When Pain is the Doorway

  • by Pema Chödrön
  • Narrated by Pema Chödrön
  • 1 hrs and 56 mins
  • Speech

Publisher's Summary

Finding freedom in our most difficult circumstances.
What if the full sense of our aliveness were only to be found amidst our most challenging times and difficult experiences? In pain and crisis, teaches Pema Chödrön, there lies a hidden doorway to freedom that appears to us only when we're sure that there is no way out.
In these intimate audio learning sessions, Pema Chödrön helps us distinguish the triggers or external events that we blame for our suffering from the deeper habitual patterns that feed our anger, fear, or sadness. From this understanding, we learn how to free ourselves from our propensity to suffer through the transformative awareness of impermanence - the dynamic and ever-shifting nature of both joy and suffering, self and selflessness-and the absolute and eternal flow from which all of it arises.
What is causing my pain? What will happen if I simply lean in, keep company with it, hold it with tenderness? Moment by moment, Pema supports and encourages listeners to bring an openhearted sense of curiosity and welcoming to our apparently impossible situations or unbearable relationships - to discover the deeper freedom available just beneath the surface.
For those experiencing emotional crisis, When Pain Is the Doorway provides expert guidance to help us stop, stay present, and enter into a more welcoming, spacious place of being that is our true home.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I felt gypped

I had expected that this would be a talk primarily on physical pain. Instead it was on harboring bad feelings against a person.
Very short talk and very long question and answer period. The questions brought up other topics, such as fear of death, but did not touch on physical pain or illness.
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- Linda A. Wright "I'm a recovering librarian. Since I had a stroke in 2002 I have found reading print difficult. I am so grateful for audiobooks."

Crucial topic. sound is fine.

Where does When Pain is the Doorway rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This topic is basically 'Charnal ground practice' which is interacting with/coming to terms with one's own interactions with and reaction to death. There is discussion on approaches to death and how that applies to our experience of life. It is clear that Pema is coming to terms with this subject, and this talk reflects that more than other talks which may be more concretized in regards to information. I still found it highly valuable and enjoyable.This topic is fairly short and a specific guided meditation is not included, however techniques for working with the topic are discussed, as well as experiences and approaches of people working with it. This is a lecture with some very good question and answers at the end. This is not a full retreat and so does not have the lengthy discussion with multiple meditation sessions during the lecture.I find Pema very approachable as a listener due to her humility and complete honesty. This allows me to listen to not only what she is teaching, but how she embodies walking her spiritual path.

What was one of the most memorable moments of When Pain is the Doorway?

It is in the sample recording I believe. Pema describes a hospice worker helping someone who is terrified to die, and what seems to work is telling the person to 'rest in the space' between breaths when this person is having severe difficulty breathing. She also describes her own and other's experiences working Charnal ground practice, and views of life working it -- as a way of working 'things are falling apart'.

What does Pema Chödrön bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I don't think a book would include her honest revelations 'I get panic attacks' that in some ways are so profound - she just accepts it like everything else. Those to me keep all the work and talks 'real'. I don't think that would make print in a polished book, yet it sets the ground for life's problems to be acceptable for anyone. I also find integrating this information easier listening to it versus reading it.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Death is the paintbrush of Life"

Any additional comments?

It's a short topic (about 2 hrs). It doesn't give all the answers but does spend time there.

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- ClosetGeek

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-26-2013
  • Publisher: Sounds True