Belinda’s Book Nook Review: Taking the Leap – Facing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears


Title: Taking the Leap – Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
Author: Pema Chodron
Copyright: September 8, 2009
Genre: Spirituality, Buddhism, Philosophy
Format: e-book  Pages: 128

This book has been on my radar for quite some time. I own a few of Pema Chodron’s books and have listened to her Buddhist sessions online. She has a great way of bringing topics to you in an inviting and no nonsense way. It’s a really small book with a little over 100 pages but it packs a big punch.

In addition to my general pleasure reading I always have a group of spiritual books that I read on the side. I have decided to share some of them with you in my reviews and recommendations moving forward.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

In this book Pema Chödrön shows us how to break free of destructive patterns in our lives and experience a new sense of freedom and happiness. Drawing on the Buddhist concept ofshenpa, she helps us to see how certain habits of mind tend to “hook” us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, and addiction. The good news is that once we start to see these patterns, we can begin to change our lives for the better.

The key is learning a new way of facing the inevitable difficulties and insecurities of our daily lives: we must learn how to stay present and open our hearts. “This path entails uncovering three basic human qualities,” explains Pema. “These qualities have always been with us but perhaps have gotten buried and almost forgotten. They are natural intelligence, natural warmth, and natural openness. Everyone, everywhere, all over the globe, has these qualities and can call on them to help themselves and others.”

A Few Quotes:

“Pausing is very helpful in this process. It creates a momentary contrast between being completely self-absorbed ad being awake and present.”

“Make a commitment to pausing throughout the day, and do that whenever you can. Allow time for your perception to shift. Allow time to experience the natural energy of life a it is manifesting right now.”

“Deep down in the human spirit there is a reservior of courage. It is always available, always waiting to be discovered.”

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy reading what I call my spiritual books because they provide me with ways I can improve myself and my life with others. This book appealed to me because I wanted to work more on some of the ways I habitually react to things I perceive as negative in my life. Let me first say that many of the concepts in this book aren’t new but Ms. Chodron has a way of making big topics accessible to all readers in a very friendly way. It’s like she is talking with an old friend. This format made it a delight to read. I found many of the passages, both inspiring and thought-provoking. Which is just what I like in spiritual and self-help books. I recommend this to everyone. The principles can be applied to anyone at any stage in life. For these reasons, I gave this book 5 butterflies!



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