Inspiration and encouragement for cultivating kindness—by embracing the joy, suffering, confusion, and brilliance of our everyday lives—from the author of When Things Fall Apart Do you want to be a more compassionate person, confident and unafraid to love yourself and the world around you unconditionally, but aren’t sure how? We often look far and wide for guidance to become better people, as though the answers were somewhere out there. But Pema Chödrön suggests that the best and most direct teacher for awakening loving-kindness is in fact your very own life. Based on talks given during a one-month meditation retreat at Gampo Abbey, where Pema lives and teaches, her teachings here focus on learning how to see the events of our lives as the perfect material for learning to love ourselves and our world playfully and wholeheartedly—and to live in our skin fearlessly, without aggression, harshness, or shame. This is instruction for embarking on the greatest adventure of all, to come alive to your inherent human kindness. “Perhaps what makes Pema's message resonate so strongly with people, no matter what their religion or spiritual path, is its universality.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
From the author of The Healing Power of Mind, an accessible guide to Tibetan Buddhist loving-kindness meditation--with downloadable guided meditations. All Buddhist traditions teach that the practice of loving-kindness can transform our lives. Here, Tulku Thondup offers a step-by-step guide to a Tibetan Buddhist approach to loving-kindness meditation, which focuses on connecting to Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. Dividing the practice into twelve simple steps, this book provides everything readers need to uncover their innate joy and compassion. The accompanying downloadable audio program guides meditators through the steps of visualizing Avalokitesvara, generating devotion to the ideals he embodies, and radiating loving-kindness to all beings in the universe.
This is the authoritative guide to conducting the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program, which provides powerful tools for coping with life challenges and enhancing emotional well-being. MSC codevelopers Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff review relevant theory and research and describe the program's unique pedagogy. Readers are taken step by step through facilitating each of the eight sessions and the accompanying full-day retreat. Detailed vignettes illustrate not only how to teach the course's didactic and experiential content, but also how to engage with participants, manage group processes, and overcome common obstacles. The final section of the book describes how to integrate self-compassion into psychotherapy. Purchasers get access to a companion website with downloadable audio recordings of the guided meditations. Note: This book is not intended to replace formal training for teaching the MSC program. See also two related resources for MSC participants and general readers, The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook, by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, and The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, by Christopher Germer.
Complete acceptance of our identity is central to our way of life, given every interaction emerges from our authentic self. The Dalai Lama said it puzzled him why so many people in the West suffer from low self-esteem and lack of acceptance. Our personal needs are met when we honor our authentic self. The media’s influence portrays a fictitious world that doesn’t meet our needs. We are inundated with information to convince us of a news story we can’t live without. Yet, we are no better off because we avoid realizing our own authenticity. 'Awaken Your Authentic Self' is a book to reconnect you with the core of your essential self. It is a move away from whom you should be espoused by popular culture. The book invites you to reconnect with the deepest part of your being which knows who you are and how you should live. We are encoded with the DNA to thrive. Yet, through cultural conditioning and paradigms, we lose our place to the pull of our external environment. We subscribe to ideologies and beliefs regarding who we should be because we want to be accepted. This comes at a cost to our self-worth since we give up an aspect of ourselves and lose our authenticity. However, standing out has become a rite of passage insofar as the clothes one wears, hair color, body piercings and decorations. It may be viewed as a show of defiance instead of a proclamation of distinction. You have more power than you realize. More genius than you can imagine. More wisdom and knowledge than you can ever access. This is not a patronizing statement to seduce you into a false belief. You have unlimited power, and accessing that power is the basis to 'Awaken Your Authentic Self.' When you let go of the false belief that you are lacking or inadequate, in that moment you arouse your potential. Who you are today results from your beliefs, thoughts, and ideas of the world. Unless you challenge the status quo, you remain one of the masses. One has only look to mainstream culture to see the effects the media and marketing hype have on our society. We are drawn into a fictitious way of life at the expense of our sanity and earned dollars.
This book offers exercises, instructions, jokes, stories, pithy quotes, and—most of all—encouragement to anyone interested in exploring Zen but who may find traditional presentations severe or intimidating. Hamilton writes with an easygoing, friendly style that invites readers of all backgrounds to sit down and give meditation a try. But don’t be fooled by her puns and checklists—this is serious Zen. Drawing on three decades of experience as a Zen practitioner and teacher, Hamilton explains how to meditate and how to maintain an ongoing practice. From there, in her clear, lighthearted, and humorous style, she moves right to the heart of Zen, showing us how we could move beyond our concepts, expectations, and emotional reactivity to touch the reality of our lived experience with openness and simplicity, thereby finding freedom. Untrain Your Parrot includes simple instructions to clarify and elucidate the basics: • how to establish a beginning meditation practice • how to develop physical, mental, and emotional awareness • how to experience "open" awareness—observing one's practice while allowing for a sense of spaciousness with whatever occurs For more information on the author, Elizabeth Hamilton, go to www.zencentersandiego.org.
The unconditional love that we all long for can be experienced in the practice of loving-kindness. In this popular form of meditation, the love inherent to our own nature is gradually expanded until it embraces infinite beings. Tulku Thondup introduces a new four-stage format for this practice, rooted in the traditional teachings of Tibetan Buddhism: We first meditate on the Buddha of Loving-Kindness as a body of unconditional love and receive his blessings. This spontaneously awakens his unconditional love in our heart. We then find the whole world reflecting back to us as a world of love and peace. Finally, we remain in oneness in the realization of ultimate love.
This exquisite book is a treasure of timeless wisdom from one of the most respected Buddhist teachers in the West. The book concentrates on personal peace of mind and on how we can help to bring justice and compassion to the world around us. Through striking quotations, concise teachings and memorable true stories organised into three sections, it explores the difficulties of opening our hearts to those who have hurt or betrayed us, and why it is essential to do so. Psychological stumbling blocks and confusions about the real meaning of forgiveness, love and peace are revealed, as well as the blessings and benefits of putting these three qualities into practice.
Drawing on both Eastern and Western approaches to practicing compassion, an award-winning storyteller encourages those who want to develop a capacity for mercy, grace, patience, forgiveness, honesty, and remembrance, and specifically addresses anger--the major roadblock to practicing lovingkindness. Original.