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Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change Hardcover – October 9, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 239 customer reviews

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When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics) by Pema Chodron
"When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron
This book is a treasury of wisdom for going on living when we are overcome by pain and difficulties. Learn more | See related books
$16.21 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 12 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa. She is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. She is the author of many books and audiobooks, including the best-selling When Things Fall Apart and Don't Bite the Hook.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"The Three Commitments are three levels of working with groundlessness. Underlying them all is the basic instruction to make friends with yourself—to be honest with yourself and kind. This begins with the willingness to stay present whenever you experience uneasiness. As these feelings arise, rather than running away, you lean into them. Instead of trying to get rid of thoughts and feelings, you become curious about them. As you become accustomed to experiencing sensation free of interpretation, you will come to understand that contacting the fundamental ambiguity of being human provides a precious opportunity—the opportunity to be with life just as it is, the opportunity to experience the freedom of life without a story line."
—from Living Beautifully --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1 edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590309634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590309636
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Using as the basis of this book the idea that all of our suffering comes from our fear of uncertainty, Chodron presents her path to freedom from this suffering. She presents the notion of "living by vows." Now, we're not talking head-shaved monastery living. Nor the drop-out (if enlightened) approach of I Walked to the Moon and Almost Everybody Waved. No, this book is for spiritual people committed to living in the modern, secular world. It's for laypeople. So these are meant more as guideposts than strict practices.

The three vows are:
- Pratimoksha. Commitment to personal liberation and doing no harm.
- Bodhisattva. Selfless service and alleviation of the suffering of others.
- Samaya. Accept reality as it is -- "awakened energy."

If this sounds intriguing, provocative, or helpful to you, I recommend this book.

----

Pros: Communicates a reassuring message that we can be free from fear. Also about the essential goodness of humanity, and the fact that no failure is final. Has plenty of practical teaching.

Cons: You may have run across some of this material before. Like many spiritual teaches, Chodron tends to repeat herself. So while there is new material here, there's much that won't surprise you if you're a seasoned Chodron reader.

---7/19/13 Edit/Addition: I'm just about done reading Extraordinary Zen Masters: A Maverick, a Master of Masters, and a Wandering Poet and finding it a subtly inspiring book. I highly recommend it for anyone on the Buddhist or spiritual path. It won't wow you at first, but it grew on me as I appreciated it's quiet--bumps and all--interesting profiles of three historically important Zen masters.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A distinctive compilation on the beauty of continuous change in everyday life, Pema Chödrön - once again - clearly and effortlessly shows her reader how to live a committed life within the present moment. Chödrön displays this approach to life by providing an educational framework concerning three forms of commitment. These "Three Commitments" entail embracing the fundamental groundlessness or impermanence in life, and the prevention of intentional harm to oneself and others; taking on the courage and responsibility to embrace others as oneself; and embracing the world just as it is. Through this framework, Chödrön provides her reader with the tools to progressively see the underlying stories that construct the ego, which - in turn - allow the mind's clouds (i.e. thought and emotion) to gradually dissipate, and eventually leave a clear mind of unconditional, non-judgmental, self-acceptance. With this clearing mind in progress, one is free to live beautifully with endless change and embrace life simply as it is.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With her straight forward writing style and keen awareness for what it is like to be naturally human, by page two Pima nails the most common difficulty our own humanity brings: We want naturally want stability and surety in a world that is constantly in flux. Luckily Pima doesn't stop at pointing out this inner struggle, but continues on with easy to read and follow steps for becoming more comfortable and and authentically comfortable in a world filled with constant change.

"Aha Moments" abound throughout the book. I started highlighting passages I related to and advice I wanted to remember and quickly realized I had more areas highlighted than not.

I've read several of Pima's books and find this to be the best collection of the essence of her works and message.

Frankly, at times I can get pretty anxious not knowing what's around the corner. This book was the most helpful of any I have read for overcoming my worries and developing a new perspective. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who would like to relax and be more comfortable with change.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book because my life is so full of uncertainty and change right now. I am unemployed, and the anxiety of not being able to pay the rent, the car loan, the bills is incredibly stressful. Pema's words do not allow me to escape the essential problems of my life, but to find the courage to act without the overwhelming sense of fear. Her words are like a soothing balm. Instead of just fear, she has helped me to see that I can take this as a time of deep spiritual growth - in a very real, honest way. I will read this book over and over again.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This woman, this wisdom . . . "When Things Fall Apart" was given to me a decade to go, and it turned out to be just what I needed. After reading a brief excerpt of Pema Chodrons new book in Tricycle Magazine, I had a feeling this might be for me what "When Things Fall Apart" was years ago. I warn you, I haven't yet finished, in fact I'm only about 32% through it; but of that 32%, I've highlighted/underlined close to 75% . . . Were this a paper edition, I would put my yellow Sharpie away and trade it for a paint brush and yellow paint; as it is, I'll simply keep the highlighting function on my Kindle going til I finish. It is a wonderful book. Clear. Concise. It goes straight to the heart.
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