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Awakening Loving-Kindness (Shambhala Pocket…
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Awakening Loving-Kindness (Shambhala Pocket Classics) (edição 2017)

por Pema Chödrön (Autor)

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Based on talks given during a one-month meditation retreat at Gampo Abbey, where Pema lives and teaches, this book's teachings focus on learning how to truly live in one's skin without embarrassment or harshness--and to love oneself and one's world wholeheartedly. With her characteristic softness and relatability, Pema shows how some of the most simple practices to cultivate no-escape mind can alleviate human misery at a personal and global level.… (mais)
Título:Awakening Loving-Kindness (Shambhala Pocket Classics)
Autores:Pema Chödrön (Autor)
Informação:Shambhala (2017), Edition: Abridged edition, 192 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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Awakening Loving-Kindness (Shambhala Pocket Classics) por Pema Chödrön

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The talks in this book were given in 1989 in a dathun (one-month practice period) held at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia.

Pema Chödrön provided “simple accessible instructions on how to alleviate human misery at a personal and global level”.

The book is an abridged edition of “The Wisdom of No Escape”, 1991.

It deals with loving-kindness (maitri) toward ourselves. The point is not to try to change ourselves. It’s not about “trying to throw ourselves away and become something better”.

We need to see how we continually run away from the present moment. The object of being at the dathun was for the participants to study and get to know themselves then and there, not later. They had to learn to be curious, gentle, precise and open.

When we get to be honest, gentle, good-hearted and clear about ourselves, we also feel loving-kindness for others.

We learn that in meditation and in our daily lives there are three qualities we can “nurture, cultivate, and bring out”. These are precision, gentleness and the ability to let go.


We should become mindful of our out-breath, and when we realize we’ve been thinking, we say to ourselves “Thinking”.


There should only be 25% awareness on the outbreath and we should thus not shut out all the other things that are going on.

Touch the breath and let it go. “The touch is the precision part and also the softness part”. As the object of meditation the breath brings a sense of softness and gentleness. You are only doing the technique to be fully present.

Letting go

This is the third aspect of the technique and less tangible. But when you say “thinking” what you are basically doing is letting go of those thoughts.

Mindfulness is loving all the details of our lives. You realize you’re always standing at the centre of the world, in the middle of sacred space, standing in the middle of the circle.

Whatever comes into the space is there to teach you.

We’re told about an arrogant woman who wanted to attain enlightenment. She was told to climb a high mountain and go into a cave. There she found a very nice old woman with a beatific smile. But she turned into a demon brandishing a great big stick; she started chasing the woman seeking enlightenment saying “Now! Now! Now!” For the rest of her life she could never get away from the demon saying “Now!” If you want to attain enlightenment, you have to do it now. If you’re arrogant and stubborn, it may take someone running after you with a stick.

Pema tells us that as soon as we begin to believe in something, then we can no longer see anything else. Holding on to beliefs limits our experience of life.

She points out that there are wars all over the world because people are insulted that someone else doesn’t agree with our belief system.

We need to look our beliefs straight in the eyes and then step beyond them. “‘When you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha’ means that when you see that you’re grasping or clinging to anything … make friends with that ... look into it … In that way it will let go of itself.”

The Buddha taught us about the four noble truths. The first noble truth says that it’s part of being human to feel discomfort.

The second noble truth says that resisting life causes suffering.

The third noble truth says that “the cessation of suffering is letting go of holding on to ourselves”.

The essence of the fourth noble truth is the eightfold path. Everything we do “we can use to help us to realize our unity and our completeness with all things”. We can use our lives to wake up to the fact that we’re not separate: “the energy that causes us to live and be whole and awake and alive is just the energy that creates everything, and we’re part of that”.

Pema tells us about “meeting our edge”. “Life is a whole journey of meeting your edge again and again.”

The journey of awakening is one of continually coming up against big challenges and then learning how to soften and open.

“The whole journey of renunciation, or starting to say yes to life, is first of all realizing that you’ve come up against your edge, that everything in you is saying no, and then at that point softening. “ This is an opportunity to develop loving-kindness for ourselves.”

We learn about tonglen, which is a form of meditation to do with cultivating fearlessness. We realize that fear has to do with wanting to protect our heart. When we do tonglen we invite the pain in. We start with perhaps a thimbleful of courage but by doing the practice we awaken our heart and our courage.

With tonglen we breathe in painful things and breathe out feelings of well-being, peace and joy. We are willing to give these away and share them with others.

The purpose of tonglen is to awaken or cultivate bodhicitta, to awaken your heart or cultivate your courageous heart.

All you need to do tonglen is to have experienced suffering and happiness. Doing tonglen is the path of the warrior, where you cultivate a fearless heart.

Our whole life is a process of learning how to make friends with ourselves.

“The only obstacle is ignorance, this refusal to look at our unfinished business.”

The Buddha is the example of what we too can be. The Buddha is the awakened one, and we too are the Buddha.

“The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness in all situations.”

I didn’t find this an easy read as there were some passages, or at least sentences, that I found hard to digest, hard to fully comprehend. On the other hand, Pema did repeat and explain herself again and again, which was a big aid to comprehension.

What I lacked was an appendix explaining all the special Tibetan (I presume) terms which Pema scatters around the book; occasionally she defines these terms but sometimes she does not; even if she does, later in the book they turn up again and we may fail to recollect what they mean. These are words such as maitri, tonglen, bodhicitta, dharma, etc, etc.

I did find the book to be a good introduction to the works of this author. I can say that I’m already reading another of her books “Start where you are” and am finding it even better, in fact illuminating. But read this one too. ( )
  IonaS | Jul 27, 2019 |
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Based on talks given during a one-month meditation retreat at Gampo Abbey, where Pema lives and teaches, this book's teachings focus on learning how to truly live in one's skin without embarrassment or harshness--and to love oneself and one's world wholeheartedly. With her characteristic softness and relatability, Pema shows how some of the most simple practices to cultivate no-escape mind can alleviate human misery at a personal and global level.

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