No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva

Pema Chodron, Author, Helen Berliner, Editor . Shambhala $26.95 (386p) ISBN 978-1-59030-135-7

Popular Buddhist teacher Chödrön has a surprise for her many readers and students: textual commentary. Her newest book comments at length on an eighth-century text by the Indian Buddhist sage Shantideva. It's a guidebook for developing bodhichitta , an awakened mind that expresses itself in compassionate action to alleviate suffering. The lengthy text will certainly be unfamiliar to beginners, but Chödrön is a wise choice for an escort. She is a clear teacher, explaining key terms (the Sanskrit term klesha , for example, may be translated as neurosis or affliction) and making things simple and characteristically plainspoken ("When we are distracted, we can't remember anything we've studied or read"). She is also the right kind of motivator, telling readers immediately what's in it for them: this book can inspire those who want to make the world a better place. Readers will need a helpful teacher and patience to take up the challenge offered by the long Buddhist text, which has been important in Chödrön's own study. It's not a book for beginners or a good introduction to Chödrön's own body of accessible work. But for those wanting depth and greater awareness of the Buddhist canon, this book opens a door. (Nov. 8)

Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
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