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

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  418 ratings  ·  44 reviews
It’s possible to say yes to life in all its manifestations, Pema Chödrön teaches—by embracing all the happiness and suffering, all the intelligence and confusion that are a natural part of our existence. Doing so opens a wellspring of courage and love within our hearts. In this gift edition of her first book, Pema presents traditional Buddhist wisdom that anyone can relate...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Shambhala (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.
H
"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...more
VeNicia
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
Wendy
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.
Tope
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.
Candace
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.
Martin
Read it for a University undergrad course, and it brought Buddhism from the strictly pedagogical to the real world and personal practice. Most excellent.
Kelda
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
Anki
Very inspiring approach to rethink your way of perceiving yourself and your interactions with your surroundings.
Bobbi Arduini
This book really helped me. Had it on the shelf for years - guess I picked it up just at the right time!
Potassium
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.
Mimi
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.
Kendra
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.
corinne
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.
Aimee
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.
Nancy
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.
Kim
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.
Erin
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!
Deborah
It was the only other one of her books at the library...in 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...
Anna
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.
JaNel
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.
Melanie
concise but beautifully and intelligently written chapters. pema's outlook through her books and lectures truly speak to me in a way no other buddhist writings/teachings have to date...
Meg
One of my favorite Buddhist teachers. She is not bland and she has some very insightful things to say. At just over 100 pages, this book should be read by you TODAY (or tonight).
h
a beautiful book that leaves me speechless. something to pick up and open as often as possible. sweet and funny and real.

"This feels like the path full of mud in my face."
Nancy
As always Pema Chodron writes with clarity and wisdom. I feel as is she has been where I am and knows exactly what I need to hear and do to become who I need to be.
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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
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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“This meditation is called nontheistic, which doesn't have anything to do with believing in God or not believing in God, but means that nobody but yourself can tell you what to accept and what to reject.
The practice of meditation helps us to get to know this basic energy really well, with tremendous honesty and warmheartedness, and we begin to figure out for ourselves what is poison and what is medicin, which means something different for each of us.”
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“But in this meditation technique, we are with the out-breath; there's no particular instruction about what to do until the next out-breath.” 0 likes
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