough times to face, so it will stay right where it is on my nightstand.

At first I was totally repelled by the title in accordance with my instant aversion to anything sounding like a self-help book (perhaps that's too telling...) (I bristled before falling in love with Amy Hempel's Reasons to Live), but then I thought, "You know what? I do need help." And then, "Yeah, 'cause you know what? I am freaked the F*** out right now." I love her. She is the most accesible Buddhist author I've yet encountered. Her approach is realistic--even though I am still struggling with the craziness, I am slowly able to incorporate the exercises, acting on the moment.

Favorite line: "All too frequently we relate like timid birds who don't dare to leave the nest. Here we sit in a nest that's getting pretty smelly and that hasn't served its function for a very long time" (8). You heard it, folks. Smelly nest. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
I loved this, listened to it last year ( )
  LoisSusan | Dec 10, 2020 |
While I have read another of Pema Chodron's books and therefore knew what to expect, this was a thought-provoking, mind-altering experience, and perhaps, I can hope, a life-changing one as well. One of the tenets of the book is that we experience everything that happens to us through our egos, and therefore do not experience anything clearly and unfiltered. Our egos are trying to limit or control the uncertainty and ambiguity in the world around us. Every experience, every conversation, every interaction is influenced by this internal dialogue that often has nothing to do with the experience itself. One of the suggestions which was helpful to me to try is to experience any emotion you feel separate from that internal story-telling. For instance, you get angry. How does it feel to be angry? What are you feeling in your body when you are angry? Do that without thinking about the event that you believe caused you to become angry or engaging in any internal dialogue that ties the emotion and the event together. How can you deal with the emotion completely separate from the event?

I may be misrepresenting the ideas in the book, but how do you explain the value of the book without describing some of the ideas and what they mean to you. I was only able to absorb a fraction of what was presented; that is my limitation. This will definitely be worth a second read, and perhaps a third, in an effort to absorb what I did not get the first time around and to better understand those ideas I did grasp. ( )
  afkendrick | Oct 24, 2020 |
It sucked. It rocked! Doesn't really matter. This lady is smart. How exactly do you pronounce Chodron? Does it rhyme with scantron or Cam'ron?

I guess when life throws you or someone you know lemons it's best not to throw back shade or schadenfreude. ( )
  nfulks32 | Jul 17, 2020 |
One of the most inspiring spiritual teachers of our time offers simple, practical advice for living with less fear, less anxiety and a more open heart.

We always have a choice, Pema Chodron teaches: We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kind.

This book shows us how to awaken our basic goodness and connect to others. In her lively, contemporary voice, Chodron translates the wisdom of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for the layperson. Her fans come from all religions and none. Her wisdom cuts across all traditions and religions – appealing to everyone from the Dalai Lama’s followers to ordinary people trying to make sense of their lives.

This title went straight onto the bestseller lists in the USA when it was originally published. Pema Chodron is a spiritual teacher for anyone – whether they have a spiritual path or not. Her heartfelt advice and wisdom (developed in her 20 years of practice as a Tibetan Buddhist nun as well as her years previously as a normal ‘housewife and mother’) give her a wide appeal. Particularly in these difficult times, this advice strikes just the right note, offering us comfort and challenging us to live deeply and contribute to creating a more loving world.
  Langri_Tangpa_Centre | Jan 26, 2020 |
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Lifelong guidance for learning to change the way we relate to the scary and difficult moments of our lives, showing us how we can use all of our difficulties and fears as a way to soften our hearts and open us to greater kindness. We always have a choice in how we react to the circumstances of our lives. We can let them harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and allow our inherent human kindness to shine through. Here Pema Chödrön provides essential tools for dealing with the many difficulties that life throws our way, teaching us how to awaken our basic human goodness and connect deeply with others--to accept ourselves and everything around us complete with faults and imperfections. She shows the strength that comes from staying in touch with what's happening in our lives right now and helps us unmask the ways in which our egos cause us to resist life as it is. If we go to the places that scare us, Pema suggests, we just might find the boundless life we've always dreamed of. This book is printed on deckled edge paper.

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