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Unconditional Confidence: instructions for meeting any experience with trust and courage
Pema Chödrön is one of todays leading meditation teachers. With more than one million books sold to date, she draws sold-out crowds across the U.S.and Canada. On Unconditional Confidence she offers two accessible sessions to help anyone find courage in times of challenge and change. Featuring a three-step method for learning to work with uncertainty and fear and an exclusive interview, this liberating program offers practical tools and teachings that explore:
- True confidence and how to cultivate the trust that makes it possible
- 'Shaky tenderness', the first step to developing strong and consistent bravery
- Practical steps to 'leap into, smile at, and experience all of life'even when fear is present
"For us to be of benefit to each otherin times of challenge or any other we need to be able to tap into genuine confidence," teaches Pema. Unconditional Confidence offers timeless wisdom and inspiration for developing this courageous skill for whatever life presents us.
"The opportunity to review ‘Unconditional Confidence’ arrived at a time that couldn’t have been more pertinent. It had been the finale of a project I had been involved in, with a final pitch. The whole event had been a high-pressured affair, and the final fruits seemed non-existent. Fear, in the form of blame, was abundant, and my confidence had plummeted. A week later the CDs arrive. Hallelujah!
Pema Chödrön is an American-born Tibetan Buddhist nun, who has authored several books including The places That Scare You and The Wisdom of No Escape. She is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey monastery in Nova Scotia.
The 120 min two CD audiobook offers practical tools for cultivating “tender-hearted bravery” in time of challenge and change, and a three-step method for overcoming fear and uncertainty.
“The root of true confidence,” teaches Pema, “grows from our ability to be in unconditional friendship with ourselves, to train in gentleness, and to trust in our natural intelligence to navigate life.”
The book covers how to move in the direction of freedom through discovering “shaky tenderness,” why being right or wrong doesn’t affect true confidence, steps for learning to “leap into, smile at, and experience all of life” even when fear is present, and how to be kind to yourself, even when you don’t feel kind and keep the root of confidence growing strong.
I appreciated the informal, conversational style and the warm and inspiring insights from her own life. She offers clear and concise instructions.
As I’m listening, I can feel a hard shell of protection around me. It feels like a scary prospect not to be surrounded by this hard shell; to run away and avoid the experience seems like the obvious plan, but what we need to do is be receptive to the experience, tap into the well of tenderness and get to know the nature of fear intimately. Pema explains how meditation is the key: “touch what’s coming up, then let it go.”
I take from “Unconditional Confidence” instructions of what do when fear arises. I am furnishing myself with useful skills to enable me to become a ‘Spiritual Warrior’ and approach fear with the ‘tenderhearted bravery’ she describes.
Chödrön describes situations that are all too familiar, such our culture of distracting oneself from our “ubiquitous nervousness” (or being slightly panicked at all times) so easily with music, drugs, and general distractions. She explains that the root of confidence is gentleness to oneself. Be brave enough to stick with the self through think and thin.
What to do when you panic? Chödrön advises to surround it with loving kindness and an attitude of gentleness.
What wonderful tools to have! I shall be practicing turning towards my fear with a huge open heart, which will hopefully allow confidence to flow into my life!"
— Reviewed by Vicky Matthews @ www.wildmind.org