Pema Chodron’s “Smile at Fear” : Sat. Notes

Pema’s morning talk had to do with Chapters 10 and 11 of “Smile at Fear”

Chapter 10: Tools of Fearlessness – all about expanding the heart

What would it look like to live completely from an open heart?

First, discipline (icon is the sun): of openness (notice that you’re closing, trying to get ground) and then open, notice tightening, lighten up. Notice wrong and then let go – like the sun because there are no exceptions.

Second, meditation (icon is the echo) – meditative awareness – you begin to notice when you’re closing, shutting down, etc. “I’m no quite sure how, but I can to it.” All actions produce an echo. They come back to you. Heed the echo to expand rather than close.

Third, psychological accuracy (skillful means, prajna) basic goodness. Clear seeing beyond “what bout me?” Icon is bow and arrow. Must have curiosity, inquisitiveness, undivided attention of something unpleasant. Act and speak out of it – it manifests as sanity. Breaks down polarization and dualistic concepts. It is expansive. Have to put prajna (arrow) into action (bow)

Chapter 11: qualities of fearlessness

TR: Pain is not a punishment, pleasure is not a reward… kindness, kindness, kindness

First, Trust (icon is the reservoir) you can trust that whatever you say, or do, you will get a response from the world. The world will always give you messages to practice openness. The world will never run out of messages and so is rich for this. The reservoir of trust in the world never dries up.

Second, Joy and Appreciation (icon is music/hum) – comes from realizing that whatever is happening is a dynamic process, a fruition and seed of what is to come. Eternal doubtlessness. “No feeling is final” – Rilke – a fluid way of opening up to the world.

Third, Ability to hold your seat (icon is saddle) – living with ourselves is like riding a fickle horse. Staying present in present time. Don’t exaggerate. Don’t escalate. TR: Success and failure are the path

::: The afternoon talk was about Lumgta (wind horse).

Most important thing in life: Use your life to train in being present with an open heart, open mind, with mind and body in the same place.

Showing up for your life is fertile ground for curiosity, inquisitiveness, and taking interest in your life

Learn as you go – is DARING – try not to follow the habits you have developed

Think of every situation in life as an unsolvable one.

Lumgta (wind horse) – rousing yourself when you start “going down.” Starts off with a bad feeling (of not measuring up, etc.) Lumgta is a way of turning towards courage. Trust that you can catch yourself. Lumgta is connecting with unconditional confidence and a journey of curiosity.

Life is more interesting than anything you could come up with.

Practicing Lumgta:

First, come fully into present – where energy comes from – with what is taking you down. Second, soften – give space and warmth to what you are feeling. Third send out or “take a leap” by going forward into life knowing anything can happen. Let it be whatever it is. (In the practice of Lumgta, Pema had us do steps one and two with our eyes closed. We then quickly opened our eyes for step three.)