Saturday, August 9, 2008
Pema Chodron - Good Medicine
Within Buddhism, there are many stories that refer to its founder as the "supreme physician" – a healer of all illness – mental, physical, and spiritual. The Buddha’s prescription for right living led directly to tonglen, a Tibetan meditation practice that is today the medicine our hearts have been searching for. On the new enhanced CD edition of Good Medicine, American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron shares the gift of this simple and elegant meditation system: a way to befriend ourselves, accept the past we have rejected, and widen our circle of compassion. Includes rare live footage with Pema Chodron, interview excerpts, and other enhancements available here for the first time.
The places that scare you - A guide to fearlessness in difficult times
Pema Chödrön may have more good one-liners than a Groucho Marx retrospective, but this nun's stingers go straight to the heart: "The essence of bravery is being without self-deception"; "When we practice generosity, we become intimate with our grasping"; "Difficult people are the greatest teachers." These are the punctuations to specific teachings of fearlessness. In The Places That Scare You, Chödrön introduces a host of the compassionate warriors' tools and concepts for transforming anxieties and negative emotions into positive living. Rather than steeling ourselves against hardship, she suggests we open ourselves to vulnerability; from this comes the loving kindness and compassion that are the wellsprings of joy. How do we achieve it? Through meditation, mindfulness, slogans, aspiration, and several other practices, such as tonglen, which is taking in the pain and suffering of others while sending out happiness to all--emphasis on the all. Chödrön introduces each of these practices in turn, backing them up with succinct practical reasoning and a framework of ideas that offers fresh interpretations of familiar words like strength, laziness, and groundlessness. Chödrön is the type of person you'd like to have with you in an emergency, and to deal with the extremes of daily life. In her absence, The Places That Scare You will do nicely.