In this amazing resource, the author offers a substantive and practical exploration of “The Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattvas” written in the fourteenth century by the Tibetan monk Togmay Zangpo. Chodron believes that this text provides a way to live a meaningful life right now that is free from the stress and frenzy brought by our disturbing emotions. It is helpful to study, reflect, and meditate on the Buddha’s wisdom and to eschew the three poisons of attachment, anger, and ignorance. Letting go of attachment to this life, to our bodies, and to our wealth or possessions takes lots of inner fortitude. Making spiritual friends on the path is important for they offer companionship, encouragement, and inspiration. With their help and the light of the dharma, we can aspire to “the ever-changing supreme state of liberation.”
This ancient Tibetan text also contains powerful incentives to cultivate love, compassion, and altruism. It covers the challenges of mind-training, which involves transforming distressing events and problems into the path; dealing with difficulties such as disease, success, and the urge to control; and the six practices of bodhisattvas engage: generosity, ethical conduct, fortitude, joyous effort, meditative stabilization, and wisdom.
Chodron gets high marks for her treatments of harsh words, anger, guarding the mind and the mouth, and being compassionate for those who deride and criticize us. Throughout the book she shares first-person accounts by students and colleagues as they reflect upon their experiences and spiritual practices.
—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, “Spirituality and Practice”
By illustrating her clear, down-to-earth explanations of “The Thirty-seven Bodhisattva Practices” with her students’ personal accounts of their experiences applying them, Venerable Thubten Chodron has brought these invaluable guidelines to life. What better way to make the Dharma accessible to the modern mind? I highly recommend this book to all who strive to make their lives meaningful through Buddhist study and practice.
—Alexander Berzin, The Berzin Archives
Venerable Thubten Chodron’s book is a clear and insightful presentation of the core of the Buddhist teaching. It offers practical advice and rich examples in seeing through the suffering of ignorance and cultivating a wise and compassionate heart. I recommend it to all dedicated practitioners of Dhamma.
—Ajahn Sundara, Amaravati Monastery, UK
“Don’t Believe Everything You Think” is a vivid narrative based on the Buddhist text, The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas. Venerable Thubten Chodron has done a masterful job of interweaving real life stories into her commentary so the wisdom of each verse of this classic text is clear, compelling and very easy to grasp and understand.
Venerable Thubten Chodron has the extraordinary ability to present even the most spiritual teachings simply and directly, in a way that impacts our everyday lives.
—Jonathan Landaw, author of “Images of Enlightenment”
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