Most helpful critical review
72 of 102 people found the following review helpful
start where you are...but bring a pen and a notebook
on July 22, 2001
i've had this book for over a year now, and periodically peruse it whenever i feel spiritually listless (which is often). now some might argue that if i say that this book hasn't really helped me much, i'm missing the point. start where you are! stay with the discomfort! open your eyes and see! well, yeah, but i can't help but feel that in the end, all the listing of the numerous compassions and the tibetan terms and listing and labeling this and that gets so confusing that it won't be of much help unless you write it down and study 'em with the devotion of a true believer. it's just too much: different kinds of emotions, different kinds of reaction, in her other book, she lists 6 different kinds of loneliness. ach, my head hurts!
i'm not so wary of chodron as i am of other westerners who have joined the mystic east bandwagon in search of spiritual enlightenment, because she does seem to be practical. but still, for me the question is HOW to practice, not a bunch of half-obvious truths that i can agree with but can't apply.
i think we just need to sit and stop reading. i mean, how can you go through a day if you're thinking about labeling something as boddicitta or prajna or some other strange term??? might as well go back to the Catholic catechism and start memorizing the saints again. so i'm happy for all those who find it inspiring and helpful. i, too, turn to it every now and then to reaffirm that all is not lost. but still, i can't say that it is very helpful in the long-term.