Making Friends with Your Mind

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?

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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."

—Pema Chödrön

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.

Here's what you'll discover

  • embrace difficult emotions icon

    Release the stories of unworthiness, fear, and self-doubt and tap into maitri—unconditional friendliness—with the most important person in your life: you.

  • develop discomfort resilience icon

    Learn to lean into your fundamental state of openness with a wakeful heart and awaken your full capacity for love.

  • learn through challenges icon

    How to stop "seeking pleasure and avoiding pain," and instead stay open to all of your experiences.

  • befriend your weaknesses icon

    Begin to practice unconditional love with yourself, to accept even your fear, shame, and regrets.

  • strengthen your relationships icon

    Learn to work with so-called difficult people in your life without responding from a place of anger or frustration.

  • stay present to experience icon

    Bring gentle curiosity to your daily experience so you can calmly and consciously explore situations that feel vulnerable.

Meet the Authors

Pema Chodron

Ani Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada, and studies under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. She is also a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the oldest son and lineage holder of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. She has written several books, including The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart, The Places That Scare You, No Time to Lose, Practicing Peace in Times of War, How to Meditate, and Living Beautifully.

Tim Olmsted

Tim Olmsted has been a student of meditation for the past 40 years. He lived in Nepal for 12 of those years, working as a psychotherapist and studying with many of the greatest Buddhist teachers of our time. After returning to the United States, from 2000–2003 he served as director of Gampo Abbey, Pema's home monastery. He is currently the founder and president of the Pema Chödrön Foundation and travels extensively, teaching meditation as a Senior Instructor for Tergar International, a worldwide meditation community under the guidance of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.

What's Inside

Pema Chodron
  • 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.

PLUS

  • How to Meditate

    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)

  • Walking the Walk

    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

Your journey to deep inner friendship begins now!

What You Will Learn in Each Session

Our paths are filled with challenges—in our work, home lives, relationships, and our own view of ourselves. When we learn to embrace those experiences with vulnerability and kindness, we can overcome the suffering within and experience deep joy.

Living from Vulnerability: A Training in Making Friends with Your Mind will teach you to navigate that path with grace and intention.

basic goodness of humanity icon

Session 1:

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.

Topics include:

  • 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
meditation session combining practice and discussion icon

Session 2:

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.

Topics include:

  • 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
exploration of meditation practice and instruction icon

Session 3:

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.

Topics include:

  • 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-depth meditation instruction icon

Session 4:

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.

Topics include:

  • Developing discomfort resilience
  • Working with compassion fatigue and anxiety
  • Exploring the teachings in heartfelt regret

Part 4 audio meditations:

  • Working with Feeling
  • Undivided Awareness

Course Overview:

Here's a summary of everything you'll receive:

  • Video teachings with more than five hours of teaching, and prerecorded Q&A sessions

  • Guided meditation practices

  • Course workbook

  • Personal journaling

  • Pema's book How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind

  • Pema's audio program Walking the Walk: Putting the Teachings into Practice When It Matters Most

Join the Program Today

We invite you to join Living from Vulnerability: A Training in Making Friends with Your Mind today.

Regular Price $197

NOW ONLY $97

We accept Discover, VISA, MasterCard and American Express

We unconditionally guarantee your satisfaction with all Sounds True products for one year when purchased via our website. However, if you are not 100% satisfied with Living with Vulnerability for any reason, simply return it with receipt for a full refund.

Signed by Tami Simon

Tami Simon, Founder of Sounds True

100% Guarantee Seal

Praise for Pema

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It is impossible to summarize all that Pema embodies and how deep she can reach one when she teaches. She is the whole package! … I never stop learning from her!"

—D.G., SoundsTrue.com
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The wisdom here takes time to integrate and practice, and the design of this course allows for that. I appreciate the balance of lectures, guided meditations, and the questions for reflection after each segment."

—L.C., SoundsTrue.com
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I rely on and require Pema's work in my life on a daily basis to deal with all the many things that are happening in our world."

—A.F., SoundsTrue.com
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Very informative and really gave a new outlook on everyday life."

—D.G., SoundsTrue.com
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Pema never fails to inspire me!! She is able to humorously address those sticky areas in our life with such realness and compassion and offers wisdom beyond the beyond. I always look forward to hearing something more from her."

—C.G., SoundsTrue.com

Join the Program Today

We invite you to join Living from Vulnerability: A Training in Making Friends with Your Mind today.

Regular Price $197

NOW ONLY $97

We accept Discover, VISA, MasterCard and American Express

We unconditionally guarantee your satisfaction with all Sounds True products for one year when purchased via our website. However, if you are not 100% satisfied with Living with Vulnerability for any reason, simply return it with receipt for a full refund.

Signed by Tami Simon

Tami Simon, Founder of Sounds True

100% Guarantee Seal