Book: Noble Heart, A Self-Guided Retreat on Befriending Your Obstacles

pema chodronPema Chodron’s Noble Heart is a beautiful example of the author’s loving, light, practical insights that make her such a wonderful teacher.  In it she explains the state or practice of bodhichitta, providing guided meditations and suggestions on how to alleviate our own suffering by shifting our attention, our thoughts, and our hearts.  She provides a new perspective for processing the suffering we face.

Lessons for Yogis – especially in tough times:

1) When we are really suffering, we often find ourselves turned inwards… experimenting with turning out towards others, and sensing a connectedness with others, can help in our own healing and expand our hearts and minds.

2) This shift is called bodhichitta.  Several meditation practices can cultivate this, including loving-kindess, where we extend unlimited friendliness to ourselves and to others, expanding this feeling.

3) One really powerful practice is to take anything we are experiencing, and say “may it be for the benefit of all beings.”  (This is my favorite, and one I try to include in my yoga classes sometimes — you may start the day saying “may this yoga practice be for the benefit of all beings” or “may my commute be for the benefit of all beings” or “may my job search be for the benefit of all beings.”)

I’ve seen this book available as an  audiobook — but Pema Chodron has tons of other books, too.  I think amazon or give you a good 5 minute chunk of audio to listen to and get an idea of what this particular book is like – I bet you’ll find it to be inspiring.