START WHERE YOU ARE-A Guide to Compassionate Living By Pema Chodron Full Book Summrize

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About Book

Do you hear too much noise in the world? Are you tired of the problems in your life? If yes, then now is the time to stop worrying and spread love and peace. In this summary, you will learn how to defeat the evil within you, accept others as they are, and take responsibility for your actions. You will also learn how to love yourself and send love to the whole world by showing kindness. ‘Starting Where You Are’ is the beginning of a happier, happier life and a world full of less difficulties.

Who should read this summary?

  • Young Adult
  • Adult
  • Anyone who needs inspiration

About the Author

Pema Chodron is an author, teacher and Buddhist nun. She is the first director of Gumpo Abbey in Canada. This is the first Tibetan Buddhist Monastry in the entire continent. Pema is the author of more than 40 books and audiobooks. She is now 85 years old. She teaches people about love and kindness.


Change doesn’t just mean changing your everyday habits. The way you feel, the way you think, this change, this change, is about them. It is difficult to bring any change, so this summary is going to teach a new way of looking at the world.

You can create a better world by changing yourself. For this, you should always remember that you are not alone in the battle of life. You are connected to others and they are also connected to you.
This summary will teach you the tricks of living a life full of love and kindness. You will learn how to love yourself, love life and send love to everyone around you.
You will also learn how to overcome our fear of change and our reluctance to approach people.
This summary will also help you to become more responsible and more grateful for everything.
By putting into practice the lessons you learn from this summary, you will be able to grow and inspire your friends and family.

Start Where You Are

We are all connected in some way or the other. Imagine that if a person does something in a river in America, it will affect all the people whose lives are connected with this river in one way or the other, even if they are living in another country.
What you do affects others as well. In the same way, whatever others do, it will affect you. You should always have love and respect for yourself. When you value yourself and take care of yourself, then only you can take care of others. If you are always angry, you harm yourself and the people around you.
If you want to make your contribution in changing the world, then you can start this work from where you are. To begin with, you have to change all that is harming you, such as if you are angry, sad, upset or in bad habits, then focus your energy to change all these. And make a fresh start.
You can change your bad habits by practicing Tonglen Art. Tonglen is a practice of sending and receiving. For example, if you have bad thoughts or feelings in your mind, you have to conquer them. So, try to take a deep breath and connect with all those who have the same bad thoughts as you.
On the other hand, if you feel positive, exhale it with the breath and send these positive feelings to everyone around you.
Let us see the example of Milarepa, who was a great hero of Buddhism.
Milarepa was a unique person who preferred to live alone in caves away from others. He had a strong will power to follow his dharma and meditated for years. Even if for this they had to depend only on the things they got from nature, still they were ready for it, so they chose to live in caves.
One night, after collecting firewood, Milarepa returned to his cave and found many demons sitting there. These demons had come to take possession of his cave. They were eating his food, playing with his books, even sleeping on his bed.
Milarepa knew that these demons were the evil within him. He was able to see them. Although he knew who they were, he did not know how to deal with them.
First of all he talked to them. He tried to tell that they are all a part of him and they are connected with each other. Still, the demons refused to leave.
Then Milarepa got angry. He shouted at them and asked them to leave his cave, but the demons just laughed at him.
Therefore, Milarepa accepted defeat and told the demons that they could live with him. After all, he was a part of them. So they decided that they should accept their presence. On doing this, all the demons except one demon went out of the cave. This one demon did not want to go at all and Milarepa could not understand what to do now.
He had absolutely no strength left to fight, so Milarepa accepted defeat and went straight to the monster. He put his head in the mouth of the demon and asked him to eat. After this, that one demon also left from there.
You can learn from this story that when you bring your demons to the fore and accept them, they all start disappearing easily from your life.
So don’t worry and make a fresh start from where you are. Gradually, you will be able to fight and defeat your inner demons one after the other.

Be Grateful to Everyone

In life, you should owe everyone and everything. When you do this, you are sure to get something out of every person and every situation.
You should be ready to learn some new lesson everyday. For this, you have to keep your sense organs alert, only then you will realize what makes you happy and what makes you sad. By recognizing the reasons for happiness, you will be able to be happy everyday and, By protecting yourself from the reasons, you will be able to live more comfortably.
Always try to learn from your own experience. Don’t expect others to teach you or tell you their point of view. You should have faith in your ability to take wise decisions and learn valuable lessons.
You should live your life with love and kindness. If others say good or bad to you, don’t make any opinion on them and don’t be sad. Whenever someone tries to make you sad, you should try to understand their point of view and learn from them.
Gurdjieff was a great teacher who was very intelligent. His house was not far from Paris and he used his house to teach students.
The most important lesson he tried to teach his students was the Art of Presence. Gurdjieff always taught his students to think big and have a big vision. If a student aspired to become a professor, Gurdjieff would ask him to practice being a salesman. By doing this, he tries to teach his students the art of being present even when they are not able to do the work they want.
Once an incident happened, actually a student of Gurdjieff was very angry. He was angry all the time and could hardly tolerate anyone. Even when people did simple things to him, he used to get angry and disturb everyone.
One day, when all the students were doing some work as instructed by Gurdjieff, that student lost his temper.
Gurdjieff asked his students to cut a piece of muslin into small pieces and take them to different places. All the students agreed to do so because they knew that their teacher was trying to teach them something. But, it was impossible for that one student to tolerate the work so he decided to leave.
After his departure, everyone was happy because they were feeling more positive and there was no one around to disturb them. But, when Gurdjieff came to know that the student had left, he followed him. They took three days to find that student and convinced him to come back. Other students were surprised at this.
One of the students asked Gurdjieff why he had brought back such a student. Gurdjieff replied that he had not only brought him back but was also paying him to stay there.
This great teacher knew how valuable this experience was to this angry student, so he decided to pay him to teach. This was not a personal problem for Gurdjieff and hence it was a well-thought-out decision.
If you want to learn any lesson in your life, then you have to leave your ego, your ego and try to understand others instead of fighting with them.

Overcoming Resistance

In the previous chapter, we learned that in order to change and grow, we must be open to trying new things. We should not run away even in the face of difficulties. Instead, we should try to get out of our comfort zone and create our own discipline.
Usually from childhood we learn to run away from that thing which scares us. In this chapter, we will learn about four principles that can help us overcome this fear and fight our inner demons.
First of all, you need to collect merit. Merit here is the feeling that makes you believe that there is peace and goodness in the whole world. When you drop your ego, you start looking at the world with hope.
Second, you should accept your evil. If you have done something bad, then you should make a fresh start with remorse and then decide never to repeat the same mistake. You can also do something good to compensate for that loss.
Third, you must learn to feed the devil within you. This means you should bake a cake and keep it for these devils of yours. Always remember that our demons are the evils within us. By offering this cake, you are acknowledging their presence in an open way. In this way, you will be able to reduce the hesitation and fear inside you.
Fourth, you should make offerings to your protector. These protectors are the ones who protect your wisdom and intelligence. These protectors are responsible for keeping you awake whenever your attention drifts away from important things.
Imagine that you are fighting with someone and you are very angry. You both have said hurtful things to each other and you decide to leave the room. Then, you slam the door with all your might and you walk out even angrier than before.
But, as soon as you close the door, your fingers get caught in the middle, causing you a lot of pain. This is the work of a savior who is trying to bring you back to your senses.
Yes, maybe someone made you angry, but you could have taken this situation differently. After injuring your finger, you might regain consciousness and apologize for yelling at the person.
Like in this example, if you want to win over your devil, you must use one of these four principals.

Compassionate Action

Have you seen and felt that due to the rise of technology, people have become isolated from each other? If we look at the families, we will find that everyone is more connected to their phone than their brother or sister.
The real purpose of living life is to connect with others and try to make a better world, so it is very important that you stop fearing and hiding from others. For this you have to learn to love yourself and show kindness to yourself. When we are kind to ourselves, then only we can be kind to others. If we love ourselves, then only we can send love to others in the world.
Another way to reduce your fear in front of others is to be kind. When you try to understand the real reason behind the actions of others, then you will be able to feel their pain. Then, whenever they are doing something wrong or are in pain, you will be able to help them. We should try to understand them by putting ourselves in their place. That way, you’ll be able to connect, engage and help others more.
The author once received a letter. It was sent by one of his friends and it was full of anger. Sad things were written in it and the author felt sad at first after reading it. Then, he got angry and decided to answer it. The author had decided to write similar harsh words in response to this. He realized that if she did this, the rift in their relationship would widen further. Her friend thought that she knew everything, the proof of which was this letter.
The day the author sat down to write the answer, something happened that changed her mind. She was feeling lonely. She was sad. Therefore, the author realized that perhaps her friend was also lonely when she wrote the letter.

Sometimes, when people are sad, they try to hurt other people around them. So, instead of writing bitter things, the author decided to respond with kindness and love. She told her friend that even though she had written heart-wrenching things, she would always support him.
If the author had not had a bad day that day, he would not have felt the pain of his friend. To be kind one needs to understand others and the same happened with the author.
By showing kindness and making an effort to connect with others, you will be able to give them strength and melt their hearts.The world needs love and kindness, so let’s spread the love and affection as much as we can.

Taking Responsibility For Your Own Actions

In this chapter, we will talk about one more way by which you can spread love and kindness in this world. You can become soft-hearted for others by taking responsibility for your work. When you take responsibility, you give evidence of being mature. With this, you will be able to see life in a big and clear perspective.
People always impose their mistakes on others. We blame the weather, the government, our parents and the whole world, but never ourselves.
By ignoring the weaknesses of others, you can become more responsible. Everyone likes to gossip. When we talk about the mistakes of others, we feel ourselves bigger. When you stop focusing on the shortcomings of others, then only you will be able to become more compassionate and more responsible.
Another way you can give evidence of responsibility is by not living up to people’s expectations. Usually, when someone hurts us, we always wish bad for that person and we don’t even give a second chance to that person. When someone does something nice to us, we think they are nice even though they are not really Don’t be nice
Being responsible means giving everyone a chance and not jumping to conclusions without knowing.
Suppose you meet a man named Martin and you find yourself in a situation where you are sitting with your friends and talking about Martin’s bad breath. Then you start talking about his hair, his funny laugh and his brain.
With Martin talking behind his back, you and your friends can feel good because you think at least you’re not an idiot like him.
Sometimes, we refuse to accept the fact that we like to talk about other people’s shortcomings, their mistakes, on which we say that our intention was not to harm them. But, actually, we are doing it wrong. We are being irresponsible.
There is another reason why we like to find faults in others. It makes us feel that we are better. Even if you don’t speak to Martin’s face, you will think badly of him every time you meet him.
You will think that you do not like Martin’s choice of clothes and the way he walks. You’ll be thinking badly about him, yet you’ll try to smile and, every time he stares at you, you’ll hate him even more.
Even if you try to befriend him now, he will still look at you coldly.
You only have bad thoughts for Martin. So maybe you don’t realize that you’re being irresponsible. If you had thought for just a second how he would feel if he knew what you thought of him, you might have been kinder.
Just try to put yourself in Martin’s place, then you will see how different your thinking will be. This will make you more kind and responsible.

Train Wholeheartedly

Having learned the principles of changing your life, now is the time to apply them in your life. Change of any kind is scary, especially if it’s about embracing openness and being kinder to yourself and others.
Even if difficulties come in your life and people hurt you, even then you should leave your ego and give importance to humanity. When suffering ensues, remember that you are doing so so that you can send your love and kindness to others. It is time to return the goodness to humanity.
Treat yourself like an eagle that can soar high in the sky. But, now you are not able to fly because of your clothes and with the passage of time you have forgotten how to fly.
If you have to fly again, you have to leave your clothes. This means that you have to adopt your reality, only then you will be able to connect with whatever is the reality and, with this, you will be able to connect with others as well.
Marpa was a translator and teacher. He had decided to walk from Tibet to India, in the hope that he would be able to learn something valuable.
Once, when Marpa was traveling in India, he met a teacher. This teacher was one of his colleagues with whom he usually used to compare his notes to see who learned more from his journey.
This teacher was envious of Marpa because Marpa was able to learn more than him. So he decided to do something about it.
One day, when they were crossing the river in a boat, he threw all Marpa’s books into the water. Marpa felt bad, but felt that he should not feel bad.
Marpa realized that all that he had learned from these books had become a part of his life, that he no longer needed those books to remember.
By putting into practice what you’ve learned from this summary, you’ll be able to pick up skills that will become part of your life and define you. It will change a lot like the way you see, hear and even smell things, everything will change.


Pema Chodron is a Buddhist teacher who teaches people around the world the skills to live peacefully. In this summary, he explains the principles of living with kindness and love. From this summary, you learn some valuable lessons of life. First, you learned the Tonglen method of sending positivity to other people and sharing their sadness.
Second, you learned that you should feel grateful to everyone and everything. By doing this, you will be ready to learn something new in your life with a more open heart. With this you will be able to move forward and increase your chances.
Third, because we are afraid of adopting any kind of change, to overcome this fear, learn to trust, accept your mistakes and learn to recognize the devil inside you and also learn to use your protector.
Fourth, you have learned how to remove the fear of people from inside you. You learned to think with compassion and put yourself in the shoes of others. This way, you will be able to spread more love to people and make an impact.
At last, you learned how we can be a responsible person. By avoiding talking bad about others and hurting others, you can build strong and positive relationships with people.
Always remember that one can become perfect only after practicing. Applying these new philosophies can be initially difficult, but you should think about its huge benefits.
By being more kind, you can send more love into the world. Everyone needs love in difficult times, right?
So, practice sending love everyday and let’s create a world full of peace and love.

Finally, if you have reached the end of this summary, then Congratulations, there are very few people who invest time on knowledge, otherwise you could have wasted time elsewhere. See you soon with a new summary

Jai Hind

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