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Welcoming the Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,080 ratings  ·  168 reviews
From the bestselling author of When Things Fall Apart, an open-hearted call for human connection, compassion, and learning to love the world just as it is during these most challenging times.

In her first new book of spiritual teachings in over seven years, Pema Chödrön offers a combination of wisdom, heartfelt reflections, and the signature mix of humor and insight that ha
...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Shambhala
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Ann Pema is my guru. Her books are like bibles to me. She has made Buddhism much easier for me to understand. I’ve seen her speak once and I drove 6 hours…morePema is my guru. Her books are like bibles to me. She has made Buddhism much easier for me to understand. I’ve seen her speak once and I drove 6 hours just to see her. It’s my goal to travel to her retreat in Nova Scotia to sit with her, hear her dharma and mediate with her. (less)

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Mischenko
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual
Only by learning to fully embrace all aspects of ourselves--even the most seemingly negative elements of our minds and hearts--will we learn to fully embrace others. Only by discovering the basic goodness in both our lotus and our mud, will we come to see the basic goodness of all living things.

In a world full of polarization, this book can help humans find peace. Welcoming the Unwelcome contains valuable advice from a Buddhist's perspective on overcoming the obstacles we have in life, maintaini
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Heidi The Reader
"We are at a time when old systems and ideas are being questioned and falling apart, and there is a great opportunity for something fresh to emerge. I have no idea what that will look like and no preconceptions about how things should turn out, but I do have a strong sense that the time we live in is a fertile ground for training in being open-minded and open-hearted." pg 28

The incomparable Buddhist nun and teacher, Pema Chödrön, interprets the dharma and applies it in the various challenging ci
...more
Ellie
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm having a hard time reading and writing reviews during this time, which is frustrating. I seem to be able to concentrate only on books like this or other non-fiction, politically relevant work which makes me sad. I'd rather escape into fiction but I guess this is how it is for now. For the first time in my life--but then, we've never experienced what's happening now before.

This is perfect for the present times and as applicable, exciting, and inspiration as Chodron always is for me. Through h
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Kivrin Engle
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I adore Pema Chödrön & am grateful to Goodreads & Shambhala Publications for an ARC of Welcoming the Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World.

Such challenging times for humans right now, & although we may be very tired of it all, & overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness, we can’t withdraw from the world, & our work in it.

Pema, in her personal, powerful way helps lead us through this “brokenhearted world”. She gives us simple instruction to rise above the gloom & doom, & cultiv
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M. Nasiri
Nice read.Offers a practical introduction to some of the principles of Buddhism that can help people better cope with the challenges of everyday life. Enlistment will come to your heart on moments of sufferings if you lean to be conscious at the same time.
رواداری در دنیای دلشکسته
(روشنی تنور دل از تاریکی ها)
"The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness."Nikos Kazantzakis

Life happens, no matter what our intentions or plans are. There is good and bad in everythin
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Maggie Mugford
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020
(Digital ARC provides by Shambhala Publications via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

WOW- Before I write a long review or try to add quotations that I shouldn’t share because the final edition hasn’t been released yet, I want to firmly say that I fully believe that if you read anything by Pema Chodron, let it be this.

Welcoming the Unwelcome has helped me think critically and view the world and the mind in new ways. I loved the section at the end of the book that explains practices th
...more
Emily
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Classic Pema Chodron. We need her now more than ever!
This book will bring a sense of calm to your heart and mind.
I have to admit, though, that I prefer to listen to her on audio over reading directly.
Hearing her deliver the message resonates more deeply.

This book will be discussed on the Book Cougars podcast.
www.bookcougars.com
...more
Kim
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pema Chodron is back with her first book in a handful of years. I am fairly new to the words of Pema Chodron, but I have read several of her books, and love her voice and unique view of the world. She is a Buddhist nun, but she is a woman who has lived a rich full life full of hardship and joy, and her words are down to earth, practical and humble.

Welcoming the Unwelcome is, so far, my favorite of the books I have read by Pema Chodron. I generally don't think too much about where the title of a
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Katie
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite from Pema Chödrön, but a good reminder to face adversity with courage. The premise of the book is to welcome the uncomfortable and hurtful things into your life because ultimately that will make you a more resilient person.

One thing I have been thinking about lately is that the older I get, the harder my problems get. It’s becoming more and more enticing to try to avoid my problems for as long as possible, and to avoid situations which I know will bring me some amount of sufferin
...more
Vanessa
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dharma
This book was meh. I was looking forward to it but kind of felt underwhelmed. i have read and loved many of other Pema Chodron's books, but this was a disappointment. I was hoping for more digging into the current "brokenhearted" state of our world, to really grapple with how to live "wholeheartedly." i felt Pema's answers were too easy--like, just show compassion for perpetrators of violence, and take heart that even if ice caps melt, we will be resilient if we practice being mindful of everyon ...more
Shannon
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a short little book broken up into tiny chapters that scratch the surface on a variety of issues. It's obviously a book meant more for beginners than for an expert looking for in-depth information on any specific topic, but some of the exercises weren't beginner-level. Though filled with a few useful nuggets, I found the practical suggestions too abstract to be strictly useful. Maybe some of these suggestions were meant to be more theoretical than a step-by-step guide, but I found many o ...more
Jason
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
"Welcoming the Unwelcome" offers recommendations on how Tibetan Buddhist thoughts and practices can help one cope or even grow from obstacles.

If you're inclined to agree with Chödrön's perspective on the basic goodness of all things, then you're more likely to find this book useful. If you don't, Chödrön spends his little time trying to convince you. This makes sense. After all, her goal isn't to convert you or recruit you into the monastery. Instead, she's trying to demonstrate how hard times o
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Sandy Shealy
The message we need to hear in these times of polarization and violence. As always, Pema lights the path to awareness of the basic goodness in ourselves and to work through and rise above the labeling and negativity within us. We then recognize the goodness and see the same vulnerability and confusion in others. She does this by giving examples of her own humanity and times of personal growth with humor along the way. The chapters are short, making it easy to absorb in bits. Grateful for the ARC ...more
Neelam Babul
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book brought a sense of calm to my heart and mind. I have currently been going through a lot of difficult times and reading this book really helped provide useful insights on how to deal with difficult situations in life.

Welcoming the Unwelcome has helped me think critically and view the world and the mind in new perspectives. I loved the section at the end of the book that explains practices that are mentioned throughout the book such as use Tonglen and L. E. S. R.

Life happens, no matter
...more
Ali Hussein
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is now the third Pena Chödrön book I’ve read. I really enjoyed it. Greatly written and implements the Buddhism teachings nicely within the book.
Natalie
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was reading this text for a class I'm taking, but I can't think of a more relevant book for current events. I was able to take a lot of wisdom from this text, and apply it to current anxious times.
Monika
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pema Chödrön's new book is vital for anyone who wants to do their part to help ease the polarization we experience today. If you feel weary, if you wonder how you can possibly affect and contribute to the world when things seem so overwhelming, this book will give you hope! Though Chödrön writes from a Buddhist perspective, she also writes in a humble, down-to-earth style that all readers, regardless of faith, will find accessible and relevant.
Nikko
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dharma
I loved this. It made me reflect on so many things about myself in a very positive, constructive, and often humorous ways. I don’t know how this gets less than 5 stars.
Karen
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Only by learning to fully embrace all aspects of ourselves--even the most seemingly negative elements of our minds and hearts--will we learn to fully embrace others. Only by discovering the basic goodness in both our lotus and our mud, will we come to see the basic goodness of all living things."

I love Pema Chödrön. There's something about the way she writes that speaks exactly to me. Her way of communicating with compassion, kindness and vulnerability speak to me and make me feel both less alo
...more
Gwen
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every time I finish one of Ani Pema's books, I want to start it over again and keep re-reading until her voice is embedded in my head. I wouldn't say this book is wildly different from her other writings: she continues to masterfully convey profound ideas in digestible ways. The idea I keep returning to is to work with interrupting the storyline--when feeling a strong emotion, trying to experience it without rejecting it or repressing it while also interrupting the mind's tendency to narrate the ...more
Kevin
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
We enclose ourselves in a mesh of fear. And when many people and countries engage in this kind of approach, the result is a messy global situation with lots of pain and conflict.

That's where we find ourselves today, Brexit, Alligators and snake moots, tearing children from the families at the border.

We all have a tendency to divide people, things, and ideas into sharply contrasting categories.

The liberals and alt right.

These national and global problems have their roots in the subtle working
...more
Mark Bourdon
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Our aim is to fully awaken our heart and mind (bodhichitta), not just for our own greater wellbeing but also to bring benefit, solace, and wisdom to other living being. To fulfill the commitment of bodhichitta, we will need to learn everything there is to learn about our own heart and mind.” Welcoming the Unwelcome takes us on this journey. It is easy reading with many stories and examples, true to Pema Chodron’s style. The book ends with instructions on meditation, tonglen, and the practice of ...more
Rhonda
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book, giveaway-wins
Thank you to Goodreads & Shambhala Publications for the giveaway of Welcoming the Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World. Thrilled to be a winner of this book.

In this world with hate and hate crimes on the rise, Pema Chodron has written a book filled with ways to cope with the feelings of hopelessness and despair.

Pema believes that all being are inherently good. I say it's buried pretty far down in some people. But if you listen to her message, it is pretty cool and does give m
...more
cat
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
"The time we live in is a fertile ground for training in being open-minded and open-hearted. If we can learn to hold this falling apart–ness without polarizing and without becoming fundamentalist, then whatever we do today will have a positive effect on the future."

Always working on the above and so grateful for another way of thinking about cultivating bodhicitta; roughly translated as the “awakened heart-mind”. This Pema book felt more accessible to me than some of her others.
Laurie Siblock
Reading Pema Chodron always takes me to a grounded place within myself, one that is rooted in compassion for myself and others, heightened presence of awareness and love and kindness as the driving force in my life. Welcoming the Unwelcome reconnected me with this way of being and with that grounding, life, even with all its challenges, is so much less stressful and infinitely more enjoyable. This is a book to be read and re-read again and again until the concepts become second nature.
Izzy
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Audiobook: Not read by author, but an absolute beautiful (and quick!) listen.

Pema is such a gentle voice in this harsh harsh world, and exactly what I need for myself. As always, she delivers vulnerability, wit and a soft touch while also challenging me to greater heights in my life.

100% will read again.
Adrielle Stapleton
This is a collection of essays followed by a very succinct description of meditation practices that can help us work with difficult feelings and experiences. The themes are extremely relevant - overcoming polarization, what to do when our teachers and role models fail us (Buddhist communities were not untouched by #metoo scandals), what it looks like to practice optimism about the future when we know we will confront challenges.
Elyse Doschtschuk
A wonderful read, I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. There is so much to take from this book at any age or spiritual stage you may be at. I would recommend everyone I know to read it, especially in the time of this pandemic.
Susie
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent insights & reminders. Hope to revisit this one again in future.

(The audio reader wasn’t bad but I much prefer when Pema reads her own books, especially the meditations.)
...more
ana
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perfect reminder of the most basic principles. It is easy to assume and disregard this simple truths. Easy reading to drive our attention to an easier way of being.
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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
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You’d think that with, well, everything this year has had in store for us, readers would flock to sweet stories with happy endings. But as...
189 likes · 70 comments
“Shielding ourselves from the vulnerability of all living beings—which includes our own vulnerability—cuts us off from the full experience of life. Our” 2 likes
“We are at a time when old systems and ideas are being questioned and falling apart, and there is a great opportunity for something fresh to emerge. I have no idea what that will look like and no preconceptions about how things should turn out, but I do have a strong sense that the time we live in is a fertile ground for training in being open-minded and open-hearted. If we can learn to hold this falling apart–ness without polarizing and without becoming fundamentalist, then whatever we do today will have a positive effect on the future. Working with polarization and dehumanization won’t put an immediate end to the ignorance, violence, and hatred that plague this world. But every time we catch ourselves polarizing with our thoughts, words, or actions, and every time we do something to close that gap, we’re injecting a little bodhichitta into our usual patterns. We’re deepening our appreciation for our interconnectedness with all others. We’re empowering healing, rather than standing in its way. And because of this interconnectedness, when we change our own patterns, we help change the patterns of our culture as a whole.” 2 likes
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