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Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 02-24-2007, 07:24 PM   #1
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Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

I love Pema Chodron's books and was happy to find this PBS program "Faith & Reason" with a Bill Moyers interview with her. I never knew anything about Buddhism until recently. I have found it has so much to teach me about living my life in this society at this time in history. Pema Chodron, as an American, is so talented in translating this philosophy for us, with great humor!

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/faithandre...s_chodron.html
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 02-26-2007, 12:36 PM   #2
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

hey oldbabe,
thanks for posting...

i am a fan of pema too!

i started out with thich naht hanh - he is very clear and simple in his communications and you don't feel like you have to have a phd in theology to understand what he is saying...

a friend gave me a book from pema and i love it... i think buddhism really gives you a lot of great tools to navigate through life...
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 02-26-2007, 12:56 PM   #3
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

I liked Philip Kapleau's Three Pillars of Zen.

My grandparents were Nichiren and I never quite understood that particular flavor of Buddism.
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 02-26-2007, 04:19 PM   #4
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

I love Pema Chodron as well. I just got several of her CD books from our library:

Getting Unstuck
From Fear to Fearlessness
True Happiness
Comfortable with Uncertainty

I agree that Buddhism helps calm my mind and therefore makes living more pleasant. I have also read Thich Nhat Hahn as well..

Thanks for posting, OldBabe!

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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 02-26-2007, 04:33 PM   #5
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

I saw that show a while back. She is an interesting person - became a buddist monk after her husband left her (right?)

Yes, it is great to be reminded that I am in control of my happiness.

Lately I've had a hard time being in the NOW, but if I stop to think... my needs are met, I've got sunshine on my face and a furry dog in my lap... now is perfect and I am happy.
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 02-26-2007, 05:12 PM   #6
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

Shiny:
Quote:
I saw that show a while back. She is an interesting person - became a buddist monk after her husband left her (right?)
I actually didn't know that about Pema, but you know? That would do it! Becoming a buddhist monk would have great appeal after something so emotionally upsetting... How can I get a handle on things here? Oh! I'll be a monk... 8) whew.

I like walking meditation -- it sure calms me down. I like the joining of the physical with the spiritual. The physical act of walking helps ground me and my breathing slows d o w n . . . . .

Thanks for this thread! Great to know there are other 'buddhist inclined' people in the forum.

Be well,
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 02-26-2007, 10:54 PM   #7
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

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Originally Posted by bright eyed
i started out with thich naht hanh - he is very clear and simple in his communications and you don't feel like you have to have a phd in theology to understand what he is saying...
isn't he that dude who taught monks to set themselves on fire to protest the vietnam war?
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 02-27-2007, 03:53 PM   #8
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

I don't know if Thich Nhat Hanh is the one who taught others to do that or not... However, I did read about his activism.

I guess with anything, one has to filter what they want to believe and take on for their own lives.

I read his book on Anger and I liked it - mostly -- but the activism got me going a little bit in the wrong direction. I wanted to debate him yeah, right. Like I could debate a monk.

When we were in Vietnam, we saw photos of the actual monk who set himself on fire to protest the war -- I remember this growing up... but to see the photo while in the wat where buddhists were chanting made me actually realize the mind control that monk had! (I do forget his name... :P)

But if you think about it... when you burn yourself, the response is pretty quick (son of a - OUCHIE!!) This monk was in lotus position and nary moved a muscle... wow... made me respect his focus at least...

Thich talked about how the Buddhist monks went out in the battlefields day after day and disposed of the dead and tended the wounded. I imagine that affected him greatly.

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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 02-27-2007, 04:27 PM   #9
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

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Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
isn't he that dude who taught monks to set themselves on fire to protest the vietnam war?
I don't think he told anyone to do anything like that - he is/was a peace activist - nominated for nobel by dr. martin luther king...

He does talk about how much focus and commitment they must have had to do it and that it was not something they did without a lot of awareness of what they were doing (however, it is still a common practice in some asian countries like south korea that is not often done in the same, calm/deliberative fashion - usually more angry/pissed/hopelessness).

He has also worked with veterans to find peace and calm after experiencing so much trauma and "healing" by doing trips w/ veterans back to vietnam to resolve some anger and tension the war brought about...deep stuff!


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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 02-27-2007, 04:36 PM   #10
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

"Thich Quang Duc had prepared himself for his self-immolation through several weeks of meditation and had explained his motivation in letters to members of his Buddhist community as well as to the government of South Vietnam in the weeks prior to his self-immolation. In these letters he described his desire to bring attention to the repressive policies of the Catholic Diem regime that controlled the South Vietnamese government at the time. "

http://www.geocities.com/tcartz/sacrifice.htm
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 03-13-2007, 12:35 PM   #11
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

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Originally Posted by shiny
I saw that show a while back. She is an interesting person - became a buddist monk after her husband left her (right?)

Yes, it is great to be reminded that I am in control of my happiness.

Lately I've had a hard time being in the NOW, but if I stop to think... my needs are met, I've got sunshine on my face and a furry dog in my lap... now is perfect and I am happy.
Yes, on the program she talks about how she became interested in Buddhism after her divorce. Her explanation of the emotional devastation was quite moving to me as I have experienced the same thing.

I am currently reading "Turning the Mind into An Ally" by Sakyong Mipham. Really well written with a forward by Pema.

I, too, find that sunshine and a furry companion are the perfect combination for enjoyment of the NOW.
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 03-13-2007, 03:00 PM   #12
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

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isn't he that dude who taught monks to set themselves on fire to protest the vietnam war?
i checked with one of his publishers. this is the reply i received: "Thich Nhat Hanh didn't teach monks self-immolation. But he explains their act in a way that describes it as a beautiful self-sacrifice for a huge cause and not exactly suicide in the very specific instance of the Vietnam War (not generally, obviously)."

still, i could swear i recall reading in one of his books him taking credit for the teaching. but i'm going back over 20 years. could be he was just describing the "beautiful self-sacrifice" at a time when i didn't think much of suicide and so i remembered it wrongly.

of course, now that i've watched ill health ravage both the ol'man and just recently my mom, i'm all for suicide.
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 03-15-2007, 06:24 AM   #13
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

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of course, now that i've watched ill health ravage both the ol'man and just recently my mom, i'm all for suicide
Years before my parents became ill, my Mother and Father got a hold of the Hemlock Society and wrote Dr. Kevorkian. They (or at least my Mother) had it in her mind that if 'things got too bad' she wanted a way out of the pain.

When Mom was diagnosed with Cancer, she called Dr. Kevorkian again to get clear on her options. We all took a back seat to this... mostly because we didn't know how to handle her wishes... and secretly praying it would never come to this.

To make a very long story short... Mom went on Hospice and received excellent care for 7 months. There was a time when she was literally bored with the dying process or frustrated that it was taking so long. She wanted to speed it up!

This is when she asked for 'our' help.... and that is when -- in no uncertain terms -- I came to my own limit in this situation. I was not going to do anything to end my mother's life. I wasn't about to put myself in a position where 20 years down the road I would wake up one morning under the weight of guilt thinking I had killed my Mother!

There were lessons and gifts all along the path of dying and caring for her that I would never have found if I hadn't done End of Life care for her... (see her story - End of Life Care: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/betty.htm)

I realize that we each must make our own decisions on such a personal matter... no judgement here...

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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 03-15-2007, 12:23 PM   #14
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

I think that is why Oregon's laws that allow terminally ill people to get a prescription filled and keep it with them to use if they want is such a good idea. They decided for themselves when the time comes and don't have to enlist family members who would feel guilty later. I think it gives the dying a sense of control over their fate even if they decided not to use it (which, from what I've read, a majority of those who get the prescription end up doing - not taking the pills.)
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 03-15-2007, 03:55 PM   #15
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny
They decided for themselves when the time comes and don't have to enlist family members who would feel guilty later.
hopefully it would work like that. but i had to refuse when mom said "this is horrendous. what can you do?" because by then mom was in stage 6 of alzheimer's so of course there was nothing i could do. and nothing she could do either because by then she would never have been able to complete the task.

just like christopher reeves who certainly couldn't have ended his own suffering without help, sometimes, even with the best laid plans, there is only a window of opportunity. miss that and you are stuck with only the compassion of others (in whatever form that takes.)
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 03-17-2007, 08:52 PM   #16
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

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just like christopher reeves who certainly couldn't have ended his own suffering without help, sometimes, even with the best laid plans, there is only a window of opportunity. miss that and you are stuck with only the compassion of others (in whatever form that takes.)
Right.

I think this is one of the places where the road divides.

Each of us has our beliefs and we live our lives according to those beliefs. All of our actions have consequences, sometimes 'only' for us, but mostly our actions touch the lives of many people. We don't live in a vacuum.

Some would say that the person who is ill, mentally or physically challenged, etc. are performing a service to others by developing compassion in them. Or perhaps they 'chose' this path from a different vantage point other than merely a conscious one.

None of us have the full view of what is going on in this Life.

In my experience, those with whom I have worked or served who have been in pain, need, or near death have taught me plenty. Breaking my heart so that it becomes bigger isn't the worst thing that can happen...

Coming to terms with what we have control over, what we are responsible for, and growing compassion in ourselves are all adult perspectives.

If life wasn't so hard, it'd be easy...

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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 03-17-2007, 09:43 PM   #17
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

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Some would say that the person who is ill, mentally or physically challenged, etc. are performing a service to others by developing compassion in them. Or perhaps they 'chose' this path from a different vantage point other than merely a conscious one.
I refuse the mission.

I will not suffer to develop someone else's karma.

I've been toting animals to the vet for surcease for 15 years.

I ask only as much for myself.
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 03-18-2007, 12:37 PM   #18
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

wearing my heart on my sleeve instead of sleeved within some rigid shell, it never required breaking to grow. (that was just poetic metaphor, akaisha, not accusation.) i've learned no lessons from loves lost. each turn i take to shovel earth into a grave turns life a little less enjoyable.

i was as appreciative & compassionate before watching life deteriorate, before greeting death too many times. just because i can deal with it doesn't mean i'm happy with it. being more practical than idealistic, while i am satisfied with life as is--what choice do i have in that?--i will always have preferred what might have been.

be careful not to get too attached to detachment, because sometimes detachment is only denial. whether you create good karma or bad, it is still karma keeping you on the wheel. khan phrased it so well that it is worth repeating: "i will not suffer to develop someone else's karma."

the urge to seek meaning can be so powerful as to create its own religion. me? i only stopped in for a good time. when life is no longer fun for me, i too will take my leave.

"because of realization one does not remain in samsara, because of compassion one does not remain in peace."~~the abhisamayalamkara
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 03-18-2007, 08:22 PM   #19
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

LG4N
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i've learned no lessons from loves lost. each turn i take to shovel earth into a grave turns life a little less enjoyable.
Well... I must admit that I have learned.

Maybe I'm not as together or as .... 'something'... as your perspective has allowed you, LG4N... (again, no judgment here...) I can't even enumerate all the lessons I have learned, insight I have received, gifts of the heart that were given, or moments of profound love I was witness to by taking care of loved ones in need. I don't regret those times for a moment and have felt blessed by them. These are my treasures. Life, for me, has become more enjoyable, because my appreciation of certain things and people has increased. My realization of the short time we have of sharing love has increased.

Quote:
i will always have preferred what might have been.
I have been in that place before - preferring what might have been to what is, but the point is, I don't have control over that. I can't always change what is. I must make the most of what I have, of what is. To me, the pain of unrequited love, or wishing for something that plainly isn't is far more painful than finally surrendering to what is.

Quote:
be careful not to get too attached to detachment, because sometimes detachment is only denial. whether you create good karma or bad, it is still karma keeping you on the wheel.
I understand. I think I have plenty of lifetimes left on this wheel! I don't have a full understanding of karma just yet. I finished reading Karma for today's traveler by Phra Bhasakorn Bhavilai yesterday, and I found it rather disturbing, actually. My only hope is to continue doing more good things than ignorant ones, and hope for the best!

Quote:
khan phrased it so well that it is worth repeating: "i will not suffer to develop someone else's karma."
Gosh, I would love to have the control over my suffering and in which circumstances it shows up that you and Khan profess... I am humbled at your skill! Seriously.

Perhaps I am simply a schmuck, but... no matter how much I learn, I still suffer. No matter how much I grow, I still suffer. Maybe not in the same ways or in the same areas, but... I still suffer. I grab the joy when I can, and I dedicate my suffering. My compassion has increased greatly because of the suffering I have gone through. I dunno... I guess I just don't have that part of my life together just yet.

Quote:
i only stopped in for a good time. when life is no longer fun for me, i too will take my leave.
I have to smile at myself here, because this is a point of view that has escaped me completely here this lifetime. When I look back over my life, I see moments of fun along with my sufferings, and sufferings along with my moments of fun. The joy and fun are resting places and the suffering carves the marble of who I am. If I 'only' had fun, I feel that I would be shallow, unable to relate to others in need or unable to respond in a meaningful manner. If I only suffered, I wouldn't be able to roar hilariously at a joke, or be spontaneous, or dream bigger dreams for myself to grow into.

Yes... I somehow think I have many many lifetimes here to sort things through. sigh...
:P

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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron
Old 03-18-2007, 09:54 PM   #20
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Re: Interesting PBS program on Pema Chodron

i did not intend to dismiss any of your learning nor to diminish the meaningfulness you find in your experience. i only suggest that while it is one thing to learn lessons in life it is another to attribute the teacher. someone who might have had the very same experience as you might have taken away a very different lesson. they might have become bitter at life and depressed in spirit where you found uplift and joy. so i don't know that the experience was your teacher, because, given the very same lesson, you did not learn what another person might have.

only on an e.r. forum is acknowledging loss inextricable from wishing for gain. but always having preferred what might have been and being satisfied with what is are not mutually exclusive. they only seemingly contradict but actually coincide. because even though i am satisfied with life as it is, i can not say that i would rather life be as it is. that simply would not be true because i would always rather have not lost loves. and just as silly as it would be to say "i'm satisfied that all these people i love are dead" it would be even sillier to say "i wish they would live again." i neither reject life nor do i seek miracles.

while we can work to reduce suffering in the world, how can you eliminate it when, as buddha said, "all of life is suffering." all of life is suffering because of attachments. even in joy there is suffering. you buy a puppy dog and he licks your face and lights your life but you know in the back of your mind that this puppy is going to die & break your heart one day. so even in this great joy there is suffering. one is not distinct from the other.

picture holding 10 pounds out in one hand and 10 pounds out in the other. now picture holding instead 20 pounds with both hands together. which robs more strength to hold?

you might never control your suffering but certainly you can determine how you experience it. some choose to cry through the pain. others laugh through it. guess who's having more fun?
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