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Unconditional Confidence: Instructions for Meeting Any Experience with Trust and Courage Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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About the Author
Ani Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City. She attended Miss Porter's School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three grandchildren.
While in her mid-thirties, Ani Pema traveled to the French Alps and encountered Lama Chime Rinpoche, with whom she studied for several years. She became a novice nun in 1974 while studying with Lama Chime in London. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa came to Scotland at that time, and Ani Pema received her ordination from him.
Pema first met her root guru, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972. Lama Chime encouraged her to work with Rinpoche, and it was with him that she ultimately made her most profound connection, studying with him from 1974 until his death in 1987. At the request of the Sixteenth Karmapa, she received the full bikshuni ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong.
Ani Pema served as the director of Karma Dzong in Boulder, Colorado until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche gave her explicit instructions on establishing this monastery for western monks and nuns.
Ani Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada and plans for an increased amount of time in solitary retreat under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. She is also a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the oldest son and lineage holder of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Ani Pema is interested in helping establish Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West, as well as continuing her work with western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings. Her non-profit, The Pema Chödrön Foundation, was set up to assist in this purpose.
She has written several books: The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart, The Places that Scare You, No Time To Lose, Practicing Peace in Times of War, How to Meditate, and Living Beautifully. All are available from Shambhala Publications and Sounds True.
Top Customer Reviews
I thought that I would not like an interview, but I love it. Pema opens up about herself in a very personal way, maybe because she is only talking to one person. She talks about not meditating, which addresses my own guilt about not doing it. (It's okay not to meditate, but meditating develops the discipline to stay with uncomfortable feelings.) Her quiet non-judgmental voice opens up our hearts to listen to the intent behind her words.
I should mention that the first CD is wonderful. She addresses facing fear in this new political/economic climate. It is a short session. She does not discuss how to sit in meditation. There are no references to tonglen practice, which is what first drew me to Pema. For these reasons, this is not the set I would recommend to first-time Pema buyers. I started with The Pema Chodron Audio Collection: Pure Meditation:Good Medicine:From Fear to Fearlessness Perhaps others can recommend different "starter kits."
I have been listening to Pema CDs for three years.Read more ›
Unconditional Confidence is really two programs on two CDs. The first disc features a talk given by Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön before a live audience; the second features a more intimate approach to the topic, in which Pema is interviewed by Sounds True owner Tami Simon. The first disc provides the message of "unconditional confidence" in a more formal way; the interview functions as a "behind the scenes" look at the wisdom and life experience that helped to shape Pema and her message.
And what is her message? Simply put, that if we choose to approach all of life mindfully, we can learn to trust and relax into anything that comes our way -- even times of suffering, or anxiety, or stress. Any experience that arises is an opportunity to learn non-attachment, to practice gentleness and mindful awareness, and to cultivate a spirit of trust and basic friendship toward ourselves (even our failings) and our experiences. "Unconditional confidence" does not mean living a robotic life in which we never feel doubt or fear or disappointment, but rather a mindful and "heartful" life in which even the challenges that come our way are seen as dharma -- as occasions to grow.
Pema Chödrön is a wise and warm teacher, and her down-to-earth manner makes her message accessible and inviting.Read more ›
I especially liked the following sub-topics:
smile at fear
the ubiquitous of nervousness
conceptualizing a deep, underlying tenderness beneath emotions like jealousy and addictive behaviors, and turning towards it, rather than shunning it like the plague
confidence comes from tender-hearted courage towards oneself and one's challenges
all suffering is trying to get things to work out on our terms (ego); so, if we drop that demand we can have more peace
the classic Buddhist approach of staying with whatever is happening, no matter how unpleasant, is what builds confidence
placing your panicked mind in the heart of loving kindness.
As a psychotherapist, I have found the hardest work we do is learning to be gentle and loving towards ourselves. It was the Buddha who said, "There is no one more deserving of compassion than you." Listening to this CD repeatedly will help change old messages into new ones, where loving kindness towards oneself is the coin of the realm.
This is a 2-CD set. Quality recording and packaging.
CD 1 ~ Pema speaks before an audience about how we strengthen and grow with more love, tenderness and vulnerability by practice being with our tender selves in times of fear, anger - difficulty vs what we don't address when we cover and run. She presents this information without ego and with compassion for herself and all of us. There is much to mine from this CD.
CD 2 is equally wonderful -- lovely interview inviting the listener into Pema's human self and processes.
I will listen to these often. Very healing, inspiring and deeply stirring. Encouraging keys and expanded grace.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love me some Pema. I listened to this on my way to work. She's so natural, it felt like she was there with me. Maybe I need to carpool.. . Read morePublished 3 months ago by A. Moore
I am comforted and receive strength listening to these two CDs. I have been so inspired by her teachings that I have ordered some of her other CDs and books. Read morePublished 6 months ago by LikeLearning
Great audio cd. My first Pema Chodron purchase, listen to it on my long drive to and from work. She provides accessible and practical tools to work with fear. Insightful...Published 12 months ago by HIR
I love Pema yet I'm struggling quite a bit with this one. The content is good, however, for some reason there is a lot of "wet mouth" noises like there's excess saliva when... Read morePublished 14 months ago by C. Miller
"Morph touching the breath is an attitude is light and open awareness, discipline and kindness at the same time. This is the key to unconditional confidence. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jack Frost