Embracing the Unknown: Life Lessons from the Tibetan Book of the Dead (CD-Audio)
Life, Death, and Rebirth—Pema Chödrön on The Tibetan Book of the Dead
What happens when we die? One of the most treasured resources for understanding this essential question is The Tibetan Book of the Dead. With Embracing the Unknown, Pema Chödrön delves into the teachings of this extraordinary Buddhist text—not only for what it tells us about the journey of the soul beyond this life, but also as a source of profound wisdom for navigating the uncertainty we face each day in "the bardo of this life." In this landmark appearance recorded live at the Omega Institute, Pema explores the universal mystery of life, death, and rebirth, including:
• What is the bardo? How any state between an ending and a beginning gives us an unparalleled opportunity for transformation
• What is rebirth? Pema takes a deeper look at this concept and how it also occurs in our moment-to-moment experience
• Can we let go? Guidance for honoring the difficult emotions of fear, sadness, and grief with an open and curious heart
• How can we prepare? Meditation techniques and everyday practices for befriending change, groundlessness, and the unknown
• What can we really know about death? Why the teachings of The Book of the Dead are valuable no matter what you believe
"Death isn’t just something that happens at the end," teaches Pema. "Life is continually arising, dwelling, ceasing, and arising. It’s a cycle that goes on every day, and continues to go on forever." Featuring insightful Q&A sessions with a live audience, Embracing the Unknown invites you to explore the most daunting and liberating truth of our human experience—guided by Pema Chödrön’s hallmark blend of insight, humor, and fearless love.
About the Author
Ani Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City. She attended Miss Porter's School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three grandchildren.
While in her mid-thirties, Ani Pema traveled to the French Alps and encountered Lama Chime Rinpoche, with whom she studied for several years. She became a novice nun in 1974 while studying with Lama Chime in London. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa came to Scotland at that time, and Ani Pema received her ordination from him.
Pema first met her root guru, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972. Lama Chime encouraged her to work with Rinpoche, and it was with him that she ultimately made her most profound connection, studying with him from 1974 until his death in 1987. At the request of the Sixteenth Karmapa, she received the full bikshuni ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong.
Ani Pema served as the director of Karma Dzong in Boulder, Colorado until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche gave her explicit instructions on establishing this monastery for western monks and nuns.
Ani Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada and plans for an increased amount of time in solitary retreat under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. She is also a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the oldest son and lineage holder of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Ani Pema is interested in helping establish Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West, as well as continuing her work with western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings. Her non-profit, The Pema Chödrön Foundation, was set up to assist in this purpose.
She has written several books: The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart, The Places that Scare You, No Time To Lose, Practicing Peace in Times of War, How to Meditate, and Living Beautifully. All are available from Shambhala Publications and Sounds True.