Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Start Where You Are is an indispensable handbook for cultivating fearlessness and awakening a compassionate heart, from bestselling author Pema Chodron. With insight and humour, she presents down-to-earth guidance on how to make friends with ourselves and develop genuine compassion towards others.
This book shows how we can 'start where we are' by embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives. Pema Chodron frames her teachings on compassion around fifty-nine traditional Tibetan Buddhist maxims, or slogans, such as: ‘Always apply a joyful state of mind’ and ‘Be grateful to everyone’. Working with these slogans and through the practice of meditation, Start Where You Are shows how we can all develop the courage to work with our own inner pain and discover joy, wellbeing and confidence.
people feel about white people or white people feel about black people or any of these situations on earth, we’re wrong. We have to start with ourselves. If all people on the planet would start with themselves, we might see quite a shift in the aggressive energy that’s causing such a widespread holocaust. “Drive all blames into one”—or “Take the blame yourself,” if you prefer—sounds like a masochistic slogan. It sounds like, “Just beat me up, just bury me under piles of manure, just let me have
states of mind and various moods, going up and down, going left and right, falling on my face and sitting up—just in all these different life situations—and I would remember, “Buddha falling flat on her face; buddha feeling on top of the world; buddha longing for yesterday.” I began to learn that I couldn’t get away from buddha no matter how hard I tried. I could stick with myself through thick and thin. If one would enter into an unconditional relationship with oneself, one would be entering
been hurt and therefore want to hurt back. It’s that kind of logic. Therefore the exchange—putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes—doesn’t come from theory, in which you try to imagine what someone else is feeling. It comes from becoming so familiar and so openhearted and so honest about who you are and what you do that you begin to understand humanness altogether and you can speak appropriately to the situation. The basic ground of compassionate action is the importance of working with rather
communicate for its own sake. The process is the main thing, not the fruition. If you achieve your goal with aggressive tactics, nothing really changes anyway. Dr. Seuss tells another story about the Sneetches. The superior race, the ones that everybody aspires to be like and also the ones that everybody hates, are the Star-Belly Sneetches; they have stars on their bellies, and everybody else doesn’t. One very clever fellow knew how predictable these Sneetches were, so he came in with a big
phenomena. We can rest in the fundamental openness and enjoy the display of whatever arises without making such a big deal. So if you think that everything is solid, that’s one trap, and if you change that for a different belief system, that’s another trap. We have to pull the rug out from our belief systems altogether. We can do that by letting go of our beliefs, and also our sense of what is right and wrong, by just going back to the simplicity and the immediacy of our present experience,