June 5, 2006

“When Things Fall Apart”

Heart Advice
for Difficult Times
by Pema Chodron

Publisher Comments:
There is a fundamental happiness right within our reach, yet we usually miss it--ironically, while caught up in attempts to escape pain and suffering. Pema Chodron's radical and compassionate advice for what to do when things fall apart in our lives goes against the grain of our usual habits and expectations and confronts us with traditional Buddhist wisdom. There is only one approach to suffering that is of lasting benefit, Pema teaches, and that approach involves moving toward painful situations to the best of our ability with friendliness and curiosity, relaxing into the essential groundlessness of our entire situation. It is there, in the midst of chaos, that we can discover the truth and love that are indestructible. Included in the book are: Ways to use painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and courage Ways to communicate that lead to openness and true intimacy with others Practices for reversing our negative habitual patterns Methods for working with chaotic situations Ways to cultivate compassionate, energetic social action.

Meaningful Quotes:
Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what's waiting out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.

Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.

Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it.

Sticking with uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic – this is the spiritual path.

Mindfulness is a lifetime's journey to relate honestly to the immediacy of our experience and to respect ourselves enough not to judge it.

The basic idea of generosity is to train in thinking bigger, to do ourselves the world's biggest favor and stop cultivating our own scheme.

Part of being awake is slowing down enough to notice what we say and do. The more we witness our emotional chain reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain. It becomes a way of life to stay awake, slow down, and notice.

Cultivating nonaggression is cultivating peace.

We have to do our best and at the same time give up all hope of fruition.

Discipline provides the support to slow down enough and be present enough so that we can live our lives without making a big mess.

Never give up on yourself. Then you will never give up on others.

We don't need to add more depression, more discouragement, or more anger to what's already here. It's becoming essential that we learn how to relate sanely with difficult times.

Sometimes you just have to let everything fall apart.

Other books by Pema Chodron:
Start Where You Are
Comfortable with Uncertainty
Good Medicine
No Time to Lose