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Cover for This Difficult Thing of Being Human

This Difficult Thing of Being Human

The Art of Self-Compassion



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Become your own greatest advocate with this “wise guide” to developing self-compassion through mindfulness meditation, lovingkindness, and more—from a Buddhist scholar and teacher (Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance)
We all long for someone to offer us unconditional love and support. But what if that person is us? The practice of mindful self-compassion creates the space we need so that observation, acceptance, and real love can enter—no matter how judgmental or disconnected we may feel.

It sounds like a simple idea: to be kind to yourself. But if you pay attention to your thoughts, habits, and self-talk, you may find that it’s more difficult than it sounds. The intentional practice of self-compassion, outlined here by Buddhist scholar and teacher, Bodhipaksa, can help you find greater overall wellbeing, emotional resilience, physical health, and willpower. Bodhipaksa provides both the why and the how of mindful self-compassion, drawing on contemporary psychology and neuroscience and also on Buddhist psychology, weaving the modern and ancient together into a coherent whole.

Contemporary psychologists are focusing less on self-esteem and more on self-compassion. Bodhipaksa, a practicing meditator of more than thirty years, effortlessly blends ancient techniques dating back to the time of the Buddha with the most recent understanding of psychology and neuroscience. And in the end, as Bodhipaksa writes, it is actually quite simple: “Life is short. Be kind.”

Praise For This Difficult Thing of Being Human: The Art of Self-Compassion

"Bodhipaksa gently reminds us that compassion for others begins with compassion for ourselves. This book is a wise guide to five key skills that bring mindful self-compassion to our own suffering and allow us to move through the world with our hearts wide open." —Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance

“Bodhipaksa embodies an unusual combination of penetrating wisdom, simplicity and modesty, heartfelt good humor, deep contemplative training, grounding in science, and direct clear expression. A wonderful friend and teacher for the path.” —Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain

"Suffering is inherent to being human. Bodhipaksa contends that mindfulness meditation and lovingkindness or compassion meditation are powerful vehicles for meeting this challenge. He makes a compelling case with a clear presentation of these traditional meditation practices and scientific studies that show how these benefit us. Kudos!" —Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

Parallax Press, 9781946764515, 224pp.

Publication Date: November 26, 2019

About the Author

Bodhipaksa is a Buddhist teacher and author who has been practicing within the Triratna Buddhist Community since 1982. He's originally from Scotland and formerly ran a retreat center in the Scottish Highlands. In 2000 he created the online meditation center Wildmind ( in order to make meditation instruction more widely available. He holds an interdisciplinary master's degree in Buddhism and business from the University of Montana. He lives and teaches in New Hampshire.