When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Pema Chödrön

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When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

When Things Fall Apart Heart Advice for Difficult Times The beautiful practicality of her teaching has made Pema Ch dr n one of the most beloved of contemporary American spiritual authors among Buddhists and non Buddhists alike A collection of talks she ga

  • Title: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  • Author: Pema Chödrön
  • ISBN: 9781570623448
  • Page: 421
  • Format: Paperback
  • The beautiful practicality of her teaching has made Pema Ch dr n 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 Ch dr n discusses Using painful emotionsThe beautiful practicality of her teaching has made Pema Ch dr n 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 Ch dr n 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

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      Published :2018-06-24T12:44:46+00:00

    One thought on “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

    1. Kristy on said:

      I read this book over and over again. I LOVE her and her simple, straightforward way of talking about really deep spirituality. What initially attracted me to this book is kind of a funny story actually, I was going through a rough breakup and happened to be wandering through the stacks at the ICPL. I pulled this book off the shelf, just by chance. So she begins the book by telling the story of how her marriage ended, when her husband drove up to their house one day and announced that he had met [...]

    2. Kermit on said:

      My therapist recommended this book when I was dealing with the end of my 11-yr relationship. She introduced it to me saying that often, when things seems the darkest, it just means we on the verge of breakthrough. I was like "OK, that makes some sense." Then it sat on my book shelf for 8 YEARS! Then my roommate Anya read it and told me it was a MUST READ. So I did. Wow! No, really WOW!I have never heard Buddhist philosophy laid out so clearly and accessibly for the Western mind. And you don't h [...]

    3. Miv on said:

      I first read this book nearly 10 years ago when I was going through a difficult, painful divorce. This book set me on a path of healing that has continued to the present day. I have recently gone through an even more devastating loss - the death of my daughter - and I went back to this book, and found its gentle wisdom helped me go through my grief and find my sanity. I recommend this book to anyone going through loss, or, for that matter, for anyone going through LIFE, since we will all inevita [...]

    4. Nita Costello on said:

      It was divine intervention that I found & read this book. I had just hurriedly packed a trailer full of stuff & moved out of my house. I was in a bad place. I lost my job. My marriage was a huge disaster. And at age 30, I had to move in with my parents along with my son, 12. I was so wrecked, I often went into the bathroom to cry. I didn't want my son to see me in this state. Broken. I stayed in a depression for months. Seeing this, my mom suggested we go to Half Price Books to get out o [...]

    5. Jenny (Reading Envy) on said:

      This book has come up multiple times in conversation in the last year so I decided to get it from the library. This will be a book I will buy to keep in my collection, to pull off the shelf and read bits of when I'm having a rough time. I actually wish I had it a couple of years ago when things really did fall apart for a while. More typically, life is full of moments where minor things go wrong, when you get angry or sad about a particular situation, or when you get bogged down with the shoulds [...]

    6. David Peirce on said:

      Pema Chodron is one of the first Buddhist writers I found as I began to explore Buddhist philosophy, along with Tara Brach and Thich Nhat Hanh. These are writers who understand the disconnection of Western culture. She writes and talks primarily about dealing with both the subtle undercurrent of fear and the rushes of fear from turbulent events that we all face in life from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective. This is my favorite book by her of the 4 or 5 that I own, and I've read it at least 10 time [...]

    7. Sienna on said:

      This is the sort of book that enters your life precisely when you need it, when you're living the title and not much else. Or, more precisely, this is the sort of book you don't pick up until you need it — when your husband hands you his copy, your mother extols the virtues of the author and your best friend nods sagely from the other side of the world because if there's no wisdom in love, where are you going to find it? Take another look.There's so much to admire in Buddhism, and so little, I [...]

    8. Psycho on said:

      Quite possibly the most impacting book I have ever read in my life. I picked this up when I thought things were going wonderfully. I had no idea how much more there was in life. "As I become more wholehearted in my journey of gentle honesty, it comes as quite a shock to realize how much I've blinded myself to some of the ways I've caused harm. My style has been so ingrained that I've not heard when others have tried to tell me, either kindly or rudely that I am causing harm by the way I am or th [...]

    9. Thomas on said:

      A thought-provoking book about embracing pain and approaching our struggles with openness and curiosity. Similar to Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, When Things Fall Apart encourages us to accept our fears to better understand them, instead of running away from our doubts or distracting ourselves in unhealthful ways. As someone who has had his fair share of traumas and heartbreaks - as well as joys and privileges - I loved Pema Chodron's continued emphasis on appreciating times of pain as well [...]

    10. Ron on said:

      I was just finishing this book in September 2001 when the events of 9-11 turned the world upside down, and things truly fell apart. There suddenly were all the vulnerable feelings that Pema Chödrön encourages us to embrace: fear, sorrow, loneliness, groundlessness. And in the days of shock and grief that followed, there was that brief and abundant display of "maitri," or loving kindness, which emerged in waves of generosity and compassion for one another. For a while, we were in the world that [...]

    11. Sondra Jones on said:

      In this book, Chodron calls us to "an unconditional relationship with reality". Here are two quotes that capture this book's essence for me."When we are training in the art of peace, we are not given any promises that, because of our noble intentions, everything will be ok. In fact, there are no promises of fruition at all. Instead, we are encouraged to simply look deeply at joy and sorrow, at laughing and crying, at hoping and fearing, at all that lives and dies. We learn that what truly heals [...]

    12. Leslie on said:

      This is one of those great keepers you read, reread and then loan to friends in times of need. Though I was baptized an Episcopaelian, I appreciate the philosophy and spirituality of most religions. This I first read after my mom was killed before Christmas the year I got my B.A when I devoured everything from Thich Nhat Hanh to Mother Teresa to Gandhi and the Bible and even Dr. Phil. The great message is remembering that we need to learn to live with this sort of groundlessness, when the world [...]

    13. Paul Ivanov on said:

      This was my first Buddhist-related read for a decade, now, and I was able to reflect on how large chunks of my overall attitude toward life was shaped by the few sources I read back then. Reading this now not only helped that sink in, but also provided much needed advice for difficult times, as advertised by the subtitle.Useful read. It was recommended by and borrowed from my therapist (reading some reviews, I see at least one other person who got the same recommendation from his). I did not car [...]

    14. Cooljoe815 on said:

      This book was recommended to me because during this time, I lost my dad and I was grieving. I am not familiar with the teaching of Buddha. I never read or study it. When Things Fall Apart is not the kind of book I would normally read. But I was curious and I respect and admire the person that recommended it.The book goes against the grain of what we are taught about suffering and pain. Chodron says that life is suffering and that through suffering we get closer to enlightenment. I don't know, su [...]

    15. Julie C on said:

      this book was a refreshing look at how we deal with the not-so-good things in life, and what tools we have within ourselves to help navigate those times. one of the most important things i came to understand is that things like sadness, anger, frustration, feelings of instability, etc. are not inherently bad things. rather, they are challenging. they can present themselves as obstacles. but in reality, they are incredible teachers within our own personal experience that help us to grow. sometime [...]

    16. Katie on said:

      This is easily one of the most important books I've ever read. I've been dealing with a lot of stress lately and I think somehow this book found me at just the right time. Chödrön explores an incredible number of useful lessons in empathy, compassion, and patience in such a short number of pages. This is one of those books you could read a chapter of every day for the rest of your life and you would always find something new, something useful to help you live your life in a better way. She tal [...]

    17. C.E. G on said:

      Don't worry, I'm not going through "difficult times" right now, but despite this book's title, it had a lot of good insight for not-falling-apart lives, too. I was less interested in some of her discussions of meditation, so I skimmed some parts.This is where the review ends and my shamefully public journaling begins.One of the ideas that I want to remember - maybe get tattooed? - is the idea of life situations as sand castles. Chodron talks about how we might put a lot of time and pride into so [...]

    18. Anf on said:

      I was first introduced to Pema Chödrön's work when I was on the road, traveling from Toronto to Vancouver via Recreational Vehicle with five other travelers. It was a trip full of lessons but I'll save that story for another time. Recently I was dealing with the challenges of letting go, an attachment. I'm still working through it. So it was timely that I came upon this work and weeks after placing it on hold at my local library I finally got a hold of it. It is well written and I like how Ch [...]

    19. Julie Ehlers on said:

      This was wonderful. Pema Chodron expresses Buddhist ideas in such a joyful, irresistible way. Everyone should read this book.

    20. Jill on said:

      I couldn't more strongly disagree with a lot of Chodron's "teachings." For example, that if you'll just accept that theism is a crock and accept hopelessness as the "proper motivation for an insightful and compassionate life," you'll be much calmer and happier. Poppycock. There is a whole lot of focus on how all of us are afraid of death and that we will do anything to "ward off the sense of death, no matter what." Making blanket statements about the fear of all humanity is pretty off-putting to [...]

    21. Reja Janaki Joy Green on said:

      This book is a very gentle guide for every one of us. We need not wait until we experience problems in holding everything together before we benefit from this wisdom. Just being alive in a body and breathing qualifies us! The authoe tells us that she is merely passing on the teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche, telling us: "May these teachings take root and flourish for the benefit of all sentient beings now and in the future."I just now opened the book up at random and noticed what I had underlined: [...]

    22. Caidyn (BW Book Reviews; he/him/his) on said:

      4.5For me, everything fell apart in the early morning of November 9, 2016. I don't think that I need to say anything else other than that, but that day was the first time I really picked up a book by Pema Chodron. I'd read some of her work for a world religion class, but that was it. And my mom has the hugest admiration of her, so I've heard her name in passing before. However, since then, it's been hard. Chodron's note at the end of the book about how rough times are here and that we can choose [...]

    23. Elaine on said:

      Using the Buddhist philosophies and teachings as its basis, Pema's message in this book is to not run away from our difficulties, our pain, our fears but to run towards them as this is the only way forward and the only way to heal. Through the practice of mindfulness and meditation and through compassion for and acceptance of others can we come through the darkness. We need to look outward in order to help ourselves and others. And most importantly and perhaps the hardest of all, is that we need [...]

    24. Emily on said:

      Incredible. So many things fell apart in 2016 and I'm sure more things will in 2017. If only we could all adopt the wisdom from this book. I'm glad this is my last book read in 2016.

    25. Ledimir Andrews on said:

      I've definitely put into practice many of the teachings in this book. But the one that sticks out the most is to never give up on yourself.

    26. Melissa on said:

      With everything that's happened in my life this year, my mom found this book and thought it would be a good read for me. And indeed, the title was very very fitting, however, actually applying what is in this book could prove to be very difficult.Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist and as such, this book is mainly about Buddhism and its practices. And maybe its just because I know barely anything about Buddhism, but I found this to be a very high level book. She talks about using dharmas, lonel [...]

    27. Janet on said:

      In my "perfect little world", everyone would own this bookd, read it annually. Kinda silly of me to say this being that the whole point of the book is that, not only is life not perfect, it's not even safe and secure. I found this book shortly after the love of my life made a (necessary) choice to let me go. I held myself together just long enough to walk through my front door28 hours after leaving Europe. A couple of days later, I was looking for a quote to hold on to. I ended up at en was gent [...]

    28. Michelle Covey on said:

      "If we're willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be exterminated, then we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation. This is the first step on the path." Okat makes sense. Pain and insecurities can not be avoided. The rest of Chapter 8 - Hopelessness and Death goes on to tell us pretty much not to have hope in anything. That nothing in this world will ever bring us security and that if we go on doing things with any hope, especially the hope of security [...]

    29. Jenna Stone on said:

      The title is a bit overwhelming -so when it was handed to me - I thought, "Great! This is how I am presenting myself - a total mess." However; I'm not sure I've met any adult who wouldn't benefit from the wisdom of this book. Pema Chodron is also quick to inject humor into even the most serious discussions. For example, it was unexpected to read that she threw a coffee cup at her now ex-husband's head. Wasn't she always perfect? Isn't she still? She isn't and she is the first to tell you so. Her [...]

    30. Emily on said:

      There was wisdom in this book that resonated with me, and also quite a bit that I either didn't understand or couldn't get on board with. While I think that certain ideas hold universal truth to them, the book is an introductory guide to specific Buddhist practices, not all of which will make sense to people of different religions or worldviews. It was certainly worth the read. I highlighted quite a bit as I made my way through, and I'm sure I will revisit this book in my ongoing effort to get m [...]

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