Finding Freedom in Illness: A Guide to Cultivating Deep Well-Being through Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Finding Freedom in Illness: A Guide to Cultivating Deep Well-Being through Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

by Peter Fernando

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Overview

Finding Freedom in Illness: A Guide to Cultivating Deep Well-Being through Mindfulness and Self-Compassion by Peter Fernando



Buddhist wisdom for finding freedom and insight through spiritual practice in the midst of illness and pain.

"Let your illness be your spiritual teacher!" Make a statement like that to someone who's struggled for years with, say, rheumatoid arthritis, and be prepared for an eyeroll (at best). To Peter Fernando's credit, he makes that statement, and no such impulse arises. We believe him because he's been there himself and because he backs up the statements with his own real experiences and with real wisdom from the Buddhist teachings. Peter starts by defusing the pernicious belief that anyone is somehow responsible for their illness: You're not "wrong" for being sick. Then, having gotten past self-blame, one can begin to learn self-kindness. From there, one moves to mindfulness practices and cultivating body awareness—even if body awareness is distasteful when the body isn't behaving the way you like. Further topics include getting intimate with dark emotions (fear, despair, the scary future, frustration, grief, etc.), learning equanimity (rejoicing in the good fortune of those who don't share your suffering), cultivating healthy relationships in the midst of everything, and practical advice for living with pain. Each chapter comes with one or more practices or guided meditations for putting the teachings into practice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611802634
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 03/15/2016
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 632,969
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

PETER FERNANDO is cofounder of Original Nature Meditation Centre in Wellington, New Zealand. He was a monk in the Thai Forest tradition at Abhayagiri Monastery in Ukiah, California, where he trained under Ajahn Passano and Ajahn Amaro. He's currently a student of Sharda Rogell and Ajahn Sucitto. A longtime sufferer of chronic pain and various health problems himself, he's been working with others in that situation since 2009 on an individual basis in Wellington and Auckland and in groups regularly at the Wellington Multiple Sclerosis Society. He works with Berkeley-based Insight Meditation teacher James Baraz on a project called Insight through Illness, an online community of support for those addressing chronic illness through meditation: www.insight-illness.com.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

1 You're Not Wrong for Being Ill 7

2 Embodying Mindfulness 19

3 From Self-Blame to Self-Kindness 35

4 Equanimity: The Strength Hidden in Openness 55

5 Meeting the Dark Emotions 67

6 Allowing Deep Rest 105

7 The Heart of Relationship 129

8 Relating to Pain 161

9 Unconditional Value 183

10 Letting Go 205

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