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.
We can use whatever life presents, Ezra Bayda teaches, to strengthen our spiritual practice—including the turmoil of daily life. What we need is the willingness to just be with our experiences—whether they are painful or pleasing—opening ourselves to the reality of our lives without trying to fix or change anything. But doing this requires that we confront our most deeply rooted fears and assumptions in order to gradually become free of the constrictions and suffering they create. Then we can awaken to the loving-kindness that is at the heart of our being. While many books aspire to bring meditation into everyday experience, Being Zen gives us practical ways to actually do it, introducing techniques that enable the reader to foster qualities essential to continued spiritual awakening. Topics include how to cultivate: • Perseverance: staying with anger, fear, and other distressing emotions. • Stillness: abiding with chaotic experiences without becoming overwhelmed. • Clarity: seeing through the conditioned beliefs and fears that "run" us. • Direct experience: encountering the physical reality of the present moment—even when that moment is exactly where we don't want to be. Like Pema Chödrön, the best-selling author of When Things Fall Apart, Ezra Bayda writes with clear, heartfelt simplicity, using his own life stories to illustrate the teachings in an immediate and accessible way that will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers.
When my concentrated mind was purified; I directed it to the knowledge of the recollection of past lives’ —The Buddha on the night of his enlightenment Associated with the living traditions of folk tale; drama and epic; the Jatakas recount the development of the Bodhisatta—the being destined to become the present Buddha in his final life—not just through the events of one lifetime but of hundreds. Written in Pali; the language of the Theravada Buddhist canon; the Jatakas comprise one of the largest and oldest collections of stories in the world dating from the fifth century BCE to the third century CE. Generations in South and South-East Asia have grown up with these tales. This volume contains twenty-six stories drawn from various ancient sources; and each story reflects one of the ten perfections—giving; restraint; renunciation; wisdom; strength; acceptance; truthfulness; resolve; loving kindness and equanimity. A detailed introduction elaborates on the ten perfections; explains the forms of enlightenment as well as the structure; and the historical and geographical contexts of the stories. Sarah Shaw brings to life the teachings of Buddhism for the scholar and lay reader alike.
Inspired by years of scholarly training and decades of solitary retreat, Tibetan monk Gen Lamrimpa offers a concise overview of all phases of the Kalachakra practice: the preliminaries, the initiation, and finally, the stages of generation and completion. With remarkable clarity, he makes the Six-Session Guruyoga practice accessible to all practitioners, and deepens our understanding and appreciation of this sublime teaching of the Buddha. Gen Lamrimpa begins this eminently practical explanation by emphasizing the importance of a compassionate motivation for spiritual practice. He then explores the nature of suffering and the cycle of existence that traps all living beings, and concludes with a detailed account of the Six-Phase Yoga, which is meant to be recited and contemplated three times during the day and three times at night. Alan Wallace's introduction illuminates both Kalachakra's rich history and Gen Lamrimpa's unique contribution to our understanding. This book provides a clear explanation of Kalachakra as set forth within the context of the Six-Session Guruyoga, a daily meditation practice for initiates. Transcending Time presents all phases of Kalachakra practice--the preliminaries, the initiation, and finally, the stages of generation and completion.
Wisdom of the Kadam Masters is the second volume in the Tibetan Classics series, which aims to make available accessible paperback editions of key Tibetan Buddhist works drawn from Wisdom Publications' Library of Tibetan Classics. The phrase "Kadam masters" evokes for many Tibetans a sense of a spiritual golden age--the image of a community of wise yet simple monks devoted to a life of mental cultivation. These eleventh- and twelfth-century masters were particularly famed for their pithy spiritual sayings that captured essential teachings in digestible bites. In these sayings one unmistakably detects a clear understanding of what comprises a truly happy life, one that is grounded in a deep concern for the welfare of others. Like the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Lao Tzu, or Rumi, the teachings contained in Wisdom of the Kadam Masters can be approached as a part of the wisdom heritage of mankind, representative of the long history of the long human quest to understand our existence and its meaning. This volume offers some of the most beloved teachings of the Tibetan tradition.
What is Nibbana? Is Awakening possible? This new book says definitely yes! But only if you follow the method laid out by the Buddha in his earliest teachings. Nibbana can and does occur. In this book, you will be shown the step by step progression through the eight aware jhanas (levels of understanding) to the final cessation and the appearing of the unconditioned, and the joy that arises afterward.
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.
Self-Love: Your Greatest Guide on the Path to Healthy Weight The secret to sustainable weight loss isn’t counting calories or depriving yourself at the dinner table. Jean Fain tells us it’s about cultivating awareness and self-acceptance wherever you are. With The Self-Compassion Diet, this Harvard Medical School–affiliated psychotherapist prescribes a practical program for transforming the way you think and feel about food and your whole self—a shift that, paradoxically, inspires physical change. Combining loving-kindness, self-hypnosis, and other winning weight-loss strategies, The Self Compassion Diet is available in two complementary formats to help you naturally progress toward genuine self-acceptance and a healthy, sustainable weight. With more than 30 different tools including quizzes, breathing exercises, and visualizations, the book explores four powerful weight-loss methods. The audio edition guides you through 11 key practices described in the book. Used together, this powerful combination can speed learning and boost success. Additional topics include: How to appreciate the everyday activity of eating, and learn to trust your body’s signals that it’s nourished Gradual change—a guided visualization for developing mindful eating habits A meditation for getting to know the diet coach who knows you best—your compassionate inner advisor “Most dieters try to ‘kill cravings’ and break habits with self-discipline,” teaches Fain. “Self-kindness can help quiet the shame that traditional diets instill, and establish a harmonious relationship with food.” The Self Compassion Diet book and audio offer a treasury of heart-opening mind-body teachings and practices for improving the way you live, breathe, and eat.