The book is about the all too common mistakes we make in the west, dealing with pain and suffering. She offers another way.
It's not a religious book, but a book about thinking. It's about how we think, what we think, and how we can approach it differently.
I'll warn you that it can be a very upsetting book. When I first read it, I realized I had been needlessly torturing myself for about 20 years over some aspects of how I see myself, who I think I am.
When I realized it, I locked myself in a bathroom and sobbed into my hands for about half an hour.
Then I realized I was still torturing myself. I laughed, washed my face, and felt much better.
I won't tell you that since then I never torture myself. That would be nonsense. Often are the times when I condemn myself for eating poorly, making bad choices, being lazy or selfish.
Then I remember. I do as Pema teaches, turn into the pain, really look at it, and myself, with compassion and brutal, unflinching honesty.
It's not easy. But it is worthwhile. Afterward, I feel like I've scrubbed myself raw, like I'm new, smooth, and unblemished.
In those moments, I see the truth. Being alive is beautiful.
I'm so grateful for Pema and what her book has taught me.