Cover Image: How We Live Is How We Die

How We Live Is How We Die

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Member Reviews

This book is all about boudhism teachings.

I learned a new technique about how to cope with emotions and plan on using it in my daily routine. That in itself made it a great book!

It is always relevant to be reminded to embrace changes as life s all about impermanence.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me a complimentary e-arc in exchange for my honest review.

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Two days after I was first given access to this book, a close family member of mine passed away. I couldn’t look at the book for a while; thinkings about life and death was too hard for me to confront.

I came back to Pema Chodron’s book a while later and am so glad I did. We are always in a transitional state, the Bardo, she says, and every moment in our life is unique. Life is just a transitional stage to death, and death transitions us back to the next life: “You breathe out and keep going. No more in-breath.”

I am thankful for the time I had before reading this book. It resonated that much more to me because of it. And although I feel guilty for a late review, I’m sure Chodron will understand: “Luckily for us, even in the bardo, it’s never too late to try again.”

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I always love Pema Chodron's books. This one was a little more difficult to read, owing to the subject matter of death and dying. I'm also learning new vocabulary like bardo (the transitional stage between life and death) and kleshas (state of mind), which were regularly used in the book. However, this book provided me with peace in the face of death. I'm struggling with sadness after the death of a loved one, and this book has helped me work through that.

The most important message for me was that when a person dies, their consciousness remains for many days. I believe humans think that once a person is out of the body and they do not arrive in time to say goodbye, they have missed an opportunity. This is simply not true, according to Pema (and Buddhist principles). This gave me peace, and I hope it gives others comfort as well.

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Pema Chodron is a force in her insight to the mind and how to live your life, or rather mindfully contemplate your life. I've read all of her previous works and I loved them all, this book proved to be no different. She's a wealth of thoughtfulness and it is impossible to not take even a nugget of truth away from anything she writes. I'm planning to read this again, but listen to is via audiobook. Thank you so much for an early copy!

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A very insightful book that is very easy to read and implement it’s offering and use it’s guidance in your everyday life.
Pema Chödrön offers us her knowledge, helping us to be our best selves, showing us there is a beautiful way to live and to die.
This is a book that can be read over and over again and each reading will enlighten us to something new, something that we didn’t need when we read it the first time but resonates with us this time.
Highly recommend this book

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"During every moment of our lives, something is ending and something else is beginning."
- Pema Chödrön

I don't like good things to end. And I don't like bad things to begin. But such is life. And death.

That's one of the points of this book.

I appreciate Ani Pema's gentle encouragement to consistently release my grip on living and dying. Although she presents from a Buddhist viewpoint, it's also a life lesson we learn from other religious traditions. We die daily. We are renewed daily.

Pema Chödrön writes:

"The end of one experience is the beginning of the next experience, which quickly comes to its own end, leading to a new beginning. It’s like a river continuously flowing. Usually, we resist this flow by trying to solidify our experience in one way or another. We try to find something, anything, to hold on to. The instruction here is to relax and let go."

Pema Chödrön reminds us that impermanence never takes a break. And that we can be thankful for that.

"There is never a moment when we’re not in transition—and believe it or not this is good news."

I did have trouble understanding some of the Buddhist teachings on death because I'm unfamiliar with them and with the vocabulary used to describe them.

But overall I recommend this book for the thoughtful guidance that Pema Chödrön offers on living a more meaningful life in view of the constancy of death.

"Opening to death will help you open to life. Death is not just something that happens at the end of our life. Death happens every moment."

My thanks to NetGalley and Shambhala Publications for the review copy of this book.

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Pema Chodron’s newest title, “How We Live is How We Die” (Shambala, 2022), includes her generous wit and compassion, while exploring topics that a preponderance of the population would like to explore the least.

An ordained nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Chodron discusses the stages of “the bardos,” particularly as exhibited in “The Tibetan Book of the Dead.” In the first of six stages, “the natural bardo of this life,” we partake in the work of understanding that continual change exists. We are in a continual flow state that our practice and understanding of the bardos, as well as impermanence, non-attachment, and suffering, can help us grasp this reality of constant change. Fighting against change, fear, and how uncomfortable we feel often increases our suffering manifold. As Thich Nhat Hanh noted (and Chodron quotes as well): “It’s not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.”

“How We Live is How We Die” also touches on parts of Chodron’s personal history, consciousness, relative and absolute truth, the three kleshas, tonglen practice and meditation, and more.

Readers and practitioners of Tara Brach, Roshi Joan Halifax, Frank Ostaseki, Sharon Salzberg, Lama Rod Owens, Rev. angel Kyodo williams, and Ruth King may find this hits their practice and reading sweet spot!

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Well, this book certainly impacted me and made me rather contemplative. It is the first time I have read something by Pema Chodron but I will surely look for some of her other titles.

The title of this book indicates that it will be a deep read and indeed it is. It is based upon the Tibetan Bardo texts. The author guides readers in exploring and accepting the flow of changes that constantly occur in life. It is about a cycle of beginnings, endings, beginnings…really all of life.

I highly recommend this book. It has helped me to worry a bit less and live a bit more.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Shambala Publications, Inc. for this title. All opinions are my own.

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This book sets out to do exactly what the title states - to show how we live is how we die -- and by realizing that, we can meet death with less fear and more presence. We can live that way, too. Chodron draws from the teachings of Tibetan Book of the Dead to illustrate the transience of life (how we experience multiple deaths daily) and what happens after our physical body dies (what happens when you wake up in the bardo). Although I am not a practicing Buddhist, as a mental health counsellor, I I still found much to learn from Chodron's book. She describes how emotions are the path to awakening and gives some concrete practices to help work with our emotions. I appreciated her breakdown of the various 'kleshas' (states of mind like anger, craving, jealousy) that trap us and the wisdom that they can also hold. She also provides some meditations at the end. There were sections in the book that took deeper dives into Buddhist philosophy that were beyond my comprehension and interest. All to say that I feel both non-Buddhists and practicing Buddhists alike can find wisdom in this book. Thank you to Netgalley and Shambala Publications for the ARC.

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I had heard that Pema Chodron was a compassionate guide and after reading this I wholeheartedly agree. I found much value in this book. I confess to reading it twice and I read it about half-way through it for a third time. Each time I resonated with it a little more. Although, she is a practicing Buddhist from which I knew some things--I did come away from reading this with much gained knowledge in how to actually practice a lot that I sort of knew.

We all have our propensities towards certain behaviors and what she called Kleshas. I found this particular information to be so true. I also came away with a fresh perspective on how to look at mine and this is a book that I plan on re-reading from where I left off during my third perusal through it. There is a reading list at the back of the book from which I noticed that some are ones that she referred to in the main text.

I definitely gained a lot of insight and am grateful to have had the opportunity to have chosen this to read. It is a book that can be read in just a few hours. I thought that I may finally read, "Lincoln in the Bardo," which was published in 2018. It is one of the suggested titles named for further reading. Again, I am indebted to Pema Chodron for explaining basic concepts from which I already knew, but her ability for me to internalize them on a deeper level is what I found to be transforming.

Publication Date 10-04-22

Thank you to Net Galley, Pema Chodron and Shambhala Publications, Inc. for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

#HowWeLiveIsHowWeDie #PemaChodron #ShambhalaPublicationsInc #NetGalley

The different Buddhist terms made more sense with each subsequent reading

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The reader definitely needs to keep an open mind coming into this book. It is full of little bits of awesome you just have to be in the right mindset to see them for yourself.

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Pema Chodron is a Buddhist nun who has great insight to offer. In How We Live Is How We Die she teaches the reader how to live with change - the constant shift between life and death, beginnings and endings.

Full of insightful thoughts - helping readers understand how to accept change with curiosity rather than fear - she leads up to training us to die as we live.

Very uplifting and easy reading for such hefty thoughts.

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Pema Chödrön’s “How We Live is How We Die” is a must read for any person desiring to learn from a spiritual master. You will live more bravely, wisely, and compassionately after reading this book!

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As usual, Pema provides lots of wisdom, of which, she is a highly dependable source. I read a several of her books and always find them helpful and comforting. Recommended.

Thanks very much for the free ARC for review!!

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I have to say I may be biased but I love Pema Chodron! I have followed this author for years and being in her 80's and still helping us with her teachings is amazing . In this book she takes on the subject of death and transitioning. Everyone has their own beliefs about what comes next if anything after death. With everything that is going on in the world today, this book could not have come at a better time. I am looking forward to getting a hard copy for my library when it is released.

Thank you to NetGalley and Shambhala Publishing for allowing me this ARC.

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Though I don’t share Peña Chodron’s Buddhist path and practice, I constantly learn from her teachings as I seek and often find intersections with my own Mussar study and practice. She is wise, compassionate, and entertaining in a wisdom kind of way. Another string offering from a wonderful teacher.

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This book describes bardo,a term used in Tibetan Buddhism for the intermediate stage between death and life. These teachings are based on an ancient text. The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which describes the various experiences the dead person will go through and serves as a guide to help them through what is thought to be a disorienting journey from this life to the next. This book also addresses, in a profound and moving manner, the question of why we are afraid of death and what we can do to prepare for a peaceful transition. Index. Appendices. List of suggested readings.

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Wonderful book by Pema Chödrön. Confession, I will read anything she writes, and she penned this book in her 85th year! She shares teachings on life and death and how to work with difficult but human emotions, and the fear inherent in change. Her books are always written in a simple, easy to read, style, as well as being compassionate and wise. Highly recommended for anyone who missed but would appreciate the instruction book on how to "do" and live life. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.

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