How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind (Paperback)
“When something is bothering you—a person is bugging you, a situation is irritating you, or physical pain is troubling you—you must work with your mind, and that is done through meditation. Working with our mind is the only means through which we’ll actually begin to feel happy and contented with the world that we live in.” —Pema Chödrön
Pema Chödrön is treasured around the world for her unique ability to transmit teachings and practices that bring peace, understanding, and compassion into our lives. With How to Meditate, the American-born Tibetan Buddhist nun presents her first book exploring in depth what she considers the essentials for a lifelong practice.
More and more people are beginning to recognize a profound inner longing for authenticity, connection, and aliveness. Meditation, Pema explains, gives us a golden key to address this yearning. This step-by-step guide shows readers how to honestly meet and openly relate with the mind, embrace the fullness of our experience, and live in a wholehearted way as we discover:
• The basics of meditation, from getting settled and the six points of posture to working with your breath and cultivating an attitude of unconditional friendliness
• The Seven Delights—how moments of difficulty can become doorways to awakening and love
• Shamatha (or calm abiding), the art of stabilizing the mind to remain present with whatever arises
• Thoughts and emotions as “sheer delight”—instead of obstacles—in meditation
“I think ultimately why we practice is so that we can become completely loving people, and this is what the world needs,” writes Pema Chödrön. How to Meditate is an essential book from this wise teacher to assist each one of us in this virtuous goal.
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, 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 England at that time, and Pema received her ordination from him.
Pema first met her root teacher, Chogyam 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 monastic ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong.
Pema served as the director of Karma Dzong, in Boulder, until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche asked her to work towards the establishment of a monastery for western monks and nuns.
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.
Pema is interested in helping establish the monastic tradition in the West, as well in continuing her work with Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings. 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, and most recently, Smile at Fear.
For more information, visit pemachodronfoundation.org.