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Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion Paperback – December 30, 2003
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Comfortable with Uncertainty reads like a perfect companion guide to the traditional 108-day Buddhist retreat. In a day-by-day format, author Pema Chödrön dives into the soothing wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism, reminding us that groundlessness is the only ground we have to stand on. Each of her 108 teachings are brief (about two pages), and all of them are excerpted from longer discussions in Chödrön's previous bestselling books (The Places That Scare You and When Things Fall Apart). Nonetheless, newcomers as well as seasoned fans of Chödrön's writing will glean much from this training program for becoming a "warrior bodhisattva"--a term which, simply put, means one who aspires to act from an awakened heart.
Gradually, Chödrön guides readers beyond the tunnel vision of the self, expanding outward to include compassion for all of humanity. In the 12th teaching, "The Root of Suffering," Chödrön writes: "What keeps us unhappy and stuck in a limited view of reality is our tendency to seek pleasure and avoid pain, to seek security and avoid groundlessness, to seek comfort and avoid discomfort." In the 77th teaching, "Cool Loneliness," she suggests that the next time readers wake up in the morning feeling the "heartache of alienation" they try to "relax and touch the limitless space of the human heart." By the 101st teaching, Chödrön speaks to "taking refuge in the Sangha," meaning becoming warriors who are not only committed to taking off their own armors of self-pity, but are also committed to gently helping others do the same. Student warriors will also appreciate the glossary, bibliography, and resource guide in the back. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Gently, conversationally, and with humor, Comfortable with Uncertainty offers strategies for seeing and thinking differently. For many people the approach is nothing less than transformational."— Boston Globe
"Chödrön's voice is gently humorous, always kind, and seemingly infinitely wise."— L.A. Times
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Top Customer Reviews
We normally want to know that things are going well and there is no crisis looming and life is dependable and secure.
Surprise... Nothing about life is stable. That's an ever changing scene and change is bound sometimes to bring challenges with it.
Should we be paranoid because of that? - No... Only know that for almost any challenge in your life, you can also find in you the strength, creativity and resources to manage the situation, and if things really break like a breakup from your significant other, or financial downturn, or health issues or even death of a close person, we should trust that there is a light at the other end of the tunnel (and that it's not an oncoming train).
Ask anyone who is 30, 40, 50 if their life was easy-sailing and not a single person will say Yes.
Yet they are all there, learned from their experiences and are moving along.
Should things turn for the worse in a big way? - That may become the opening for you to go 'beyond' - beyond the egoic mind and pain-body and into a realm of living and accepting the moment as it is. See The Power of Now for example, by Eckhard Tolle, and many of his videos on YouTube.
There are 108 very short, topical chapters. They can be read in any order. There are so many interesting topics that you may go through the Table of Contents and read at your leisure. The book to me was like a gentle invitation into a whole new world which was less predictable, deeper, richer, more open, and less confining.
Pema Chodron, the author, writes in a candid, clear manner. The book does not have many technical or Buddhist terms. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for more than "been there, done that" in their lives.
Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness by Chogyam Trungpa (Pema Chodron's teacher). http://www.amazon.com/Training-Cultivating-Loving-Kindness-Chogyam-Trungpa/dp/1590300513/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425270750&sr=1-4&keywords=TRUNGPA
Whether a beginning buddhist, a lifelong learner, or just a person looking to find some peace in life this book can truly refresh and rejuvenate the spirit. It has practical approaches to living peacefully and gently accepting yourself and the world. It reminds us of our shared humanity and interconnectivity.
It is not religious or dogmatic but rather an inspiring, practical workbook written in one page to one and a half page lessons.
I read one each day with my coffee before starting the day. Please share this with yourself and others.
Very succinct teachings on Buddhist principles. I continue to give this book away as gifts to numerous people, and they all are very grateful for the insight and wisdom from the teachings.
However, for reading through from start to finish, those same qualities make this book great in those contexts make it seem disjointed. Pema Chodron also introduces many relatively advanced meditation practices without the context or specificity to truly guide someone new to the practice to perform them correctly.
This is less the coherent self-help tome you might expect and more a potpourri of various Buddhist principles to provoke and remind.