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

Start Where You Are by Pema Chödrön
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's review
Jul 16, 15

bookshelves: mindfulness
Read from August 09 to 15, 2012

Some excellent and interesting advice for meditation and general interaction. My favorite part, and the heart of the book, is the early description of tonglen. Specifically I like the exercise of taking the object of desire/anger/frustration/etc., thinking about the emotions it produces, and then considering those emotions in a vacuum - how they exist in you apart from the actual object. An interesting and challenging exercise. I also thought Chodron had some good pointers for regular mindfulness practices. I got bored and tripped up with the later sections of the book. At times, I felt clearer instructions were required, or certain pieces of advice were contradictory. For example we're working on being flexible to change, but accepting of things just the way they are. And there are sections on not being a doormat, but other sections on surrendering to demons. I think these concepts are in agreement, but I could have used more explanations. Must be hard to put all this stuff into words. Mindfulness in Plain English remains my favorite go-to guide.
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