Life can be a challenging road to walk—full of brilliance and light, but also of shadows and darkness. There are times when our thoughts race, when we feel uncomfortable in our bodies, and unpleasant emotions threaten to take us over. When these feelings of vulnerability surface, we’ve trained ourselves to resist. We put our guard up and armor our hearts.
But what happens when we begin to lean into our vulnerability, and work within it? We can befriend the one thing that truly causes our suffering: our own minds. What if you could learn to embrace the full spectrum of your experience with unconditional warmth, openness, and kindness? What if you no longer “hated” being vulnerable and, instead of overwhelming you, your emotions became your teachers? What if you chose gentle acceptance of yourself and others over harsh judgment?
Since there is nothing fundamentally broken in us, since our fundamental state is wide open, unbiased, extremely insightful, aware, and awake … In order to relax into that we can’t just want pleasure and avoid pain.
That’s the purpose of Living with Vulnerability: A Training in Making Friends with Your Mind, an online course taught by Buddhist teacher and author Pema Chödrön and her senior teacher, Tim Olmsted.
Inside this easy-to-understand, four-part video and audio training (including four prerecorded Q&A sessions) you’ll learn how to make peace with life’s challenges and the wildness of your mind, using techniques of meditation to stay present and available to whatever arises.
May your journey bring you to greater openness and a new depth of self-acceptance in all areas of your life.
- More than five hours of video teaching sessions
Find yourself welcomed as a student of Pema Chödrön for five hours of teaching, prerecorded Q&A discussion, and meditation. You’ll practice techniques to develop your sense of presence and unconditional warmth, and begin to unravel your self-limiting expectations and stories.
- Guided meditation audios
Supplementary audio meditations are included with your video teachings, to deepen your experience and open your mind to new ways of understanding, loving, and being with yourself and others.
- Journaling questions for deep reflection
Each teaching session includes a list of questions to explore as you begin to unlock your own patterns and behaviors. You’ll examine your “unfathomable questions,” places where you may need to create more space in your life, and come face-to-face with your most challenging relationships—including the one you have with yourself.
- Course workbook
Reinforce each session’s key learnings with additional insights and practices found in the course workbook, bringing you session summaries, meditation tips, and more.
- Pema Chödrön’s book, How to Meditate
A hard copy of Pema’s book How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind (shipped directly to you)
- Pema Chödrön’s audio program, Walking the Walk
A digital download of Pema’s audio program Walking the Walk: Putting the Teachings into Practice When It Matters Most, sent directly to your Sounds True digital library
In her opening talk, Pema discusses the basic goodness of humanity and everyone’s capacity for openheartedness and love.
We tend to be our harshest critics and toughest teachers. But when we stop running away from our discomfort and fears and stay present with our feelings as they unfold, we can cultivate a more empathetic relationship with ourselves—and the people we care about.
Learning friendliness with yourself and to treat your own experience with the same love and support you offer your truest friends is deepened with the tool of meditation.
- Developing an unconditional friendship with yourself
- Growing accustomed to the unpleasant (in order to grow, learn, and release)
- Uncovering your true nature
- Openness, awareness, and warmth
Part 1 audio meditations:
- Being Present
- Coming Back to the Breath
In the first of three extended meditation sessions combining practice and discussion, Tim Olmsted leads you through an exploration of your meditation practice in order to tap into the natural openness beneath all your thoughts and feelings—and learn to relax, moment by moment.
- Exploring your most natural, open self
- The importance of releasing fixed ideas
- Why everything you experience is a tool for awakening
Part 2 audio meditations:
- Finding Balance
- Meditation: Faithful to Being Present
Continuing his exploration of meditation practice and instruction, Tim Olmsted explains how to “practice in the gaps” and take any moment life offers you to feel into the immediacy of your experience—whether you’re waiting at a stop light or in line at the bank.
This is the key to truly experiencing our own emotions and deepening our feelings of shared humanity, gentle curiosity, and basic goodness.
- How to become more gentle and less judgmental in making friends with ourselves
- Uncovering warmth and “burning up” karmic seeds
- Why difficulty is the path
Part 3 audio meditations:
- Uncovering Your Buddha Nature
- Working with Your Thoughts
In this final, in-depth meditation instruction, Tim begins with how we relate to ourselves in our practice.
This lesson explores the concept of “discomfort resistance” and getting the nervous system used to unpleasant experiences so you can gradually learn to remain more open.
Openness is the key to breaking through your false perceptions and expectations of the world around you so you can learn to treasure the beauty and uniqueness in all things.
- Developing discomfort resilience
- Working with compassion fatigue and anxiety
- Exploring the teachings in heartfelt regret
Part 4 audio meditations:
- Working with Feeling
- Undivided Awareness