Start Where You Are, post 1

Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron, was the eighth book from my 2012 reading list. (It is an advanced how-to type meditation book.)

If 8 Minute Meditation was perfect for the beginner, this book is the opposite.

Pema Chodron (one of the most brilliant and aware thinkers I’ve encountered) teaches us the practice of lojong, a series of meditations to purify your motives. The practice consists of focusing on one of the 59 slogans (e.g., Drive all blames into one.) during your meditation. Chodron guides the reader through intricate, nuanced, fascinating interpretations of these slogans.

Along with this she describes a specific meditation practice, tonglen, in which you build empathy, understanding, and kinship with others by breathing in the pain you, yourself feel and see around you and breath out the inspiring, relieving, relaxing feelings you experience. This practice begins with understanding and recognizing these feelings in yourself and then opens you to building kinship with all others who share those same feelings.

As I said, if the last book was meditation for the beginner, this is advanced practice. For anyone ready to explore at this level, the insights are, while sometimes challenging, consistently brilliant.

 

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