Taking the Leap
Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
By Pema Chodron
(Shambhala, Hardcover, 9781590306345, 128pp.)
Publication Date: September 8, 2009
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In this book Pema Chödrön shows us how to break free of destructive patterns in our lives and experience a new sense of freedom and happiness. Drawing on the Buddhist concept of shenpa, she helps us to see how certain habits of mind tend to “hook” us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, and addiction. The good news is that once we start to see these patterns, we can begin to change our lives for the better.
The key is learning a new way of facing the inevitable difficulties and insecurities of our daily lives: we must learn how to stay present and open our hearts. “This path entails uncovering three basic human qualities,” explains Pema. “These qualities have always been with us but perhaps have gotten buried and almost forgotten. They are natural intelligence, natural warmth, and natural openness. Everyone, everywhere, all over the globe, has these qualities and can call on them to help themselves and others."
This book gives us the insights and practices we can immediately put to use in our lives to awaken these essential qualities. In her friendly and encouraging style, Pema Chödrön helps us to take a bold leap toward a new way of living—one that will bring about positive transformation for ourselves and for our troubled world.
Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa. She is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. She is the author of many books and audiobooks, including the best-selling When Things Fall Apart and Don't Bite the Hook.
“This gently encouraging book by popular teacher Chödrön applies Buddhist wisdom to the problems of deeply ingrained reactions. Among her strengths are compassion for the difficulty of human existence and her willingness to acknowledge her own failings. This short guide provides valuable tools for change in uncertain times.”—Publishers Weekly
“Straightforward and personal, Taking the Leap is a fine addition to Chödrön’s work.”—BellaOnline.com
“You don’t have to be a Buddhist to benefit from reading Chödrön’s book, you just have to be willing to approach new ideas with an open mind.”—The Lindsay Post (Canada)
“Taking the Leap seems to speak directly to the angst we are currently facing and she is spot on with her teachings. Chödrön is effective not because she coddles the reader, but because we get the sense that she understands exactly what this pain feels like.”—LA Yoga