In this recorded retreat, Pema Chödrön shares teachings inspired by the book Smile at Fear, which was written by her teacher Chögyam Trungpa. She and her teaching assistant, Carolyn Rose Gimian, also share practices they received from Trungpa Rinpoche for courageously meeting ourselves in the present moment, including:
• The Windhorse Practice: a three-step meditation on awakening confidence
• Spiritual Warrior training for meeting life with courage and compassion
• Meditation instruction for calming the mind and developing concentration
Available at Shambhala
Editor's Notes: Pema Chodren, an American born in New York, turned to Tibetan Buddhism in 1972 after meeting her teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. At his encouragement, she studies with Lama Chime in London. She has written many books published by Shambhala publications and is a delightful, gentle soul that touches our hearts.
This DVD is a video of her retreat about Fear. It's message is well timed as we live in a world seemingly dominated by fear. In my years as a spiritual counselor, it was fear that brought most people in to see me. Pema Chodron's message is clear and so important for everyone to hear. The exercises, methods, and instruction in the retreat video are incredible. I recommend this. It is like being at one of her retreats. She is a delight. She's the kind of person I say, "I want to be like her."
Having said, that, I have some small criticism of the DVD itself. Mostly it is recorded with one camera, although there is evidence that there was more than one as once in a while there will be another angle. Perhaps this was done to give the viewer an experience of being in the audience, looking up at Pemaor Carolyn on stage. I'm not sure, but it gives the experience of being static rather than using camera work in a more interesting way that would enhance the listener's experience.
The other difficulty is that the navigation of the DVD is stripped down so that we cannot choose a scene, only a chapter. Fast forward or reverse does not work. I had to answer the phone when watching. When I got back, I wanted to back up. Couldn't so I was thrown into the previous chapter. I tried to fast forward to where I was. I was thrown into the next chapter. Again, maybe this was to give a "being there" experience. For me it didn't work.
However, the message is good. Her presentation is heartfelt and needed in today's world. The production is secondary to that.