How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind

How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind

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by Pema Chödrön
     
 

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***How to Meditate Has Been Named One of Library Journal’s Best Books of 2013***

Pema Chodron is treasured around the world for her unique ability to transmit teachings and practices that bring peace, understanding, and compassion into our lives.   With How to Meditate, the American-born Tibetan nun presents her first book

Overview


***How to Meditate Has Been Named One of Library Journal’s Best Books of 2013***

Pema Chodron is treasured around the world for her unique ability to transmit teachings and practices that bring peace, understanding, and compassion into our lives.   With How to Meditate, the American-born Tibetan nun presents her first book exploring in depth what she considers the essentials for a lifelong practice.

When we look for a meditation teacher, we want someone who has an intimate knowledge of the path. That's why so many have turned to Pema Chödrön, whose gentle yet straightforward guidance has been a lifesaver for both first-time and experienced meditators. With How to Meditate, the American-born Tibetan Buddhist nun presents her first book that explores in-depth what she considers the essentials for an evolving practice that helps you live in a wholehearted way.
 
More and more people are beginning to recognize a profound inner longing for authenticity, connection, compassion, and aliveness. Meditation, Pema explains, gives us a golden key to address this yearning. This comprehensive guide shows readers how to honestly meet and openly relate with the mind to embrace the fullness of our experience as we discover:

  •  The basics of meditation, from getting settled and the six points of posture to working with your breath and cultivating an attitude of unconditional friendliness
  •  The Seven Delights-how moments of diffi culty can become doorways to awakening and love
  •  Shamatha (or calm abiding), the art of stabilizing the mind to remain present with whatever arises
  •  Thoughts and emotions as "sheer delight"-instead of obstacles-in meditation
 
Here is in indispensable book from the meditation teacher who remains a first choice for students the world over.
 

“Pema is one of our most beloved and helpful teachers—practical, compassionate, and wise.  How to Meditate is a great way to take her teachings to heart and develop a meditation practice.”
—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart and A Lamp in the Darkness
 
“This new book is a great compilation of meditation instruction which she has personal given to many of her students over the years.  These instructions have brought so much help to others that it has made her one of the most loved and revered Buddhist teacher in this modern world.  With a brilliant mind and an absolutely cheerful attitude toward life, she practices what she teaches.  She is a great support and friend to thousands of readers, and I am very sure that this book will help many in their everyday lives, as she makes this genuine attempt to reach us all.”
—Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
 
 
Excerpt
 

The mind is very wild.  The human experience is full of unpredictability and paradox, joys and sorrows, successes and failures.  We can’t escape any of these experiences in the vast terrain of our existence.  It is part of what makes life grand—and it is also why our minds take us on such a crazy ride.  If we can train ourselves through meditation to be more open and more accepting toward the wild arc of our experience, if we can lean into the difficulties of life and ride of our minds, we can become more settled and relaxed amid whatever life brings us.

There are numerous ways to work with the mind.  One of the most effective ways is through the tool of sitting meditation.  Sitting meditation opens us to each and every moment of our life.  Each moment is totally unique and unknown.  Our mental world is seemingly predictable and graspable.  We believe that thinking through all the events and to-dos of our life will provide us with ground and security.  But it’s all a fantasy, and this very moment, free of conceptual overlay, is completely unique.  It is absolutely unknown.  We’ve never experienced this very moment before, and the next moment will not be the same as the one we are in now.  Meditation teaches us how to relate to life directly, so that we can truly experience the present moment, free from conceptual overlay.


Table of Contents

Part One:  The Technique of Meditation
  1. Preparing for Practice and Making the Commitment
  2. Stabilizing the Mind
  3. The Six Points of Posture
  4. Breath:  The Practice of Letting Go
  5. Attitude:  Keep Coming Back
  6. Unconditional Friendliness
  7. You Are Your Own Meditation Instructor
Part Two:  Working With Thoughts
  1. The Monkey Mind
  2. The Three Levels of Discursive Thought
  3. Thoughts as the Object of Meditation
  4. Regard All Dharmas as Dreams
 
Part Three:  Working With Emotions
 
  1. Becoming Intimate with Our Emotions
  2. The Space within the Emotion
  3. Emotions as the Object of Meditation
  4. Getting Our Hands Dirty
  5. Hold the Experience
  6. Breaking with the Emotion
  7. Drop the Story and Find the Feeling
 
Part Four:  Working with Sense Perception
 
  1. The Sense Perceptions
  2. The Interconnection of All Perceptions
 
Part Five:  Opening Your Heart to Include Everything
  1. Giving Up the Struggle
  2. The Seven Delights
  3. The Bearable Lightness of Being
  4. Beliefs
  5. Relaxing with Groundlessness
  6. Create a Circle of Practitioners
  7. Cultivate a Sense of Wonder
  8. The Way of the Bodhisattva

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Chödrön's voice is gently humorous, always kind, and seemingly infinitely wise."
The Los Angeles Times

"Meditation doesn't remove pain, or alleviate the negative energy flowing through the world. This is the information which beloved teacher Chodrön offers readers at the beginning of this new book. Meditation will, however, relieve suffering, not by changing our outer environment but by turning our attention inward to make peace with ourselves. The aim is not to transcend our feelings of pain and distress. Instead, it is to open our hearts and minds to accept what we are feeling in any given moment even if that feeling is difficult. The gifts that Chodrön's meditation has to offer are steadfastness, clear awareness, courage, attention to the moment, and learning to not make too big a deal of things. The hallmarks of her teaching are gentle encouragement and loving acceptance. While she provides guidelines for getting started and exercises to keep us going, her greatest teaching is the lesson she shows us on every page: to show compassion for ourselves as we struggle with life's challenges and to base our success on the journey not the goal."
—Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight Magazine

"With her gentle approach and clear treatment of difficult concepts, Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart) is a wonderful leader for those who want to begin or deepen a mindfulness meditation practice (shamatha). . . She presents it all with an appropriate humility, sharing her own struggles as an ongoing student, her insights as a sought-after teacher, and a belief that readers should ultimately become their own teachers. Indeed, by embracing the wisdom and practicing the exercises in this book, readers will be well on their way."
—Vanessa Finney, San Francisco Book Review, May 2013

"Pema is one of our most beloved and helpful teachers-practical, compassionate, and wise. How to Meditate is a great way to take her teachings to heart and develop a meditation practice."
—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart and A Lamp in the Darkness

"This new book by Ani Pema is a great compilation of meditation instruction which she has personally given to many of her students over the years. These instructions have brought so much help to others that it has made her one of the most beloved and revered Buddhist teachers in this modern world. With a brilliant mind and an absolutely cheerful attitude toward life, she practices what she teaches. She is a great support and friend to thousands of readers, and I am very sure that this book will help many in their everyday lives, as she makes this genuine attempt to reach us all."
—Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche

Library Journal
★ 
Chodron (Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears) is an American Buddhist nun who has written many well-received books that introduce and explore the essential elements of Buddhist living. This new instructional title on meditation enters a publishing field that is crowded, but Chodron’s credentials, reputation, writing and teaching skills, and supportive tone make this book rise above the rest. This is a practical, workbook-like text; its five sections detail how to work with technique, thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and “opening your heart to include everything.” There are also occasional exercises including the steps to complete a body scan and use “sound as the object.” At all times Chodron is careful not to overwhelm readers or make meditation feel like an Everest expedition, and she features her own practice as an example of challenges and successes.

Verdict Both confirmed Chodron fans and newbies will gain much and find inspiration from this highly recommended, in-depth guide to meditation.—Elizabeth J. Eastwood, Los Alamos Cty. Lib. Syst., NM
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781604079333
Publisher:
Sounds True, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/01/2013
Pages:
184
Sales rank:
73,498
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Pema Chödrön

Ani Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City. She attended Miss Porter's School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three grandchildren.

While in her mid-thirties, Ani Pema traveled to the French Alps and encountered Lama Chime Rinpoche, with whom she studied for several years. She became a novice nun in 1974 while studying with Lama Chime in London. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa came to Scotland at that time, and Ani Pema received her ordination from him.

Pema first met her root guru, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972. Lama Chime encouraged her to work with Rinpoche, and it was with him that she ultimately made her most profound connection, studying with him from 1974 until his death in 1987. At the request of the Sixteenth Karmapa, she received the full bikshuni ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong.

Ani Pema served as the director of Karma Dzong in Boulder, Colorado until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche gave her explicit instructions on establishing this monastery for western monks and nuns.

Ani Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada and plans for an increased amount of time in solitary retreat under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. She is also a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the oldest son and lineage holder of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Ani Pema is interested in helping establish Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West, as well as continuing her work with western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings. Her non-profit, The Pema Chödrön Foundation, was set up to assist in this purpose.

She has written several books: The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart, The Places that Scare You, No Time To Lose, Practicing Peace in Times of War, How to Meditate, and Living Beautifully. All are available from Shambhala Publications and Sounds True.

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How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book not only tells HOW, but What and Why meditation should be a part of your daily must do activities Even if you're curious about it or why so many people are making it a part of their life this is the book to read to answer all your questions. It is an easy read, and understand; the primer for all things Meditation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago