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Start where you are : a guide to compassionate living
Chodron, Pema
Adult Nonfiction BQ7805 .C49 1994

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From Publishers' Weekly:

"This book is about awakening the heart," writes the American Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chodron. "If you have every wondered how to awaken your genuine compassionate heart, this book will serve you as a guide." This is a broad and simple statement, and those unfamiliar with When Things Fall Apart or other titles by Chodron may rightfully fear that a volley of nonsensical fuzzballs is on the way. Good bedtime reading, perhaps, but in the decade since its original 1994 publication, there seems to be even less grounds to claim that all humans are innately capable of openness, clarity and compassion (or "bodhichitta"). What follows, however, is a savvy, down-to-earth contemporary version of an old Tibetan Buddhist technique for mind training, or "lojong," supported by instructions in basic sitting meditation practice (to cultivate tranquility and insight) and "tonglen"-a meditative technique that involves taking in the dark, heavy, negative emotions and sending out an attitude of light, compassionate embrace, a warm spaciousness, in its place. Chodron supplies a pithy contemporary analysis for each of 59 "slogans" that make up the teaching behind this practice. "There is a saying that is the underlying principle of tonglen and slogan practice: 'Gain and victory to others, loss and defeat to myself,'" she writes. Far from being as masochistic as this may sound to Western ears, however, the aim is get people to unclench the heart and mind, to dare to taste defeat. Although far from easy, Chodron's humane, incisive approach can help any sincere reader learn to relate to fear and pain and pleasure and joy in a way that will open their hearts to the richness of their own lives and all life. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

From Library Journal:

American Buddhist nun Chödrön, who was trained in the Tibetan tradition by the late Chögyam Trungpa, provides a book of meditative insights and instructions based on the 59 Tibetan Buddhist slogans for developing compassion, e.g., ``When we find that we are holding back, here is instruction on how to give.'' While some of the slogans depend on Buddhist teaching, many-such as ``be grateful to everyone''-are widely applicable. Chödrön's teachings are supported by personal reflections, clear explanations, and an attention to how one may achieve the goal of compassion. Useful both for Buddhist meditators and those wanting to understand Buddhist spirituality, this is recommended for large public and academic libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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