Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change

Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change

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by Pema Chodron
     
 

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We live in difficult times. Life sometimes seems like a roiling and turbulent river threatening to drown us and destroy the world. Why, then, shouldn’t we cling to the certainty of the shore—to our familiar patterns and habits? Because, Pema Chödrön teaches, that kind of fear-based clinging keeps us from the infinitely more satisfying experience…  See more details below

Overview

We live in difficult times. Life sometimes seems like a roiling and turbulent river threatening to drown us and destroy the world. Why, then, shouldn’t we cling to the certainty of the shore—to our familiar patterns and habits? Because, Pema Chödrön teaches, that kind of fear-based clinging keeps us from the infinitely more satisfying experience of being fully alive. The teachings she presents here—known as the “Three Commitments”—provide a wealth of wisdom for learning to step right into the river: to be completely, fearlessly present even in the hardest times, the most difficult situations. When we learn to let go of our protective patterns and do that, we begin to see not only how much better it feels to live that way, but, as a wonderful side effect, we find that we begin to naturally and effectively reach out to others in care and support.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With her characteristic clarity, Buddhist nun Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart) once again explores how Buddhist ideas can help individuals live joyful lives. Her framework is three traditional vows: refrain from harm, take care of others, and accept the world as it is. Commitment to these principles, she argues, can address the "fundamental ambiguity of being human" which includes fear of change and an unknown future. Drawing in particular from the wisdom of her teacher, the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the American-born nun and popular writer shows how the "real cause of suffering is not being able to tolerate uncertainty," with the resulting struggle to cling to a "fixed identity." Strategies to address impermanence and the fear it causes include refraining from acting on negative emotions; practicing compassion; and fully acknowledging the experience of the present moment, however painful. The text, adapted from talks, includes brief practices. Chödrön's strength is her ability to communicate to a general audience that people are essentially good, that they can be free from fear, and that they can always try again when they fail. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780834828131
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
94,797
File size:
323 KB

Read an Excerpt

"The Three Commitments are three levels of working with groundlessness. Underlying them all is the basic instruction to make friends with yourself—to be honest with yourself and kind. This begins with the willingness to stay present whenever you experience uneasiness. As these feelings arise, rather than running away, you lean into them. Instead of trying to get rid of thoughts and feelings, you become curious about them. As you become accustomed to experiencing sensation free of interpretation, you will come to understand that contacting the fundamental ambiguity of being human provides a precious opportunity—the opportunity to be with life just as it is, the opportunity to experience the freedom of life without a story line."
—from Living Beautifully

Meet the Author

Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa. She is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. She is the author of many books and audiobooks, including the best-selling When Things Fall Apart and Don't Bite the Hook.

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