I picked up Taking the Leap, Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears by Pema Chodrön after I came across it listed on nearly every ‘must read for a better life and understanding’ book list that I’ve found. I’ve made it a habit of taking down these suggestions to form a reading list of my own.
I am about half way through this work and can see why it comes so highly recommended. Pema gives the case for living in the moment, the possible benefits and the effortless ways we can go about using that awareness for a better life.
Her prose is simple, to the point and easy to read. You can almost imagine her seated crosslegged before you softly speaking to you with her lessons.
In one situation I was frustrated as I was hooked (her phrase which I rather like) but instead of allowing myself to react fully as I would normally I took a few breaths, a few times and leaned into my feelings. Before long I was able to figure not only where my frustration was rooted, but also where the other party’s hurt was coming from, with that I was able to resolve the situation in a very loving manner.
I have read much about being present in the past; mindfulness is not a new philosophy for me. Yet I had not yet learned how to put it to use. Pema Chodrön teaches that in her book. And for that I thank her.