Thursday, November 13, 2008
No Time to Lose by Pema Chödrön
No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva by Pema Chödrön is a passage by passage commentary on Shantideva’s The Way of the Bodhichitta. For some reason Chödrön chose to skip one of the chapters which makes me want to reread Shantideva’s text, particularly chapter nine. With that said, I appreciate Chödrön’s commitment to providing a commentary upon this ancient text, contextualizing the passages while also making them relevant to the contemporary reader. The commentary is often quite practical which is why I took long my time reading it, often setting the book aside for weeks on end. There are so many passages that also merit some reflection, whether quotes from Shantideva’s text or Chödrön’s commentary. What makes No Time to Lose so remarkable is that in spite of the content’s depth it is an easy book to read. Many books that take on such heavy teachings rarely make it accessible to the average reader. Sharing her personal stories alongside distant history and sacred stories, Chödrön does a wonderful job of bringing light to a text that could easily be lost in the fog of cultural confusion. I would love to read this book again sometime along with someone else, sharing the experience and discussing ways to put the teachings into personal practice.