When Things Fall Apart is a non-fiction book all about Buddhist teachings. I am personally not religious myself, but it’s one of those books that is applicable to anyone, whatever life choices they have made.
It’s so hard to sum up this book because it has so much raw and honest wisdom within it. You kind of go on your own journey of reflective thoughts throughout it, finding yourself as you find your way through the book.
The overall message of the book is how, as humans, we often see pain as fundamentally bad. We hate it, we ignore it, we distract ourselves from it. We do everything we can to feel pleasure, thinking that feeling bad is a result of unfairness or failing in the world.
What if feeling pain is simply a sign of wisdom, of change, of stepping further down the path to the best life we can ever lead?
In this book, meditation is used as an example to practice feeling pain. Instead of running from it, we must let ourselves connect with those deepest parts of ourselves. Only then, can we accept our emotions, and learn to overcome the baggage they store inside of ourselves.
There are so many beautiful and inspiring quotes in the book that I would love to share with you all:
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”
“The point is not to try to get rid of thoughts, but rather to see their true nature. Thoughts will run us around in circles if we buy into them, but really they are like dream images. They are like an illusion – not really all that solid. They are, as we say, just thinking.”
“… we have a lot of opinions, and we tend to take them as truth. But actually they aren’t the truth. They are just our opinions. We have a lot of emotional backup for these opinions. They are often judgemental or critical… Opinions are opinions, nothing more or less.”
“We don’t experience the world fully unless we are willing to give everything away. Samaya means not holding anything back, not preparing our escape route, not looking for alternatives, not thinking that there is ample time to do things later.”
“Sometimes we meet someone who seems to have a great sense of wellbeing, and we wonder how that person got that way. We would like to be that way. That wellbeing is often a result of having been brave enough to be fully alive and awake to every moment of life, including all the lack of cheer, all the dark times, all the times when the clouds cover the sun.”
Doesn’t Pema Chödrön just have a way with words?
The only reason why I was hesitant to give this book five stars is because, at times, it can get a little heavy. If you don’t know much about Buddhist teachings, it can be a little too overwhelming to learn, but I think if you are willing to sit down and think, rather than pace through, you will be fine. It can get a little repetitive, but stick with it. I think the overall message is something we can all learn from.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5
Have you read When Things Fall Apart?
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