When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics)

Pema Chodron

Language: English

Pages: 164


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

beautiful practicality of her teaching has made Pema Chödrön 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. Chödrön 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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is a gift we can give ourselves. There is no cure for hot and cold. They will go on forever. After we have died, the ebb and flow will still continue. Like the tides of the sea, like day and night—this is the nature of things. Being able to appreciate, being able to look closely, being able to open our minds—this is the core of maitri. When the rivers and air are polluted, when families and nations are at war, when homeless wanderers fill the highways, these are traditional signs of a dark age.

fear is dokpa. More commonly, the word re-dok is used, which combines the two. Hope and fear is a feeling with two sides. As long as there’s one, there’s always the other. This re-dok is the root of our pain. In the world of hope and fear, we always have to change the channel, change the temperature, change the music, because something is getting uneasy, something is getting restless, something is beginning to hurt, and we keep looking for alternatives. In a nontheistic state of mind, abandoning

start with ourselves. Our motivation for practicing begins to change, and we desire to become tamed and reasonable for the sake of other people. We still want to see how the mind works and how we get seduced by samsara, but it’s not just for ourselves. It’s for our companions, our children, our bosses—it’s for the whole human dilemma. 9 Six Kinds of Loneliness Usually we regard loneliness as an enemy. Heartache is not something we choose to invite in. It’s restless and pregnant and hot

No matter how hard we try, it just won’t work. Basically, life has just nailed us. It’s as if you just looked at yourself in the mirror, and you saw a gorilla. The mirror’s there; it’s showing you, and what you see looks bad. You try to angle the mirror so you will look a little better, but no matter what you do, you still look like a gorilla. That’s being nailed by life, the place where you have no choice except to embrace what’s happening or push it away. Most of us do not take these

emphasis on posture and taught people to put very light attention on their out-breath. Later he said that the out-breath was as close as you could come to simply resting the mind in its natural open state and still have an object to which to return. He emphasized that it should be just the ordinary out-breath, not manipulated in any way, and that the attention should be soft, a sort of touch-and-go approach. He said that about 25 percent of the attention should be on the breath, so that one was

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