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Publisher's Summary

Pema Chödrön's perennially best-selling classic on overcoming life's difficulties cuts to the heart of spirituality and personal growth, and makes for a perfect addition to one's spiritual library.

How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart - when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? The answer, Pema Chödrön suggests, might be just the opposite of what you expect. Here, in her most beloved and acclaimed work, Pema shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.

©2017 Pema Chödrön (P)2017 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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Cassandra was not a good choice for a narrator

I have heard at least six audiobooks narrated by Cassandra and I consider her to be a great narrator. However, this particular book is really suffering because of Cassandra’s reading style and voice quality. The outcome is not soothing and calming. It is not even friendly.
Most people who reach for this title are probably experiencing emotional pain and suffering to some degree. Therefore, it would have been great to listen to a voice with a timbre that is more deep and calming, and a narrator whose style is less matter-of-fact.
When Pema was writing this book, my sense is that her intention was that her words would land in our minds in a clear, yet comforting and encouraging way. Cassandra’s interpretation makes these sentences and words have a pointy feel and look in my mind.
The content is immensely valuable and so I hope that Pema and the publishers will decide to record another audio version of this book.
Thanks!

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not the right narrator

I listened to Pema for the first time on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. I was so intrigued by her and her story. I immediately related to her struggles through her relationships and decided to get her book. Her tone is so warm and sincere. That is originally part of what drew me in. When selecting reads that I am connected to on a spiritual and personal level, I’m hoping the voice reading back to me is easily relatable. I didn’t feel this was the right narrator for this story. Her voice didn’t connect with me.

42 of 46 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DL
  • 03-30-18

Beautiful Book, Wrong Narrator

Would you listen to When Things Fall Apart again? Why?

Honestly, no. I'd read it or listen with a different narrator.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I had to take many breaks and could only listen to Cassandra Campbell's narration for short periods of time. She's a fine reader, but her style is much too affected and stagy, almost like she's trying to sound seductive or flirtatious. It felt really distracting and wrong for this book, where you just want to experience the author's direct teachings, and not have the narrator inserting themselves or their weird interpretation into it. And yeah, I get the irony of being so annoyed by something like this when I'm trying to listen to Buddhist teachings. Oh well!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Heavy must

I would not recommend it in the start of a crisis because it’s hardcore and very true to the Buddha’s teaching. For a crisis I recommend “True refuge” by Tara Brach. This book is perfect when you have gotten a little less crushed.

I was thirteen when this book came out, due to reduced vision I prayed for an audio edition. I pre-ordered. and in some periods I listened to one essay. The last week I have used this as a retreat.

Everyone should listen in, you might need to listen over and over but it will soften your soul because it is the way of the Dharma in any form. Cassandra Campbell has the perfect velvet-voice for this classic.

Om mani padme hung(hung in Pali, hum in Sanskrit.)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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my great gratitude

Im grateful and thankful to Pema, this is a book to help me relate to great teaching of buddha.
sadhu sadhu sadhu..

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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amazing read.

this book is a great tool to change your perception pf any situation, master your mood and be kinder to others. Really refreshing and non judgemental or full of BS.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Delivery not for me

I am reading the book again, listening didn’t do anything for me. I think hearing Pema’s words read aloud is a personal thing, and the performance just didn’t work for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book, Peculiar Narrator

Pema is one of the voices I turn to, over and over. And I was grateful to find this classic available as an audiobook. As it began to play, I had an inkling of recognition. The narrator’s pouty, flirty voice sounded like she was at once drinking a fancy red while trying to sell you a luxury condo. And I realized this not-unintelligent voice was the one I had just heard narrating Molly’s Game— to which she was perfectly suited. Here, I spent so much energy baffled by and trying to hear the meaning behind the words the narrator seemed to have little understanding of herself, that the whole thing became an exercise in watching and noting the judgmental reactive mind. Which, I suppose, Pema might say is perfect. But I’m maybe not that enlightened.

I’m grateful to have the book, but would love to hear Pema read it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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wonderful book

wonderful book as usual from Pema Chodron. simple and touching
great reading performance. I highly recommend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Life changing for me.

I have struggled with anxiety and depression for the last 10 years, on and off. This book changed my life for the better, my anxiety is at its lowest and my depression is gone, all thanks to the concepts in this book that are so eloquently presented and easy to practice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Monserrat
  • 09-24-18

Brilliant book, narrated badly.

I love this book, it is an essential read, but I would recommend you buy the actual book and read it rather than listen to this.
The narrator is heavy-handed and overly didactic in tone. Completely at odds with the light-touch and gentle message of Pema Chödrön herself. It's so self-regarding and preachy (the delivery, not the contents) making it a fairly excruciating listen.
I didn't finish it.
Rather go to any one of the many of Pema Chödrön's talks on Audible where she is in person or to one of the Pema books where Joanna Rotte is the narrator, she's much more listenable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-09-18

Cool air touching my tender and vulnerable heart

This book gently journeyed through and articulated a heart space that I know but haven’t introduced myself to. I am about to listen to this book again for the third time. The idea that trauma and suffering can fuel transformation and deep healing is a salve.