Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist nun and one of the foremost students of Chogyam Trungpa, the renowned meditation master. She is director of Gampo Abbey, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. This audio includes the unabridged text of her 2001 book designed to enable men and women to develop trust in their awakened hearts and then practice compassion in their everyday lives. There are five CDs lasting six hours. The reader of Start Where You Are is Joanna Rotte, Professor of Theatre at Villanova University in Pennsylvania and a longtime student of Buddhism.

Chodron leads us through the four stages of tonglen meditation practice which means "taking in and sending out." She sees this as a way "to let ourselves feel what it is to be human" and by doing so to widen our circle of compassion. She also is convinced that the best way to begin our practice is to start with what is presenting itself in our lives.

Chodron goes on to explain the lojong slogans, many of which are filled with both wisdom and paradox. Here are a few of them:

• Abandon any hope of fruition.
• Don't be swayed by external circumstances.
• Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment.
• Drive all blames into one.
• Train wholeheartedly.

Her commentaries on these slogans are both insightful and inventive. They go against the grain of Western culture, but they do awaken compassion and soften the heart.