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Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change

October 3, 2011

How do we work skillfully with rough times?

How do we transform our lives during times of upheaval and unpredictability?

How do we broaden our tolerance for uneasiness?

It seems that these questions are becoming increasingly relevant as our world faces a whole array of troubles: social, political, economic, and ecological. Now more than ever we are challenged to find the strength and bravery inherent in the human heart.

Pema Chödrön, beloved teacher and author of many books of dharma wisdom, will be teaching a retreat to help us find the tools we need to begin to answer those hard questions. The retreat, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, will be broadcast via live stream from the Omega Institute on the weekend of October 28 to 30, and will be available for on-demand viewing until December 31. Learn more about the program here.

Because many of Pema's teachings resonate strongly with the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa, Ocean of Dharma and Shambhala Publications are giving away a free ticket to the online retreat.

What does it mean to live beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change?

Please contemplate this question and share your thoughts in a comment below. On October 14, we’ll select one person to receive free access to the online retreat with Ani Pema, and four runners-up will receive a copy of Ocean of Dharma: The Everyday Wisdom of Chögyam Trungpa.

Congrats to Daz, Kathryn, Nadine, Nirmala, and Shala! Daz has won free access to the retreat, and the others have won a copy of Ocean of Dharma: The Everyday Wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. Please come back soon for more giveaways and updates!


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91 Responses to Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change

  • melanie says:

    To live with grace. It is the sense of inner equanimity that will allow us to navigate through the uncertainty and the change. Thank you for all of the wisdom you share.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 2:05 am

  • The Beauty of Totality, part one | Shambhala Publications Blog says:

    [...] Shambhala Publications are having a contest to give away a free ticket to the online retreat. Visit the editor’s blog to learn [...]

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 3:00 am

  • Sokai Geoffrey Barratt says:

    living beautifully in times of uncertainty is no different than living beautifully in times of great stability. Without effort or will , we dance from no-self to self and back moment to moment... even as we sleep. We are born and die with the arising of the flower . Some say this is following the dharma activity ; some say this is ultimate
    goodness. Whatever words one may choose , it is our true heart.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 3:06 am

  • Dianna Dancing says:

    Change is a big part of living. Change invites me to contemplate beauty bravely and without projections of power or class. I need not worry or fret when I am constantly in change and in movement. There is beauty in each and every moment of change and development. It is beauty that calls forth my development and invites me to change accordingly.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 3:36 am

  • Connie says:

    When are we not living in times of uncertainty and change? The art of living beautifully is choosing to connect and embrace life as it is moment to moment and the realization that this is where true freeedom lives.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 4:13 am

  • Shelley Krapes says:

    To Live Beautifully in a Time with Uncertainty and Change means that my heart and mind has the flexibility and courage to drop off a cliff, that I live with the broadest definition of happiness and suspend old judgements that rob me of each precious moment.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 4:47 am

  • Daryl Sue says:

    I really love S.G.B.'s comment. Unplugging, even for just one moment, to view. Simply view.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 7:45 am

  • kathryn says:

    To be willing to embrace uncertainty, and live without presumption about people, places or thinking we know the way it goes, things go, or it works.

    To be willing to change to learn or unlearn a sequence or response, to be self examining in the midst of not getting your way and leaving room for another way that you can foresee.

    To be willing, receptive, and put loving and acting out of kindness first.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 8:04 am

  • Robin Anderson says:

    In one sense, we live beautifully all of the time. Because we are alive, we are in the beauty and grace of the universe all around us all of the time. Even if events that surround us are difficult, we are still breathing, thinking, feeling, and reacting to those events - all miracles of the process of being alive. It's just that sometimes it's hard to remember this.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 8:58 am

  • dpl says:

    To live beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change means to live as one would live in a time of certainty and stability: upright, honest, truthful, compassionate, calm, trusting, and faithful.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 9:10 am

  • Roz Cohen says:

    I love this question. I chuckle a little reading it because the phrase "during a time of uncertainty and change" implies that there is, in fact, a CERTAIN time that does not CHANGE. And of course, if we believe that impermanence is part of the fabric of our existence then we know that concepts like certainty and solidness are illusive.

    So it's kind of darling when we think there are times when the rug won't be pulled out. That being said, what seems to be a time of increased community and global angst about even basic needs being provided helps me practice even more compassionately -- to share (breathe out) the joy, gratitude, and understanding I have been graced with. Deal with my own silliness and serve as opportunity presents. Much aloha !

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 9:57 am

  • Barbara Pearce says:

    Living beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change is about always coming back to what we know - that our true nature is unchanging and unaffected by the drama in our lives. It's about having faith that things will eventually find a balance and above all it's about keeping an open heart and mind and about learning what the upheaval is here to teach us.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 9:59 am

  • Roz Cohen says:

    Although I didn't use the "live beautifully" phrase in what I posted above -- mindful, fearless living is BEAUTIFUL! Funny, I have regressed to my academic days of using the words in the assignment description to get credit!

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 10:01 am

  • Dan says:

    To find the beauty and live with the uncertainty and change is to slow down.Deal with it all with the senses we were given. Eyes and heart to see and feel.Mouth and hands to reach out to others.And the breath to take it all in and then let it go. To sleep and be at peace and then wake and start it all over new.Love yourself and everything around you and life will take care of the rest.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 10:23 am

  • Lotus Blooming says:

    Finding certainty is possible if we allow the breath of
    trust to center us in the mindfulness of mind, staying present with what is. Acceptance with
    a deep belief that within the uncertainty, however terrifying, we are always in the beautiful palm of goodness within the transition of uncertainty. Surrender to it and know the Lotus is blooming!

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm

  • Tara says:

    I think this means feeling good, at peace with who we are and what positive change we can bring about. We live in the present moment, but other present moments build upon that, and unfold in a certain way because of how we are in each. If we're calm and mindful, we're likely to be treating others well, treating ourselves well, treating our environment well-- the animals, the air, the land, all there is. And this is beautiful: knowing that this is all there is, in a sense-- this moment and all of us in it-- separately and together at the same time. It's humbling but inviting, small but large; definitely beautiful to be connecting with one another and our world in an unpretentious, direct way.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

  • Mary Sherman says:

    Grief is teaching me that the true beauty in living happens when your heart is broken wide open and you are free falling and there is no ground. That is the freedom required to live in this world which has always been uncertain and is ever changing.

    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm

  • Mary Bass says:

    To enjoy the beauty that is the moment.

    Posted on October 6, 2011 at 3:12 am

  • doug highfield says:

    it means keeping your love alive, to live in child-like wonder without judging. whatever appears is the appearance of the sacred.

    Posted on October 6, 2011 at 5:20 am

  • Jim Rothweiler says:

    As always, to live beautifully is to detach and enjoy.

    Posted on October 6, 2011 at 5:47 am

  • James Walsh says:

    Connecting directly, immediately with the experience of now. No room to set up defenses or weave storylines.

    Posted on October 6, 2011 at 5:53 am

  • Barb Cortland says:

    My daughter shared with me the other night that she is unsure if she wants to conitnue a healthy relationship she has with her boyfriend because of the pain she feels on his departing each time for the college he is attending. She forsees the next five years of feeling this pain and sees this as decreasing the quality of her experience in life. Because of my study of the teachings of Pema Chodron and Chogyam Trungpa I was able to respond to her in a way that embraced the totality of life- the pain, joy and all feelings in between- I shared my experience of learning to soften my heart and be able to allow the pain and joy of loving her dearly as my daughter and celebrating her expansion which means she is physically less in my presence but connecting with the world in beautiful ways. I felt like I was able to share what living life fully means to me. I feel blessed to have these teachings- thanks to all who continue to make it possible for them to be brought to us. Cheers Barb Cortland

    Posted on October 6, 2011 at 6:52 am

  • Jim Dunn says:

    Someone once said a 'false sense of security is the only kind there is.' To live beautifully is simply to show up and holding back nothing, to be present to life as it unfolds

    Posted on October 6, 2011 at 7:17 am

  • Gordon Sherman says:

    The beauty of the present is not judged, but experienced in un-conditional love and compassion for all sentinet beings, including ourselves...As we become more awake to our own neurosis, the process quickens

    Posted on October 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

  • Carol Browning says:

    We do live in times of great uncertainty, and it helps to be open to change as the only constant, grateful for the wonders presented to us each day. Staying connected by song, prayer, internet access, being with kindred spirits all help support us as we learn to be at peace with life's challenges, dropping old habits and judgments that prevent us from befriending ourselves, and others too, with grace and equanimity. Compassion and the disciplines Pema teaches with such humor and humility make the road less bumpy.

    Posted on October 7, 2011 at 7:22 am

  • Danielle says:

    I relate to this question because my life is in a time of great uncertainty. I changed my profession several years ago-- with very slow results-- and went through "the change" (menopause) as well, along with much inner healing. I have never felt less secure and yet more alive.

    Most of my life, I have thought that living beautifully meant to be "more good"-- more kind, more generous, more talented, more worthy. Now I see things differently and living beautifully is about becoming real, like the lovely velveteen rabbit whose nose or fur were loved off but it could not be ugly to those who could see through to its real self. Making clearer, fuller contact with what is real in me, in others, and all around me is what is most beautiful in this time of loss and change and wonder.

    Posted on October 7, 2011 at 11:20 am

  • Shelle says:

    To live beautifully to me means to live fully, staying calm and centered when times get difficult. Being present. Open to grace.

    Posted on October 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm

  • Linda says:

    To live beautifully in times of uncertainty and change...well isn't that the way it is, the way it was and the way it always will be?
    Being able to deal with fear and fluctuations, with the unknown involves trusting the larger order of things and finding our own way of putting one foot, one breath in front of the other while staying true to our true nature with compassion.

    Posted on October 8, 2011 at 6:37 pm

  • john Odenthal says:

    Love the question, because "times of uncertainty and change" begin the moment we are born, and never seem to end!
    Recognizing the beauty of all that ...seems to be how to live beautifully.

    Posted on October 10, 2011 at 5:21 am

  • Deb McMurray says:

    To live beautifully during uncertainty and change is to live every day with a softening quality, with lots of compassion towards yourself and everyone else, without exception. Uncertainty and change happen all the time, this is life, and to live beautifully is to not let fear shut you down or make you contract, to keep opening your heart and allowing yourself to feel whatever you feel without self-judgment or self-criticism, AND to extend that no-judgment to every living creature you encounter and you think about. To live beautifully is to not react, but to notice, and to keep opening to and acknowledging that everything is going to be all right.

    Posted on October 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

  • Michelle says:

    Living beautifully in a time of uncertainty means living your live with dignity and respect. You live each day honoring not yourself but others. Treat people with respect and kindness. Show love and compassion for each with no expectations of something in return. You should have the feeling when you go to sleep at night that you did all that you could to bring goodness not only to yourselves but to others as well. Treat each other as if you would want to regardless of what situation you may face.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 6:56 am

  • amiee says:

    i follow pema on twitter and when i see her words, take them in, stop to absorb, well, this is an example of living beautifully in the time that is now.

    i think it means to stop, even in the swirl of social media, with the fingers of uncertain times creeping around and breathe for a moment. let words or smiles or people come into your consciousness and see them. acknowledge them. release them. beauty is in the eye of the beholder. so then, we have to behold.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:03 am

  • Liisa Priyanks Lugus says:

    with an open heart, outstretched arms, and head out of the sand.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:04 am

  • James Sindt says:

    Letting your light SHINE!

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:05 am

  • Jessica says:

    To live beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change means seeing challenges as fertile opportunities. The greater the uncertainty and change, the greater the potential to practice and open for the benefit of all.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:08 am

  • Anthony says:

    To be unattached to any outcomes, to instead be committed to living compassion in every moment with gentle compassion and wisdom. To respond skillfully in every step of change and in every uncertain moment to the suffering that brings to others or to yourself. To just be, without expectation. To look the fear of uncertainty and the pain of change full in the face and embrace the truth that life is change, these things are the evidence that you are truly alive in this moment. In this moment is the opportunity to be peace and compassion to everyone around you. I hope every moment that this is my response.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:11 am

  • Guillermo says:

    Is to ride my own fear, and learn that All is perfect if I am there to see it: Life itself, that is always amazing. Then, I could be kind even in the hard times.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:15 am

  • Amanda White says:

    I feel that this awareness is powerful, and it has personally changed my life for the better. Personally, I feel this means that you must embrace the good and bad, the highs and the lows, with open arms, compassion, and to make friends with the change in your life. We as humans love to control everything that goes on in ourselves and others. When those attachments don't go the way we want them we pound our fists and immediately try to fix the situation. I've learned through this that we must ultimately give in to the change in our lives no matter how unwelcoming it may be. We must be gentle with our true self, nurture ourselves, and take care of the things we can control, and to acknowledge and let go of the emotional attachments behind the uncontrollable. Its like if you were swimming in water and suddenly realized you weren't a good swimmer so you panic... well if you just accept the ocean, and embrace it, working with its currents, instead of against them, you will be brought back to shore in one piece, with a new understanding!

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:18 am

  • shayleen says:

    It means dropping the usual definition of beauty; knowing that there is a delicate design in our challenges, and a quiet perfection, even in death.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:23 am

  • Roman says:

    Uncertainty and change can be a benefit to one who is seeking opportunities to cultivate buddha nature. However, when living in a time where these are in abundance, through globalisation and increased knowledge of world issues, living beautifully (as a concept) can get lost in value judgements which take the material world as a blueprint for what beauty consists of. Beauty is (if I understand the context correctly) not bound to manifest conditions but is a simpler and purer element which is linked to a foundational awareness. So I think that living beautifully in such an age means to make the extra effort needed in response to the increased stake that we hold as part of an interconnected world.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:23 am

  • Craig says:

    What does it mean to live beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change?

    First of all, I must ask if we can ever live in a time that is not full of uncertainty and change? Certainly as impermanence is a foundation we live upon, I have grown to understand that uncertainty is a simple byproduct of such impermanence. So, the question comes down to, "How do we live beautifully given that the world we live in is uncertain and ever-changing?" I think it all comes down to how we relate with our reality.

    In my experience, living beautifully comes first through slowing down and practicing mindful awareness. By acknowledging each moment and also letting it go, I allow myself to generate an intimate relationship with what is arising now while also cultivating the ability to surrender to change. As I allow such a relationship to unfold between myself and my experience, an appreciation develops for the complexity and vastness of the human experience. I also learn not to hold on to this, as it is impossible. Most notably, however, is the recognition of the impermanent and changing nature of our world and mind. As I slow down, I learn to dance with this change instead of resist it.

    With such cultivation and slowing down, a natural love awakens. Simple living becomes beautiful living. Waking up is a gift. Making my bed both a pleasure and calming activity. Eating my breakfast, one bite at a time, becomes an art form. Life itself, on all terms, is beautiful. That is beautiful living in a time of uncertainty and change, in my experience.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:28 am

  • Tyler Gannon says:

    Maybe times of uncertainty and change offer extraordinary opportunity for living beautifully. At a moment when the entire body of humanity is tense in its focus on where to turn next and on which structures to tear down, who to blame or hang as a scapegoat:

    What degree of sweetness in honesty will bring us back to memory that we are like children in a garden, that the dreams of profit and loss are just dreams, that our every game (birth, death, sex, war) is equally potent at awakening us to the great gifts available through openness?

    I'm still at a point of asking for help in seeing how I am preventing my own openness. I think we must learn to deny that all this "uncertainty and change" makes beauty any more remote. The story of uncertainty and change is, as ever, both the problem and its justification. Cut it at the root!!! And see the beauty of that very action.

    Teachers, friends, loves, enemies, I need and want your help in opening up to this. As such, I love you all for putting me on the path.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:37 am

  • Marcie says:

    To adapt to the change while showing compassion towards all affected by it (including oneself), instead of to resist it.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:41 am

  • Brandon Black says:

    Change and uncertainty are what is beautiful in life. The lessons are learned by facing every day with a positive mental attitude, allowing the changing environment and personal relationships to teach us about our own strengths and weaknesses, about the depth of our character. This is how we grow spiritually.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:48 am

  • Shala says:

    Living beautifully in times of uncertainty & change means when our frustrations & fears arise, we don't lash out by turning them against others, or even against ourselves. We see them, witness them, but don't get 'caught up' in them, & don't spin a story around them, letting them fall away. And in the meantime, And, we decide to live with joy & laughter ANYWAY, while doing as much as we can to make others' frustrations & fears more bearable.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:52 am

  • Lokken says:

    Reality is like an ever-flowing river, roiling, and increasing it's pitch as karma ripens. I've given up on my excellent swimming abilities. They don't get me anywhere, because in this current, swimming is resisting. I keep my head above water, and hang on to my meditation floatie, which gives me the space to breathe. When I relax, I can see the vast,endless sky, and I understand - for a moment- that my heart is also that vast. I see scores of those who are riding with me, and my heart warms to them, and theirs to mine, and we all see that it is good to be riding together.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 7:59 am

  • Susan says:

    Being present to the joyful liberating limitless potential of every moment. Ever expanding compassion and opening the heart. Breathing into the dignity, generosity and grace that comes with strong back, soft front.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 8:18 am

  • Daz Saunders says:

    To be remained in oneself, observing the breath coming in, and out. Through this, one can really see what the world is and respond accordingly, without any past baggage or future fears to intervene and warp the clear insight which is readily accessible to us all. Really see every single thing in life as they are and one can become truly alive, living in the present, even with instability and change. These bring light to what we truly have, in our heart. All we need is ourselves, as a vehicle, to see and live on this planet with love and respect.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 8:18 am

  • stacie says:

    To live with an understanding of this to shall pass.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 8:33 am

  • Leli says:

    Change is always with us.. Uncertainty is one of the way in which we can relate ourself to the change..
    We can always have a choise..

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 8:59 am

  • Diane says:

    It is in times of uncertainty and change that I see people, all of us, pulling our love back inside, being selfish, to protect ourselves rather than radiating even more love outside to help others; to me, living beautifully in such a time means being able to allow oneself to give up the safety of turning within and being willing to give our love to others even as we are struggling ourselves.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 9:16 am

  • Mary Schilpp says:

    To live beautifully with uncertainty and change means staying in a place of respect, for self, and others. When uncertainty arises, we may feel rocked, unsteady, off balance. Living beautifully means riding those rocky waves, while smiling, and looking around, not fearfully down at our feet. Uncertainty and change means new opportunities, yet unfortunately, many times, a big boat load of fear is present, and may cause, or be an excuse for: disrespect, faithlessness, shallowness, and closing in. To live beautifully in these times, we must first breathe, and take note of where we are, and what we feel. Living beautifully is smiling gracefully at all that comes, remembering to see the beauty in each moment, for this moment is all that there is.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 9:24 am

  • Nadine says:

    To be fluid in your thoughts and actions and to go with the flow, wherever it takes you. Being able to deal with the current, the rocks of hard times and other beings also being tossed by the current.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 10:29 am

  • Patty DiIenno says:

    Living beautifully with uncertainty and change is to strive to experience and perceive life from a soul perspective which is motivated by love. To understand that fear is an ego-based illusion. To realize that EVERYTHING is a gift. Uncertainty is an inherent part of change. Resisting change does not stop it. Ultimately if one strives to move from a place of acceptance into an embrace with change, we do just that - encircle change with a loving presence.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 10:49 am

  • Anne says:

    Like good earth, to remain open and receptive to the roots of life's experience, letting everything be exactly as it is, enabling the nutrients of compassion, joy, equaniminity and lovingkindness to release through you.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 11:16 am

  • Rouget Chamier says:

    To live according to Dharma teachings and drop all our selfishness, ego, and look forward searching the benefit of all the sentient beings. Apply the mindfulness to live with compassion and kindness...

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 11:39 am

  • John Miller says:

    IT is to live simply, with awareness and sensitivity. It is to not flee from difficulty, but to face it, breathe, and be with it. It is to spend time in silence, listening for the voice of inspiration. It is to have the courage to smile at fear, and step forward with a joyful acceptance of the beauty of transitions, and the wonder in new beginnings. It is to bring hope to others in times of crisis, with gentleness and compassion.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 11:56 am

  • Evan says:

    Maybe things are beautiful because they are uncertain.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 1:09 pm

  • Robin Smith says:

    To live beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change means to live the love you love, be true and virtuous to yourself and others, give with all your heart, and maintain an inner peace that helps those lost in the maze of uncertainty and change find an end to their suffering.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm

  • Khrystene says:

    To live with heart, meaning wisdom and compassion for all, including ourselves.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm

  • Rupa says:

    To live with the knowledge that uncertainty and change is in fact natural; at any moment we can live with a deep sense of the sacred and gratitude towards life itself and allow the best part of ourselves - our loveliness, uniqueness and magic to shine no matter what the circumstances.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 3:03 pm

  • Holly A says:

    Wow, what a simple question with so much ineffable meaning within it. Beauty, for me, conjures up thoughts of grace, gentleness, and transience. Times of uncertainly and doubt conjure up thoughts of fear and doubt. So navigating the waters of uncertainty and change with beauty could mean facing fears, chaos, and change with dignity, trust, grace, and the willingness to continue with our lives' journeys.

    Posted on October 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm

  • Dan says:

    Beauty for me, is finally accepting who you are as a person - the whole totality of your personhood, without pushing it in a certain direction and without placing harsh judgement on yourself. Being patient and gentle enough with yourself that you don't need to be perfect all the time, that it is ok to make mistakes as long as you are moving in the right direction by learning from them. Allowing yourself the time to mature and grow from life experiences, rather than beating yourself for things you have done or things you have left undone. Realizing as much as you believe that you must have everything a certain way, right now, may change dramatically when things are put in perspective. Right Intention and Pure motivation is alot more important then the result or end effect. When you consider life from this standpoint, you can see how you are a truly beautiful spirit.

    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 4:01 am

  • Debra says:

    I don't have any beautiful or eloquent answer; however, I'm in the midst of a tremendous amount of uncertainty and change -- a pending divorce, leaving my home, uncertainty at work, grief of losing a marriage and all that entails. For me, it means finally being able to accept the situation as it is at the moment, not looking ahead or behind. Being present. Being mindful. Taking care of my physical and emotional needs as they are at the moment. And above all, learning that this does not mean you are stuck.

    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 8:02 am

  • William Altig says:

    Every moment is an opportunity to see real beauty as it is. Fresh. Raw. Uncluttered. Unfiltered.

    All things have a natural beauty in there own right. If I don't see the beauty, it's a clue to me to change my perspective.

    This perpetual wonder is a beautiful journey of discovery.

    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 8:19 am

  • John WYPICK says:

    Being able to realize the lessons and insights that difficult times give us is important. It helps us realize, to see, the falling away of the ego. To see what we have built our identities, our lives, around. While painful, and challenging, I TRY to always remember to give thanks for everything in my life. And stay focused on the present moment. Namaste

    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 9:52 am

  • Ann says:

    Living beautifully with uncertainty and change is nothing more or less than praying the intention to live with openness and integrity moment by moment, one breath, one step at a time. (In memoriam aeternum, dearest Claire, 1930-2011, teacher-mentor-friend)

    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm

  • cynthia says:

    To open more, open our mind and heart, not search for more solid ground.

    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm

  • Conny Anderson says:

    For me living beautifully with uncertainty is recognizing passion and aggression, and turning my thoughts toward curiosity. But then it's also the tender heart of sadness, compassion, and recognizing we are one.

    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 5:53 pm

  • George K says:

    It doesn't mean anything really. Not if you allow that all the concepts in the question are constructs. Rigid duality masking itself as "higher". Even the pretty words. Sorry. Won't fall for it.

    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 8:54 pm

  • Detlef Volke says:

    What a wonderful possibility to follow the thoughts of Pema Chödrön and also Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche by broadcasting this teaching via internet - highly appreciated and thank you so much. A pity only 1 person will be chosen for free acess. But anyway, I will also be happy to pay for this event of course!

    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 11:34 pm

  • Tiffany Augusta says:

    To live beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change is to live openly, with open heart and mind, to live in flow, to be present, aware, conscious, and conscientious...(quoted from a wonderful friend)

    Posted on October 13, 2011 at 7:42 am

  • Jan says:

    First we have to accept the fact that the only thing that is certain is uncertainty and security is a myth. Once we have that view, it enables us to have compassion for all including ourselves who are clinging to memories, things, ideas and beliefs to try to find that non-existant safe harbor.Or likewise running away from the things that only exist in our minds.From that compassion we can realize that if causes and conditions were different, we could be the drunk on the street or the crazy in the homeless shelter. In this way we can work for improving the world, one step, one moment at a time; not by hiding or retreating from the world. But by fully engaging, even if that means not pleasing everyone.

    Posted on October 13, 2011 at 8:51 am

  • Gregg Erlandson says:

    What does it mean to live beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change?

    “A time of uncertainty and change” is a great definition of life itself: Charles Dickens once wrote; “It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.” Both phases are about life’s contrast of infinite possibilities and our perceptions on what we choose to view and interpret in our world.

    Living beautifully is when our minds, bodies, and spirit are in harmony of transcending itself through love in the present moment and not in conflict of each other in the past or future through fear.
    Living every moment to the fullest, through love.


    The human heart’s natural state of being has the infinite ability to love, only our own resistance of our unconscious minds, restricts this natural flow.

    Posted on October 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm

  • Charmine's Hope says:

    I am very new to this, and would like to learn more. My times are very uncertain, in a world that is just as uncertain. To me it waould seem that it should be in times of certainty, as well as not. To me it sounds like to live beautifully means in a state of balanced awareness of all things, to remain calm in the storm, to live the best life that you can, and to always help others do the same.

    Posted on October 13, 2011 at 5:25 pm

  • zahra says:

    It means to be aware of death and how each moment is unique.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 3:06 am

  • Judy Steed says:

    This is the moment of awakening, as Pema says, no matter what is happening. All we have to do is breathe and be present.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 3:12 am

  • Diana says:

    For me, today, right now, living beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change means that it is ok for me to sit with the fact that I just don't know the answer.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 3:36 am

  • Diana says:

    I don't know.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 3:38 am

  • Nirmala Norma Berrios says:

    To me living beautifully means to never lose your Self; your center, regardless of what is swirling around your periphery. This requires practice and determination of will. It asks that our hearts remain soft and accepting rather than hard and rejecting; that we soften to change rather than force it; that we challenge and question everything our mind tries to sell us and yet sit quietly detached; that we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open and yet have healthy boundries in all relationships; that we cultivate compassion for all beings most especially ourselves and have acceptance of our very own humanity. It asks for our constant presence and awareness. To live beautifully, during uncertain times is to witness the cycles of love; the beginning, middle and ending phases of everything in manifistation, without resisting these changes. When we remain in the center - we are able to connect with the eternal - our true nature. Then all becomes a play and we become the unmovable; the unchanging witness - pure love.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 3:51 am

  • Elaine Massey says:

    To live beautifully in times of uncertainty and change is to live fearlessly with compassion for one's self. By seeing that the painful pieces of our life are just as beautiful and unavoidable as the pleasurable pieces, we can turn to them with a compassionate, kind, and open heart and see them for what they truly are. Compassion and a open heart and mind cultivate fearlessness to navigate through uncertainty.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 4:29 am

  • Jamia Hill says:

    Gently but ruthlessly dismantling, piece by piece, that which creates the illusion of separation. Welcoming every experience as it unfolds, as a unique opportunity to progress in this practice.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 4:53 am

  • Lisa says:

    To live beautifully in times of uncertainty and change is to live with an open heart. To be willing to turn toward our emotions, feelings and experiences as best we can and feel what is going on. By allowing ourselves to genuinely experience ourselves and our lives we can interact with others and make decisions from a place of openness and compassion versus a place of contraction and fear.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 5:15 am

  • Louise says:

    As we continue through this period of upheaval, tensions in the air in so many ways, in so many places, living beautifully requires us to do, what needs to be done. To be the greatest of observers and accept the situations at hand, not getting caught up in the analysis of what should we do and having to make choices, but simply trust in ourselves to act with love and compassion.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 7:39 am

  • Caitlin says:

    it means to breathe, breathe, breathe despite every impulse to the contrary.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

  • PassingThrough says:

    What does it mean to live beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change? To live beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm

  • mandy easter says:

    What does it mean to live beautifully in a time of uncertainty and change?

    Live each moment mindfully...meet every moment with all of your senses and with the freshness and the newness of each second. So if you go for a walk, then "go for a walk" becoming fully aware of your body and its presence in the moment, your feet and the solidity of the ground beneath them....the breeze gently making the trees wave in the wind....the richness,vibrancy and wonder of the present.....One moment at a time because that is all we have...

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

  • Patrick says:

    Living beautifully... times of uncertainty bring with them that sense of groundlessness we hear so much about. Habit would encourage us to get smaller, present a smaller target perhaps. But the teachings would tell us that these are the very times to live fully, creatively, "beautifully;" taking advantage of every moment when literally anything can happen. Opening up instead of closing down. Easy to say (or type out on my keyboard), but less easy to put into practice.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm

  • Trudy Boyle says:

    I think to live beautifully in uncertain times has a great deal to do with paying attention and to engaging with the present moment, as it is. So much of our discomfort is related to what might happen later today, tomorrow or next year. All the "what if's." If we can step back, pause, and be curious rather than feed our tendency to catatrophize, we give ourselves breathing room. If we can also scan the past for the other challenging, scary and uncertain times we have lived through and learned from, we can have confidence in our ability to survive this new crisis or possible crisis when and if it comes to pass.

    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm

  • Dale farrar says:

    I must admit that when I first think about this question I have tough time seeing beauty in the world. People have proved endlessly that the beauty of love, peace and strength should be ignored or even possessed. My body aches as I grow older and I'm quitehappyto let otheers know what a arrior I am as I deal with all my problems. A man cut me off on the freeway and gave me a look to invite me to, well, you know. So where's this beauty I'm supposed to miraculously see through all of these troubles as I struggle to meditate on things I'd really rather ignore?
    "Do we have music today, my music teacher?" Two small arms squeeze me unexpectedly and strongly around my knees and hold on tightly!. I look down and see it. A widely smiling grade 1 music student.
    At last my narrow eyes see it - a beautiful, shining, face that always sees the beauty right now! A surprise where it's always been.

    I must admit... There is so much beauty in this world. But not always at eye level!!

    Posted on October 17, 2011 at 7:28 pm

  • Dale farrar says:

    Next lesson.....learn how to type on my iPad!

    Posted on October 17, 2011 at 7:29 pm

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