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Book Review: Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chodron

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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.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.