Synopses & Reviews
We always have a choice, Pema Chödrön 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 kinder. Pema's previous works provided the inspiration and guidance to confront the problems and difficulties that life throws our way. Here she provides the specific tools to deal with them to cultivate the awakened, compassionate ability to open our hearts and minds to our own suffering and that of others. This wisdom is always available to us, Pema teaches, but we usually block it with habitual patterns rooted in fear. Beyond that fear lies a state of openheartedness and tenderness. In The Places That Scare You, Pema Chödrön shows us how to: Move toward what makes us feel insecure, uncertain, and fearful as a way to awaken our basic goodness and connect with others; cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity; accept ourselves and others, complete with faults and imperfections; stay in the present moment by seeing through the strategies of ego that cause us to resist life as it is; use "on-the-spot" practices to tap into natural reservoirs of humor, flexibility, courage, and wisdom; establish a relationship with a spiritual teacher.
"[Chödrön] once again presents Tibetan Buddhist wisdom in a clear, engaging, and undiluted way, making it useful and relevant for newcomers and longtime practitioners alike....Her clear and simple descriptions guide the reader through these powerful and sometimes difficult practices. Chödrön has once again proven herself to be one of the very best working in this crowded field." Library Journal
In The Places That Scare You, Pema Chö drö n continues the teachings of When Things Fall Apart, showing how at the core of the most painful experiences lie the seeds of spiritual awakening. Here she presents key teachings on recognizing and cultivating the " soft spot" that is the gateway to compassion and open-heartedness. In this book she discusses: The four great catalysts of awakening, and how to integrate them into our lives Why the " soft spot" is necessary for spiritual awakening The basic goodness that is inherently ours How the three noble principles can enrich everything we do The maitri meditation that multiplies love Why an attitude of " don't know" can be wiser than the world's greatest spiritual teachings How to keep the heart open with equal fearlessness to both heartache and delight
About the Author
As a fully ordained bhikshuni, or Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön is one of a very small number of women, one of an even smaller number of Western women, involved in the Tibetan tradition, and certainly the first American practitioner of the vajrayana tradition to undergo the preparation for and ceremony of full ordination.