Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears” as Want to Read:
Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  3,917 Ratings  ·  340 Reviews
Best-seller Pema Chödrön draws on the Buddhist concept of shenpa to help us see how certain habits of mind tend to “hook” us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, and addiction. The good news is that once we start to recognize these patterns, they instantly begin to lose their hold on us and we can begin to change our lives for the better.
“This path ent
...more
Paperback, 111 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by Shambhala (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Michele Harrod
Feb 17, 2013 Michele Harrod rated it really liked it
Now this little book took me a while to get into, I started it, got busy, tried again, got distracted - until finally I did take the leap, and put all else aside and read it last week. Why the delay, I wonder? I suspect I was a little reluctant to actually let go of a few old habits.

It's funny how you do make the time for books, right when you are ready to recieve their message.

I loved this one for the introduction to the concept of 'Shenpa'. The emotions that rise up in us (rage, frustration,
...more
Charlotte
Aug 08, 2011 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What’s so lovely about this slim book is that it’s light as a feather—Buddhist concepts are relieved of their cumbersome weight for the average Western idiot—but it doesn’t feel silly or condescending. Chodron personalizes every discussion with earthy vignettes from her own life, and her simplicity and directness keep us interested. The large print doesn’t hurt, either. I’d recommend this to people interested in Buddhism, but also to those who might be just a little squeamish.

“Taking the Leap” i
...more
Talia
Feb 13, 2011 Talia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed "Taking the Leap." It is a quick read, and one that I thought might be helpful in this time in my life.

A few excerpts I found powerul:

"The source of our unease is the unfulfillable longing for a lasting certainty and security, for something solid to hold on to. Unconsciously we expect that if we could just get the right job, the right partner, the right something, our lives would run smoothly...We are never encouraged to experience the ebb and flow of our moods, of our health, of the
...more
Experience Life
May 19, 2010 Experience Life rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Faced with the scope of the planet’s present challenges, not to mention our own day-to-day difficulties, it’s not surprising that we sometimes feel the need to numb ourselves to the world around us. The obvious drawback to this survival tactic, notes Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön, is that we can wind up missing the whole show. The here and now is where life happens, after all. That’s why Chödrön’s latest book teaches the simple art of remaining present with what is and overcoming the attraction ...more
Lisa
May 14, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really find much difference between chapters, they seem to re-iterate the teaching of not getting hooked, which is good, but personally, I found I would like to have read a bit *more* life-experience examples, as that helps me to better take in and understand what I'm reading. That said, Pema Chödrön is good at teaching, and I like her humility and her frankness, about her own pitfalls and experiences (as I said, though, I just wish there were more examples, or something, as I find I le ...more
Diane
Sep 21, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I seriously considered buying this book so I could read it again and again during difficult times! I have considered reading this author before, when I saw this on the NFNR table and it was only 100 pages I jumped on it. I am so glad I did!

It seems to be a culmination of many things I have learned in the past 18 months! It is about being present in the moment and allowing yourself to feel your feelings as a way to get to know yourself and move forward in life. One of the biggest things I learned
...more
TJ Shelby
Apr 11, 2011 TJ Shelby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. Maybe it was a combination of timing: me ready to move on from certain things in my past and my current fascination with eastern philosophy. Here are a few of my favorite gems:

* "A Native American grandfather was speaking to his grandson about violence and cruelty in the world and how it comes about. He said it was as if two wolves were fighting in his heart. One wolf was vengeful and angry, and the other wolf was understanding and kind. The young man asked his gran
...more
Alison Kulik
Jan 12, 2010 Alison Kulik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very uplifing an useful book. The major points can seem lost in the content, but one could say the content itself is the most important. This is a book I will always have on my coffee table, a reference so to speak, for when I'm feeling out of sorts or like I'm a fish on a hook. It gives great insight into many Buddhist beliefs, the main focus of which is that we must first learn to be compassionate and accepting of ourselves without deception, before we can be compassionate towards others. Pe ...more
April
Another one I'll have to buy. Shenpa was the big idea in this one for me, the attachment to being stuck in a pattern/reaction. Trying to be more open.
Tommy
Feb 16, 2011 Tommy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would say my only complaint about Pema's book is that it's too short, but at 100 pages, it's not. There are pearls of wisdom on every page, and this slim volume of Buddhist thought - focused on staying with your emotions, leaning into pain, sitting with the hard stuff - is just right. It begs to be reread, to be handed off to a friend in need.

Pema writes with clarity, wit, and sensibility. She speaks to Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, focusing on working through our habitual patterns, diff
...more
Julie
Oct 17, 2009 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Pema Chödrön's books (and audio works). Like her others, I find it is best to read it in pieces so that you can process what you've read as you go. Then, when you get to the end, start over, because you will pick up new insights each time and think of new ways in which they apply to your life. Parts of this book cover the same material as her audio called "Don't Bite The Hook." It's helpful for me to hear the information again and again, so I don't mind the repetition. Taking the Leap off ...more
Olivia
Feb 24, 2017 Olivia rated it it was amazing
It felt like every time I picked up this book I read something extremely relevant to something I was dealing with in the moment. Shenpa and not getting hooked into a storyline in our heads is all very helpful to my certain brand of anxiety. I need a constant stream of Pema Chödrön teachings in my life.
Marie Connor
Jul 02, 2017 Marie Connor rated it it was amazing
Amazing, my favorite of all her books so far. A must read for everyone (in my opinion).
Dawn
This book is about coping mechanisms (based on meditation and Buddhist concepts) for dealing with minor and major issues. As I was reading this, so many of my friends on Facebook had recently been complaining about being fed up with comments and posts from other people, and I kept thinking how applicable these techniques are for dealing with that. This book suggests ways to deal with other things that annoy us throughout the day: traffic, an annoying co-worker, a long line at the grocery store, ...more
Aunt Edie
Aug 28, 2015 Aunt Edie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found 80% of this helpful, informative, engaging, and relevant. I sent quotes to friends as I read. But the other 20% I disagree with way deep down in the core of who I am. Which is par for the course for me and Buddhism. If Buddhism is your thing, I feel like you'll have already devoured everything Pema Chodron has written. And if you haven't, you should. She writes clearly and makes complicated truths easier to grasp. If you are a seeker and haven't figured out what you believe, I'm not goin ...more
John Stepper
Jan 31, 2016 John Stepper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Less than 100 pages and yet so useful. Pema Chödrön writes in a way that is thought-provoking, accessible, and engaging. Despite all of her training and practice, she comes across as quite...human, like someone who understands the everyday struggles people face. The story on page 41 about her response to an email made it clear she is less than perfect and thus all the more someone I could relate to and trust.

I'd like to meet her someday. I will certainly read more of her writing.
January Kohli
Self-help books are not my thing, but a friend insisted I read it. This is a really quick read and very non-preachy. Mostly common sense (in the "don't let shit bug you", except said in a much nicer way, by a Buddhist Nun), but still really refreshing. I wanted to ensure that I recorded the name of this book because I think it's the sort of thing that you want to read every few years.
writer...

Intentional practices of living with the uncomfortable. Becoming curious rather than distracting self from painful incidents and actions. Small efforts initially will build ability rather than expectations to conquer major crises without practice. Challenging to common thought and responses to life.







Book club read via google hangout March 4.15
Clifford
Dec 26, 2009 Clifford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I enjoyed reading this, and hope to employ its advice in my own life, it seems to me it probably could have been covered in about a page or two.
Sarah
Apr 05, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has saved me many times! One of the best spiritual self-help books out there and totally digestible. Love Pema!
Jeff Friedman
Jan 21, 2013 Jeff Friedman rated it liked it
Offers some good advice, but nothing earth shattering, and a bit repetitive. But, a short read, and I did take away some positive things to practice.
Jenny
Feb 10, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far so good. All stuff I needed to hear at this point in my life.
Sara
Oct 25, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is our chance to come out of our self-protecting bubble and to realize that we are never alone. This is our chance to finally understand that wherever we go, everyone we meet is essentially just like us. Our own suffering, if we turn toward it, can open us to a loving relationship to the world.

This slim little book made me feel a lot of feelings. I've always had a mixed relationship with mindfulness: I struggle with anxiety, with depression, with low self-esteem, and mindfulness done "wrong
...more
John St Clair
Feb 05, 2017 John St Clair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're into eastern philosophy she's a great teacher

Now if you're not in the eastern philosophy or Buddhist philosophy and there's probably might not be the book for you.

Pena is a mother and a grandmother who in the middle of her life took up Buddhism and has been doing it for many decades. She's also the abbess in the Buddhist monastery in Nova Scotia Canada.

I love Pena.
Morgan (Turbo)
Feb 06, 2017 Morgan (Turbo) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A simple Buddhist philosophy book, not necessarily a meditation how to book, more like one person's take on the concept of Shenpa. I liked how it was self-helpy at the beginning but then the authors message became more broad about working for the benefit of others.
Soulmuser
Every book I read of Pema, I come back with something new. This book I learnt about 'shenpa,' and as with all the other Tibetan Buddhist concepts I have picked up in her other books, this is explained in so lucid a manner that you realize and understand immediately.
Kaitlyn
May 26, 2017 Kaitlyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very pithy
Jeff
Jul 02, 2017 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Far better than that Eckhart Tolle bullshit.
Sarina Asher
Mar 21, 2017 Sarina Asher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bold, fresh, and beautifully simple. Pema Chodron's works are quick reads but infused with insights that will last a lifetime. A must read for anyone interested in making the most of each day.
Matt
May 29, 2017 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good mindfulness strategies
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be: Lessons on Change, Loss, and Spiritual Transformation
  • Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery
  • True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart
  • Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives
  • Turning the Mind Into an Ally
  • Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict
  • Insight Meditation: A Psychology of Freedom
  • If the Buddha Married: Creating Enduring Relationships on a Spiritual Path
  • The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology
  • That Which You Are Seeking Is Causing You to Seek
  • Nothing Special
  • Being Zen: Bringing Meditation to Life
8052
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...

Share This Book



“Words themselves are neutral. It's the charge we add to them that matters” 15 likes
“When things fall apart and we can’t get the pieces back together, when we lose something dear to us, when they whole thing is just not working and we don’t know what to do, this is the time when the natural warmth of tenderness, the warmth of empathy and kindness, are just waiting to be uncovered, just waiting to be embraced. This is our chance to come out of our self-protecting bubble and to realize that we are never alone. This is our chance to finally understand that wherever we go, everyone we meet is essentially just like us. Our own suffering, if we turn toward it, can open us to a loving relationship with the world.” 12 likes
More quotes…