Dharma Book Club

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Welcome Readers!

The South Bay InsightLA Dharma Book Club is a way for our community to connect through a common interest in books that inspire and enrich our meditation and mindfulness practices.

Join us for our next meeting

Wednesday, January 25
12:00 - 1:00 pm

Moderated by Annette Lombardi

Book Selection:

HOW WE
LIVE IS HOW
WE DIE

By Pema Chödrön

Dharma Book Club Meetings

Take break and join us for a lunch-time get together to talk about books and authors who have written about the Dharma in a variety of genres. Each book will be covered in a single meeting. On occasion, authors will be  guest speakers at our meditation practice groups after our book club meeting.  Please sign up below to receive a reminder and a  Zoom link the day before our meeting. Participation in the discussion is optional for those who would prefer just to read our book selection or listen to comments.  All are welcome! 

About Our Current Book Selection

As much as we might try to resist, endings happen in every moment—the end of a breath, the end of a day, the end of a relationship, and ultimately the end of life. And accompanying each ending is a beginning, though it may be unclear what the beginning holds. In How We Live Is How We Die, Pema Chödrön shares her wisdom for working with this flow of life—learning to live with ease, joy, and compassion through uncertainty, embracing new beginnings, and ultimately preparing for death with curiosity and openness rather than fear.

Poignant for readers of all ages, her teachings on the bardos—a Tibetan term referring to a state of transition, including what happens between this life and the next—reveal their power and relevance at each moment of our lives. She also offers practical methods for transforming life’s most challenging emotions about change and uncertainty into a path of awakening and love. As she teaches, the more freedom we can find in our hearts and minds as we live this life, the more fearlessly we’ll be able to confront death and what lies beyond. In all, Pema provides readers with a master course in living life fully and compassionately in the shadow of death and change.

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From the Publisher

"In this sage treatise, Buddhist nun Chödrön (Welcoming the Unwelcome) muses philosophically on life transitions. She suggests that 'life is a bardo'—the Buddhist concept that describes the liminal state between death and rebirth—marked by continual change, and that accepting this constant transition is the path to spiritual enlightenment. Chödrön challenges the dualistic notion that bardos are either real places or metaphors for psychological experiences, instead positing they lie somewhere in between. She notes that the 'end of one experience is the beginning of the next experience,' and urges readers to embrace this flow by confronting one’s emotions and accepting negative events as an inevitable part of life. Meditation is key to becoming attuned to the flow of consciousness, Chödrön contends, because it exposes the transience of one’s thoughts and feelings. 'To be fully intimate with life, I feel we have to be fully intimate with death,' she writes, encouraging readers to 'develop the capacity to stay in... uncomfortable, edgy places of uncertainty' so that one might someday approach death with grace rather than panic. Chödrön’s straightforward prose grounds the thoughtful examination of what the bardo can teach readers about meeting suffering with kindness and compassion. This wise volume shines."

Publishers Weekly

"Chödrön’s clarity and warmth make this book accessible to a wide array of audiences. . . . Oft-quoted, much beloved, and radiating kindness, Chödrön remains a guiding light for those seeking spiritual growth.”

Library Journal

“A means of transmitting the wisdom and light of [the Bardo Tödrol] into the modern world. In a time when people would most like to dwell in the illusion of certainty, Chödrön reminds readers to recognize beauty in unpredictability and to relinquish their grip on a reality that is, and will always be, in flux.”

Shelf Awareness

Resources

You can find an excerpt of How We Live Is How We Die on the Shambhala Publications website. Read the Introduction and a portion of the first chapter at the link below.

The Pema Chödrön Foundation website has information about the wide variety of activities by the beloved Buddhist nun who has inspired millions of people with her books and teachings. The Foundation is "dedicated to preserving and sharing Pema’s inspiration and teachings in order that they might help us all awaken wisdom and compassion in ourselves and the world around us."

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