Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chodron provides good advice on how to cope in a world with constant change and flux. The author derives important lessons from Eastern traditions, such as the Tibetan experience.
Chodron explains breathing techniques, such as tonglen, which instructs practitioners to breathe in the unpleasant and exhale relief and happiness. The author encourages us to embrace the world as it is instead of changing it into a mirror image of our own concepts about how people should live.
This concept of “awakened energy” is called Samaya. A corollary is to do no harm through the practice of Pratimoksha. Selfless service leads to Bodhisattva, which seeks to alleviate the suffering of others through surplus resources which reside in the personal comfort zone.
Chodron seeks to increase our collective tolerance for change. In order to accomplish this, people need to stop feeding their egos with things that drain rather than enhance the resource pool available to the community. When we learn to let go of our protective shells, we find that we begin to reach out more significantly to others with real empathy and support.
The author spends a good deal of time explaining how each of us should protect the body and mind from the negations inherent in a host of vices. A related concept is to know the things that trigger our fears and sum zero confrontation modes. Chodron has good advice for containing rage: extreme anger should not be boiled over; instead, it should be simmered or kept to a low level
where it can be controlled more easily and effectively.
Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change is an important work which teaches each of us how to cope in a changing world.