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The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving-Kindness

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  594 ratings  ·  48 reviews
It’s true, as they say, that we can only love others when we first love ourselves and we can only experience real joy when we stop running from pain. The key to understanding these truisms lies in remaining open to life in all circumstances, and here Pema Chödrön shows us how. Because when we embrace the happiness and suffering, intelligence and confusion that are a natura ...more
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Published September 9th 2008 by Shambhala Audio (first published November 5th 1991)
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Hannah  Messler
Oh lordie. Pema Chodron makes me understand how people go insane and become fundamentalists. She is SO SMART and EVERYONE should just walk around thinking about her ALL THE TIME.
"Once you know that the purpose of your life is simply to walk forward and continually to use your life to wake you up rather than put you to sleep, then there's that sense of wholeheartedness about inconvenience, wholeheartedness about convenience. .... Comfort orientation murders the spirit--that was the general message. Opting for coziness, having that as your prime reason for existing, becomes a continual obstacle to taking a leap and doing something new, doing something unusual, like going ...more
Andrew Frueh
As a teacher, Pema Chödrön is something of a cross between Thich Nhat Hanh and Charlotte Joko Beck. She is a bit more Western than Thich Nhat Hanh, but not quite as original as Joko Beck. However, her talks are more grounded in the Tibetan tradition than a Zen one.

This book is a collection of dharma talks given over the course of a one month retreat. The majority of the talks present sound, practical advice derived from the wisdom her teachers. For at least the first half of the book, there was
A beautiful series of talks given during a 1-month "dathun" (practice period) by Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön, at a monastery called Gampo Abbey. It may be as close as I come to meditation practice at a monastery...but this description in the preface made me feel throughout the book as if I were almost there (easy to visualize because it sounds like my home in the Pacific Northwest that's forever a part of me): "The abbey is located on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia at the end of along dirt road, ...more
Lacey N.
I picked Pema Chodron's book after I saw it laying on a friend's coffee table, intrigued but not completely convinced. I expected a self-helpy and precious book that I would drop after reading the first few pages. I was surprised, however, when Chodron's clear, intellectual prose brought me to a wholly unexpected place. Buddhism is often overly-cerebral and vague to me, with metaphorical stories I can never quite grasp. Chodron, a Buddhist nun, writes from the Buddhist perspective with a recogni ...more
Rebecca Garcia
very approachable teachings. perfect timing for the practice of tonglen and for the definition of "bardo"--"you've left the shore, but you haven't arrived anywhere yet. You don't know where you're going, and you've been out there at sea long enough that you only have a vague memory of where you came from. you've left home, you've become homeless...that's called the bardo, in-between." "not quite here, not quite there, just hanging out in this sort of uneasy space and having to sit with it hour a ...more
I listened to this book on disc and really enjoyed it. I actually listened to each cd twice in a row, (I kept it in my car)before going on to the next disc.

I would recommend listening as opposed to reading it, as it felt like a good friend talking to me, and offering great advice. I have been able to use a little of what I learned about experiencing our unpleasant feelings without wallowing in them, or trying to run away from them.
Jul 31, 2012 Tope rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in meditation or mindfulness practice, people with anxiety
I don't agree with all of it, but there's lots of good stuff here on cultivating presence of mind and openness to oneself and the world...basically advice on how to be at home with yourself and roll with the punches life brings. Something I really needed to read about now.
I honestly believe that reading this book may have saved my life. I found it in the midst of the greatest crisis in my life, and I think it's what helped me to get through it.
Read it for a University undergrad course, and it brought Buddhism from the strictly pedagogical to the real world and personal practice. Most excellent.
My second time reading this. First time was in Victoria, borrowed directly from the Shambhala Centre. It blew my mind.
Madeleine Gover
This just didn't hit me in the same way as "When Things Are Falling Apart", by Pema. Certainly there were a few good tidbits, but alot of it was just regurgitated advice from the last book, and at that watered down. That said, Pema put in genuine effort to be ... well, genuine, in both books. And that should be lauded, even if it is also genuine repetition. Maybe it helped that when I was reading "When Things Are Falling Apart," ... things really *were* falling apart for me. Maybe I was not open ...more
Emily Judds
I really enjoyed this book! I think parts of it were hard for me to understand, but there were also lots of awesome parts that clicked. I would definitely recommend it!
Very inspiring approach to rethink your way of perceiving yourself and your interactions with your surroundings.
One the few books I have reread and will likely reread many times! Down to earth and truthful reading.
Bobbi Arduini
This book really helped me. Had it on the shelf for years - guess I picked it up just at the right time!
Brann Gallagher
Short enough to read in a sitting.
Erin  Melito
Needed to read this.

Very insightful as always, thank you Pema Chodron for having these talk s recorded and transcribed, this book was a pure blessing to read. Will read again and again.
This book is a little gem. A much needed companion on my travels through NYC - the most perfect little size to fit into my bag. and filled with little jewels most essential to surviving in this city that seems to loose its magic every passing day. thank you pema. a reminder that the being is in the doing. that true integrity lies in aligning thought with action.
Pema Chodron speaks in my mind through her writing like a good friend...indeed, I have one girlfriend who is older and wiser than I who is as straight-forward and pragmatic, and I often imagine they were separated at birth. I have "lost" this book two times to people I have lent it to and it has not returned...I hope that means the love it as much as I do.
I love pema. This book is a collection of talks given at a silent meditation retreat at Gampo Alley Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It is a great overview of so many aspects of Buddhism (tonglen, sitting meditation, four reminders, paramitras...) with, as always, refreshing everyday stories to bring it home. Great to read slowly while fasting.
I think the title is a bit misleading; perhaps the subtitle and title should be reversed. This really is all about loving-kindness, starting with one's self. It's a lovely little meditative read, and as with all things Pema Chodron, nearly every words she writes is dripping with wisdom.
Weird, this Pema-imposter (Jonna Rotte) reading what must have been a lively oral presentation, but is here somewhat flat. The thread dropped for me often. But -- lo -- I seem to have an endless thirst for these concepts, so I soldier on. I'm in love with the idea the Warrior.
I really like Pema Chodron and the way that she explains the ways of the Buddha teaching. It is with loving kindness in a positive way and a realistic way.
Mark Gelula
Apr 03, 2010 Mark Gelula rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Mark by: Pat Bloom
This is a magnificent little book. Pema Chodron has synthesized essential Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice. Here way of speaking (these were talks) is clear and direct.

I think I will take this book with me on trips from now on.
This book was an easy read with short chapters that offer tools for meditation and self-reflection. At times it dragged or felt repetitive, but a good resource to have on my personal and professional bookshelf for sure!
It was the only other one of her books at the the end i liked this one a lot, in particular the chapter about letting your situation put you through your changes rather than changing situations all the time...
well...all i can say about pema is that she makes being a human a much more peaceful, loving experience. anyone who has ever felt badly about themselves or others or the world should read her.
I guess I'm a Buddhist. Whenever I read any Buddhist philosophy, I find that I really love it. This book has really great advice like the fruit of loving-kindness is playfulness and less grimness.
This book is full of nice little vignettes of advice on how to love yourself/take advantage of your life. Some of them spoke to me more than others but still over all, I enjoyed it.
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Ani Pema Chödrön (Deirdre Blomfield-Brown) is an American Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition, closely associated with the Kagyu school and the Shambhala lineage.

She attended Miss Porter's School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three g
More about Pema Chödrön...
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion

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“Even though there are so many teachings, so many meditations, so many instructions, the basic point of it all is just to learn to be extremely honest and also wholehearted about what exists in your mind - thoughts, emotions bodily sensations, the whole thing that adds up to what we call "me" or "I".” 1 likes
“When thoughts come up, touch them very lightly, like a feather touching a bubble. Let the whole thing be soft and gentle, but at the same time precise.” 1 likes
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