Book Review: The Wisdom of No Escape, and the Path of Loving-kindness by Pema Chodron

spiritedStarred Page By spirited, 19th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Religion & Spirituality

This book review is about a book with a catchy title. At your first reading of this title, you might think to yourself, "What has the path of loving kindness got to do with the Wisdom of not escaping."

It is the greatest kindness that we can give to another person not to try to escape from them, but it is also being kind to ourselves, when we do not try to escape from living our lives, as who we really are also, too.

A catchy title that contains an element of truth in its own oxymoronic way

Is it really wisdom to not try to escape from our life, our purpose, our true path, or not?

Wisdom comes from trial and tribulation, and in the end, you will finally realise that to escape is not to escape, but more to be captured by who you are not, instead of your being who you really are.

In the end then, there is no final escape.

Love, enough love always brings you home to your true self, and there will always be, and there always is, enough love being sent to you by God, and by the Universe to help you to achieve this, at all times.

This book then is about our saying, "Yes" to life, and to ourselves, by fully accepting, and embracing with joy, all that it brings to us to work through.

There is "No Escape" from our being us within life.

This book was written by a Buddhist nun. What would a cloistered away nun know about life anyway, you might ask?

The author Pema Chodron is an ordained nun who follows the path of Tibetan Buddhism. She is the author of more than just this one book, and she even has her own web-site here.

What she has said, and the way that she lives her life, have reportedly inspired millions of people, all around the World.

She was born in America. When she was in her thirties, she travelled abroad and met a Tibetan lama, whom she studied with for several years. This was in the French alps, and the lama in question was, Lama Chime Rinpoche.

Her main teacher was though another more well-known figure.

This was Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the great Tibetan meditation master, who died in 1987. She studied under him from 1974 to 1987.

"Hope and fear cannot alter the season."

The above quote is from this great Tibetan master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, (1939 to 1987), himself.

It is a rather subtle quote. Here is what I think that he meant here.

Love is never all of itself until it is all of itself within you.

You will see outer parts of it in different ways, then sometimes you will feel cold or off-put from your seeing this, but then at these times, you must realise that all is love, and that it is just changing its clothes in front of you, showing you different aspects of itself, or revealing to you the varying phases of itself, as its going through life with you.

Here's a little bit about the book being reviewed now

"The only reason we don't open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don't feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else's eyes."

This is a good quote from Pema Chodron to start off this section with.

Pema talks about "resting evenly" with our life in her book.

If we can do this, we can live honestly and openly with ourselves, whilst also maintaining a sort of inner and outer friendship with ourselves at the same time.

This is about accepting and loving ourselves, so that we can live our lives, being who we really are.

The author is rather forthright at times, as she passes on the wisdom of her own master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

She tells us, for example, not to dabble in spiritualism as a way of trying to feel good, or to try to escape from your required learnings.

This shopping around, trying many spiritual paths, is a form of materialism too, she says. Real spiritual growth comes from meeting your dragons, and befriending them by getting to know them.

Your greatest enemy is usually your greatest teacher too, so is her approach to life, living, and learning.

This book was first published in the United States by Shambhala Publications in 1991, but it has been re-published since then too. It was published in the United Kingdom in 2003, by Element, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Photo credits:

All photos used here were freely taken from the public section of the free media site, Wikimedia Commons, that is except for the photo of the cover of the book, which I took myself, as I own a copy of this book.

Here is another book review that you might like from this writer (me, the one who write this review, not Pema Chodron).

Book Review: Christian Mysticism, a Psychotheology.


Book Review, Book Reviews, Buddhist Nun, Greatest Teacher, Loving Ourselves, Loving-Kindness, Pema Chodron, Tibetan Lama, Wisdom, Wisdom Of No Escape

Meet the author

author avatar spirited
I have been interested in the spiritual fields for over thirty five years now. My writing is mostly in this area.

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author avatar Carol Roach
19th Feb 2015 (#)

It sounds like a wonderful book, but I would be hard press to find love in an evil individual such as a murderer

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author avatar spirited
19th Feb 2015 (#)

Well, do you think it was once there when he was but a baby in his mother's arms, or was he made that way later on, or was really he born to be that way.

When we look for love in the most unlikely of places, we often end up finding it there too.

thanks for commenting Carol.

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Feb 2015 (#)

Hi Spirited, this sounds like a fascinating book. It is my belief that people are not good and bad but just different. Love is everywhere. Blessings.

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author avatar spirited
19th Feb 2015 (#)

yes I agree with your belief, thanks Kingwell

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
20th Feb 2015 (#)

Life has to be embraced with all its quirks, happiness and disappointments. We should stay the course and not try to find escape routes from realities. Thanks Spirited for this review - siva

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author avatar spirited
20th Feb 2015 (#)

thanks siva, life has a way of finding us even within our escape routes though. We never really miss out on the experiences that we most need I feel.

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