Tuesday, April 12, 2011

To Read

"We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart."
— Pema Chödrön

When I met up with my friend Jaime the other day, I noticed a huge difference in her overall affect, she just seemed to be glowing! We spoke about how she is working out each day, and she explained to me that each night she has been meditating.

After spending the day together, that night I couldn't stop thinking about how relaxed and upbeat she seemed, how calm and centered she seemed and how her overall mood was just so lovely!

She recommended the book, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron, when I asked her how she learned how to meditate.

I am putting this book on my to read list immediately. Here is a synopsis from Shambhala.org.

When Things Fall Apart
Heart Advice for Difficult Times

The beautiful practicality of her teaching has made Pema Chödrön one of the most beloved of contemporary American spiritual authors —among Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. This book is a treasury of wisdom for going on living when things fall apart —when we are overcome by pain and difficulties.

In this book she discusses:
Using painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and courage
Communicating so as to encourage others to open up rather than shut down
Practices for reversing habitual patterns
Methods for working with chaotic situations
Ways for creating effective social action

"There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life."
— Pema Chödrön (The Wisdom of No Escape: How to love yourself and your world)

Here is a video of Pema:

She does speak a little slow in the beginning and adds a lot of pauses, so you need to slow yourself down from your fast paced life to really listen.

Her smile wrinkles are so amazing and beautiful! I love seeing that on a woman, it is the sign of a life well lived!

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