Starting Where We Are: A Writing Course on the Mind-Training Slogans via Pema Chödrön

by Mark Chmiel

Join us this fall for a writing course that focuses on the 59 mind-training slogans as taught by beloved Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön in her book, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living.

Each session will include peaceful sitting, discussion of Pema’s commentaries, use of particular slogans  to generate our own reflections, poems and/or commentaries, and sharing with others.

We will meet  for eight sessions on Thursday evenings 6:30-8:30 at Fatima Rhodes’ home (4406 A Laclede Avenue 63108) from October 9 to  December 4 (skipping Thanksgiving).

You’ll need a copy of Pema’s book, a notebook and pen or laptop, and a willingness to practice deep listening, awareness of breathing, and cheerfulness.

Tuition is $125. Email me if you are interested: Markjchmiel@gmail.com.

Here are some passages from the book:

True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings.

Every time your stream of thoughts solidifies into a heavy story line that seems to be taking you elsewhere, label that “thinking.”  Then you will be able to see how all the passion that’s connected with these thoughts, or all the aggression or all the heartbreak, is simply passing memory. If even for a second you actually had a full experience  that it was all just thought, that would be a moment of full awakening.

To be fearless isn’t really to overcome fear, it’s to come to know its nature.

Dharma is good instruction on how to stop cheating yourself, how to stop robbing yourself, how to find out who you really are, not in the limited sense of “I need” and “I’m gonna get,” but through developing wakefulness as your habit, your way of perceiving everything.

Here are a few of the 59 slogans:
Be grateful to everyone.
Don’t expect applause.
Don’t be swayed by external circumstances.
Always maintain only a joyful mind.
Train wholeheartedly.

Hope to see you on Thursdays at Fatima’s!

Present moment, only moment,

Mark

 

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