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How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  1,453 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
When we look for a meditation teacher, we want someone who has an intimate knowledge of the path. That's why so many have turned to Pema Chodron, whose gentle yet straightforward guidance has been a lifesaver for both first-time and experienced meditators. With How to Meditate, the American-born Tibetan Buddhist nun presents her first book that explores in-depth what she c ...more
Hardcover, 175 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Sounds True (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30)
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Roy Lotz
Enlightenment isn’t about going someplace else or attaining something that we don’t have right now. Enlightenment is when the blinders start to come off.

When I was in high school, I spent a few years going to Tae Kwon Do classes. I was never any good. Every time we had sparring practice, I got whooped—that is, unless I accidentally kicked my opponent in the crotch (which I did a lot). But besides the fun of hand-to-hand combat, one thing that kept me coming back was the meditation. After every
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Sarah Janina
Jul 14, 2017 Sarah Janina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ein schönes und lehrreiches Buch, gerade für Anfänger natürlich sehr geeignet. Es gab schöne Aspekte, worüber man nachdenken kann und es gibt ein paar Übungen zum Ausführen, die man sich für die Zukunft merken sollte, da sie wirklich für den ein oder anderen sehr effektiv sein können.
Ich hatte eine nette Zeit mit dem Buch, muss aber sagen, dass es mich mit der Zeit nicht mehr so packen konnte. Am Anfang fand ich es noch interessanter, obwohl gerade da eigentlich das erzählt wurde, was ich ohneh
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Clara
Jan 02, 2012 Clara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid foundational too for someone who is learning to meditate. The five discs include actual meditation sessions in real time, which feature guidance by Pema during the meditations. Even if you're not a novice meditator, you'll find useful advice and new information. I found the last two discs to be the most helpful because meditations increased in sophistication, Pema seemed to integrate more dharma teachings into the meditation instruction.

Pema is specific and very clear both in her
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Haffi
Jan 01, 2015 Haffi rated it it was amazing
This book is deep yet so simple. It explains in comfortable detail how you can rewire your mind through the practice of meditation. The author is a practitioner of Buddishm but it is easy to look past that (or even embrace it) to understand the message.

Somehow I had always confused relaxation and meditation but now I see that they are two different things entirely.

Become enlightened.
Jessica
Nov 23, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
I really liked the meditation exercises and how Pema Chodron reinforces being gentle and loving to yourself.
Kay
I first read up on and tried meditation in the '90s during grad school. And I now know that I did what many beginners do - I quit after a particularly glorious experience that I was unprepared for.

The vast majority of meditation guides instruct on the proper posture and focus on breathing. As far as I can tell, there's much more diversity in direction as meditation has been secularized into a Western self-help method of dealing with modern stress. But How To Meditate by Pema Chödrön is the first
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Teesa
Dec 26, 2013 Teesa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I quote "We meditate in order to remove the root of suffering. Getting to the root of suffering begins with the returning to the present moment, with coming back to the breath. This is where expansion can occur. ... The present moment you will find is limitless."

For anyone struggling with strong emotions and monkey mind as you meditate, this is your guide. These are the meditations my therapist gave me for which I will be forever grateful. Fromm the basis of meditation to "The Seven Delights - h
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David
Feb 03, 2015 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I purchased this book hoping it would be a good guide for going deeper with my meditation practice. As someone who has meditated on and off for the better part of a decade, I wanted a book that would help motivate me to return to my zafu and go deeper within myself. While I enjoyed this book and got a lot out of it, it was geared more toward beginners than I had originally hoped. Still, there was a lot of helpful information and it served as a much-needed refresher course for me. I would definit ...more
Aimee
Feb 26, 2015 Aimee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
For beginners and experienced meditators--Pema Chodron's writing is always enlightening. Her style of meditation is not to transcend, but to lean into your life. Sit here right now, eyes open, and breathe it all in. It's hard and I feel like an infant with this often uncomfortable style of meditation. But it's far more transformative than any other style of meditation I've ever tried. After all, as Pema teaches, the goal isn't to escape who you are or create a better version of yourself, the goa ...more
Kivrin Engle
May 04, 2015 Kivrin Engle rated it it was amazing
Dearest Pema Chödrön, thank you, thank you, thank you. Peace & Love, K.
Claire
Sep 27, 2013 Claire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
(This review refers to the 2013 ebook edition.)

There is some very useful and down-to-earth advice in this book, and it is written in straightforward, conversational language. It's not hard to see that this book is based off teachings that Chodron has given over the years (the audio book version says something to that effect). I appreciate that Chodron draws on and shares her experiences as a meditator and student throughout the book; she gives the reader the impression that while she's been medi
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Tari
Aug 17, 2014 Tari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Bodhichitta. Bodhi means "wide awake" or "enlightened". Chitta means "heart" or "mind", or "heart-mind". This type of meditation teaches us how to achieve this level consciousness ~ it's not a way of shutting out the world in order to find inner peace, as I had previously thought.

The goal here is a "completely open heart, a completely open mind; it means a heart that never closes down, even in the most difficult and horrendous situations. Bodhichitta communicates a mind that n
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pri
Oct 18, 2015 pri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Very good, very practical. In my practice, I've been thinking okay - what do you "not think" about then? And Pema Chodron covers many meditation techniques that answer that question as well as the basics of why meditation is so very essential to our lives.

Quote: You have to get dirty with your emotions. Meditation allows us to feel them, live them,and taste them completely. It gives us a lot of insight into why we do the things we do and why other people do the the things they do. Out of this i
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Ileana
Feb 07, 2015 Ileana rated it it was amazing
I recently started meditating as a last resort during a very stressful time in my life. The practice changed my life! In wanting to learn more I got a number of books from the library and was dissatisfied with them until I started reading this one. Pema Chodron is practical, the writing is simple and deep. A breath of fresh air as I navigate this new chapter in my life.

"I personally feel that the ultimate reason why we practice, why we listen to these teachings, why we try to begin to bring this
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Heidi The Hippie Reader
I liked how she started out very simply with instructions on how to sit, breathe, and find your center. Then, as the lectures progressed, it became increasingly more complex. I did find that the lessons dragged some, but in general they were interesting and informative. This is a good place to start for those beginning their meditation practice and a nice introduction to the teachings of Pema Chodron.
Roslyn
Oct 13, 2016 Roslyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read by this author and I very much appreciate her down-to-earth and accepting tone. It very much spoke to me in relation to my own life as well as my meditation practice.

One detail: Chodron's practice of leaving one's eyes open during meditation is completely new to me, and I'm so used to having my eyes closed that I've found the experience strange when I've tried it, but I can see how it has its advantages and will continue to experiment with it.
Geri Degruy
Jan 21, 2013 Geri Degruy rated it it was amazing
Pema Chodron is amazing. I love her. This book kindly describes how to meditate, from body position to mind. Especially MIND. She talks a lot about being gentle with oneself in the process. And since mind is the focus, she talks a lot about how to deal with thoughts. I've listened to this book over and over and I learn from each repetition.
Cindy
Apr 19, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading this one in bits and pieces for awhile. This book is thought provoking and the writing is enjoyable. I've just been dabbling in short meditations - haven't come to the realization yet that it can be very difficult.
Michael
Feb 24, 2016 Michael rated it liked it
Pretty basic guide with a few unusual insights.
Blake Moore
Jun 21, 2017 Blake Moore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great stuff. Wow. Listened to full class recording of book. She sounds nice, and like she knows what she's talking about.

She's pretty repetitive of herself, to an almost creepy level.

Other than that, highly recommend
ManRepeller
Jun 27, 2017 ManRepeller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help-books
Picked by: Pema Chödrön, also recommended by Krista

What made you read it?
A roommates’ constantly-meditating boyfriend gave it to me for my birthday one year in college. It took me a while to crack it open, but I finally did when the stress of graduation was getting to me.
Claudine
Mar 17, 2017 Claudine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pema...thank you so much, again.

She is so good at breaking the news that life is hard by telling how good it can be. All at the same time! The meditation she teaches changed how I practice. Blows Headspace out of the water. This is beautiful.
hi
Mar 16, 2017 hi rated it really liked it
Wonderful book for beginners or those interested in learning how it works.
Erica
Jul 08, 2017 Erica rated it it was amazing
Pema Chodron's practical advice on how to meditate is very direct and accessible. Short chapters with no-nonsense advice. Highly recommended.
I just re-read this book, and think I will probably do so every year or so. Pema's honesty and insight is direct and persuasive. She helps you understand not only how to meditate, but why you might want to at all.
Maggie
Feb 17, 2017 Maggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book that walks the reader step by step on the process of Meditation. Pema Chodron's language flows naturally and easily making concepts and methods clear and simple for the reader. A must read for anyone who would like to explore Meditation as a tool for spiritual progress.
This could get a little heavy for beginners. For someone who has been practicing meditation and want to have a steadier, deeper practice, this is a perfect choice.
Michelle
Feb 21, 2017 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful.
Pamela
Feb 10, 2017 Pamela rated it really liked it
This book was very well written and she had good ideas. Some of what she said really spoke to me and I actually think I could benefit from many things she set out, BUT I find trying to read and practice meditation doesn't work for me. My memory isn't the best so I can't remember all the details after I stop reading, but while attempting to meditate... I can't be reading.

So this isn't any fault of the book of author, but is my own personal issue. The book itself is quite accessible, especially f
...more
David Geschke
Aug 16, 2015 David Geschke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure why I was drawn to this particular book as my first thought when I look at the title is "I already know how to meditate", but I'm sure I was looking for another Pema Chodron book to read after finishing "Taking The Leap", so this was the one I went to. Great book, love her writing, I'll be looking for another one to add to the on deck circle as soon as I finish this review.

I went back and forth on 4/5 star rating for this book before settling on four stars, mainly because some of the ea
...more
Vivian
Feb 16, 2017 Vivian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent resource for absolute beginners or those who think they can acquire the skill. Wise, insightful and useful.
Miz Lizzie
Pema Chodron is a master teacher. Beginning and experienced meditators will find insight and guidance that can be immediately applied to their practice. I have read and received a lot of teachings about harnessing the monkey-mind when meditating but little about reining in the emotions or how thoughts flame emotions into vicious circles. Chodron clarified that and much more. I especially enjoyed her gentle accepting approach clear in the very section headings she used: Working with Thoughts; Wor ...more
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  • How to Meditate: A Practical Guide
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  • It's Up to You: The Practice of Self-Reflection on the Buddhist Path
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  • Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience
  • Mindfulness with Breathing: A Manual for Serious Beginners
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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...

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“No … big … deal.” He wasn’t saying “bad,” and he wasn’t saying “good.” He was saying that these things happen and they can transform your life, but at the same time don’t make too big a deal of them, because that leads to arrogance and pride, or a sense of specialness. On the other hand, making too big a deal about your difficulties takes you in the other direction; it takes you into poverty, self-denigration, and a low opinion of yourself.” 3 likes
“The principle of nowness is very important to any effort to establish an enlightened society. You may wonder what the best approach is to helping society and how you can know that what you are doing is authentic and good. The only answer is nowness. The way to relax, or rest the mind in nowness, is through the practice of meditation. In meditation you take an unbiased approach. You let things be as they are, without judgment, and in that way you yourself learn to be. —CHÖGYAM TRUNGPA RINPOCHE” 2 likes
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