Sarah's Reviews > Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

Start Where You Are by Pema Chödrön
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Jul 06, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-own
Read in April, 2012

This is a good book overall. A lot of insights into Buddhist teachings, but while they are clearly simplified, they still may be a bit over-our-heads for most readers who don't have any previous experience in the topic.

She explains that we all armor our hearts, our "soft spots" instinctively and that to live well, we have to open that door to others, and that it is one of the most frightening things we will ever do, and that we must do it, like everything we do within ourselves, gently.

I most enjoyed her talks on balance, and how compassionate and encouraging the book urges you to be, especially to yourself. It emphasizes being kind to yourself as an extension of and to all sentient beings. It also encourages you to start with and embrace your most difficult qualities and use these to enrich your life experience by relating to the rest of the world through them. The book can be frustrating at times, but mostly because it doesn't give you quick and easy answers, but instead explains that everyone is different and encourages internal work and meditation to discover solutions to your own problems. When the teachings get too serious/frustrating, its punctuated by humorous little ironies or lessons on patience, which were cute.

One of my favorite quotes from the book, regarding letting go of perfectionism: "None of us is ever OK, but we all get through everything just fine."
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Quotes Sarah Liked

Pema Chödrön
“None of us is ever OK, but we all get through everything just fine.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

Pema Chödrön
“True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living


Reading Progress

07/06 marked as: read

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