Comfortable With Uncertainty
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Inspired by the Buddhist tradition of the 108-day retreat, a Tibetan Buddhist nun offers instruction and meditations for achieving compassion and awareness in everyday living.
Best-selling author and spiritual teacher Pema Chödrön shares life-changing practices for living with wisdom, confidence, and integrity amidst confusing situations and uncertain times. We live in difficult times. Life so often seems like a turbulent river threatening to drown us and destroy our world. Why, then, shouldn’t we cling to the certainty of the comfortable—to our deep-seated habits and familiar ways? Because, Pema Chödrön teaches, that kind of fear-based clinging keeps us from the infinitely more powerful experience of being fully alive. The teachings she presents here—known as the “Three Commitments”—provide a treasure trove of wisdom for learning to step right into the unknown, to completely and fearlessly embrace the groundlessness of being human. When we do, we begin to see not only how much better it feels to live an openhearted life, but we find that we begin to naturally and more effectively reach out to help and heal all those around us.
This book offers short, stand-alone readings designed to help us cultivate compassion and awareness amid the challenges of daily living. More than a collection of thoughts for the day, Comfortable with Uncertainty offers a progressive program of spiritual study, leading the reader through essential concepts, themes, and practices on the Buddhist path. Comfortable with Uncertainty does not assume prior knowledge of Buddhist thought or practice, making it a perfect introduction to Chödrön's teaching. It features the most essential and stirring passages from Chödrön's previous books, exploring topics such as lovingkindness, meditation, mindfulness, "nowness," letting go, and working with fear and other painful emotions. Through the course of this book, readers will learn practical methods for heightening awareness and overcoming habitual patterns that block compassion.
From the bestselling author of When Things Fall Apart, an open-hearted call for human connection, compassion, and learning to love the world just as it is during these most challenging times. In her first new book of spiritual teachings in over seven years, Pema Chödrön offers a combination of wisdom, heartfelt reflections, and the signature mix of humor and insight that have made her a beloved figure to turn to during times of change. In an increasingly polarized world, Pema shows us how to strengthen our abilities to find common ground, even when we disagree, and influence our environment in positive ways. Sharing never-before told personal stories from her remarkable life, simple and powerful everyday practices, and directly relatable advice, Pema encourages us all to become triumphant bodhisattvas--compassionate beings--in times of hardship. Welcoming the Unwelcome includes teachings on the true meaning of karma, recognizing the basic goodness in ourselves and the people we share our lives with--even the most challenging ones, transforming adversity into opportunities for growth, and freeing ourselves from the empty and illusory labels that separate us. Pema also provides step-by-step guides to a basic sitting meditation and a compassion meditation that anyone can use to bring light to the darkness we face, wherever and whatever it may be.
Jonathan Fields knows the risks-and potential power-of uncertainty. He gave up a six-figure income as a lawyer to make $12 an hour as a personal trainer. Then, married with a 3-month old baby, he signed a lease to launch a yoga center in the heart of New York City. . . the day before 9/11. But he survived, and along the way he developed a fresh approach to transforming uncertainty, risk of loss, and exposure to judgment into catalysts for innovation, creation, and achievement. Properly understood and harnessed, fear and uncertainty can become fuel for creative genius rather than sources of pain, anxiety, and suffering. In business, art, and life, creating on a world-class level demands bold action and leaps of faith in the face of great uncertainty. But that uncertainty can lead to fear, anxiety, paralysis, and destruction. It can gut creativity and stifle innovation. It can keep you from taking the risks necessary to do great work and craft a deeply-rewarding life. And it can bring companies that rely on innovation grinding to a halt. That is, unless you know how to use it to your advantage. Fields draws on leading-edge technology, cognitive-science and ancient awareness-focusing techniques in a fresh, practical, non-dogmatic way. His approach enables creativity and productivity on an entirely different level and can turn the once-tortuous journey into a more enjoyable quest. Fields will reveal how to: Make changes to your workflow that unlock buried creative potential. Build "creation hives" -- supportive groups that can supercharge and humanize the process. Tap social technology and user co-creation to add clarity, certainty, and sanity, even if you're an artist or solo-creator. Develop a set of personal practices and mindset shifts that let you not just tolerate, but invite and even amplify, uncertainty as a catalyst for genius. Drawing on extensive case studies and research, Fields shares a set of detailed personal practices and environmental changes that can not only humanize the creative process, but also allow individuals and teams to stay more open to opportunity and play a bigger creative game.
What if we could learn to accept I don't know and embrace the possibility that the future is full of mystery, excitement, and unlimited opportunity? The Art of Uncertainty is an invitation to the reader to consider its essential message: learning to love the unknown by staying present in the moment. If the difficulties of recent years have taught us anything-particularly those who "did everything right" and still saw it all fall apart-it's that none of us has as much control over our lives as we believe. The only thing we can control is our next thought. What if we could learn how to be at peace with uncertainty and embrace the possibility that the future is full of mystery, excitement, and unlimited opportunity? What if we discovered that a new paradigm can be more fulfilling, more rewarding, and more peaceful than what we have known? Living in the I don't know and loving it is an art form we can all master, and The Art of Uncertainty is the perfect guidebook.
Cut the organisational and operational dead weight to climb higher, faster The Light and Fast Organisation presents a blueprint for organisations looking to thrive in today's rapidly evolving business landscape. VUCA - Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity - has become the dominant mode of modern business, and leaders are overwhelmed. Competition and instability has increased while barriers to entry have fallen, chronic employee disengagement is on the rise and the global economic recovery is incredibly fragile; business leaders are uncomfortable, with threats to their business looming on all sides. This book proposes an alternative to the VUCA paradigm, one in which we learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and a model for helping your organisation climb above the fray. Case studies from both business and mountaineering illustrate the benefits and practicalities of becoming light, fast, and agile and underscore the importance of self-awareness and self-reliance in minimising your exposure to risk. Business and mountaineering share many parallels, including frequent operation outside of the comfort zone. This book shows you the strong skills and effective strategies you need to reach the summit. Get comfortable with discomfort Adopt an 'Alpine Style' approach to business Operate outside of the VUCA paradigm Stretch outside your comfort zone to achieve more, faster Leaders must accept the current VUCA state and assess their preparedness, but it's possible to move beyond it by ingraining a 'light and fast' approach at the core of their organisations' values and operations. It's only through reaching beyond the 'safe' zone that we learn what we're made of, and build the foundations for successful leadership and teamwork. The Light and Fast Organisation is your practical coach for climbing the mountain, and your guide to the quickest route to the summit.
"An illuminating look at the surprising upside of ambiguity--and how, properly harnessed, it can inspire learning, creativity, even empathy Life today feels more overwhelming and chaotic than ever. We face constant political and economic upheaval, and we're bombarded with information, much of it contradictory. Managing uncertainty--in our jobs, our relationships, and our everyday lives--is fast becoming an essential skill. What should we do when we have no idea what to do? In Nonsense, Jamie Holmes shows how we react to ambiguous situations and how we can do it better. Being confused is unpleasant, so we tend to shutter our minds as we grasp for meaning and stability, especially in stressful circumstances. We're hard-wired to resolve contradictions quickly and extinguish anomalies. But in doing so, we lose a vital opportunity to learn something new, solve a hard problem, or see the world from another perspective. Over the last few years, new insights from social psychology and cognitive science have deepened our understanding of the role of ambiguity in our lives and Holmes brings this research together for the first time, showing how we can use uncertainty to our advantage. Whether we're dealing with an unclear medical diagnosis or launching a risky new product, Nonsense promises to transform the way we conduct business, educate our children, and make decisions. In an increasingly unpredictable, complex world, it turns out that what matters most isn't IQ, willpower, or confidence in what we know. It's how we deal with what we don't understand"--
Discusses the Buddhist concept of shenpa in order to describe how to become free from the destructive energy experienced during moments of conflict.
“Life is short, and the Art so long; the occasion fleeting; experience fallacious; and judgment difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and the externals, cooperate.” –attributed to Hippocrates, c. 400 B.C.E. The award-winning author of How We Die and The Art of Aging, venerated physician Sherwin B. Nuland has now written his most thoughtful and engaging book. The Uncertain Art is a superb collection of essays about the vital mix of expertise, intuition, sound judgment, and pure chance that plays a part in a doctor’s practice and life. Drawing from history, the recent past, and his own life, Nuland weaves a tapestry of compelling stories in which doctors have had to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. Topics include the primitive (and sometimes illegal) procedures doctors once practiced with good intentions, such as grave robbing and prescribing cocaine as an anesthetic (which resulted in a physician becoming America’s first cocaine addict); the curious “cures” for irregularity touted by people from the ancient Egyptians to the cereal titan John Harvey Kellogg and bodybuilder Charles Atlas; and healers grappling with today’s complex moral and ethical quandaries, from cloning to gene therapy to the adoption of Eastern practices like acupuncture. Nuland also recounts his most dramatic experiences in a forty-year medical career: the time he was called out of the audience of a Broadway play to help a man having a heart attack (when no other doctor there would respond), and how he formed a profound friendship with an unforgettable–and doomed–heart patient. Behind these inspiring accounts always lie the mysteries of the human body and human nature, the manner in which the ill can will themselves back to health and the odd and essential interactions between a body’s own healing mechanisms and a doctor’s prescriptions. Riveting and wise, amusing and heartrending, The Uncertain Art is Sherwin Nuland’s best work, gems from a man who has spent his professional life acting in the face of ambiguity and sharing what he has learned. From the Hardcover edition.