Author: Pema Chodron
Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times is a wise and wonderful work. It might more aptly be titled "Instructions to Heal the Planet - Including Tools to Soften an Embittered Heart."
The author takes a square look at the human engagement with struggle and the human tendency to nurture our own dissatisfaction. Interestingly, she does so without condemnation for human nature. In fact, she shows the reader exactly how to break free from this pattern of "eating poison." She offers beautifully clear instruction in the technique of Tonglen, the counter-intuitive practice of becoming intimate with, and thus vanquishing our pain (ie: fear, anger, loneliness, grief, etc.) Central to her work is the concept that pain separates us from one another, and that separateness is an illusion. She explains how developing compassion for ourselves is the first and most essential step toward healing pain and dispelling illusion. This bold book entices us all to become our true nature's peaceful warrior or "Bodhisattva."
Bonuses of this work are its Appendix filled with the Buddist practices outlined in the book, numerous pithy quotes from renowned Masters, and a whole chapter (#4: Learning to Stay) which addresses the all important question: "Why do we Meditate?"