The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times - Chapters 1-3 Summary & Analysis

Pema Chödrön
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Chapters 1-3 Summary and Analysis

Chapter 1- Excellence of Bodhichitta

Chodron introduces the term bodhichitta by breaking it down into its two parts, chitta meaning mind, heart, or attitude, and bodhi meaning awake, enlightened, or completely open. Bodhichitta is the soft spot in any situation. It is our natural empathetic leaning that, if we can stay with it, will allow us to avoid the hardening of our hearts and minds. The Buddha described bodhichitta as always present, even at our lowest moments, a door, however small, that we can choose to open or keep opened.

There are two levels of bodhichitta, unconditional, or gut level bodhichitta, and relative bodhichitta. Training in both of these can make one a bodhisattva, an enlightened warrior. Chodron likens enlightenment and openness to being a warrior because it requires the ability to look unflinchingly at every aspect of existence...

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This section contains 566 words
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