I spent the weekend in the presence of Pema Chodron and it was a really special time. Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist nun, who spends a lot of time in Canada, I've written about a lot this year since I read her book, When Things Fall Apart. She was so real and accessible and the teachings were so practical and down to earth, just like they are in her writings.
I learned a new meditation technique that I hadn't tried before and this one includes having the eyes open. I had the experience during the weekend of it being really easy and effective. I tried it this morning and it was harder! It was hard to do it on my own, to get that same clarity and I was reminded that company is stronger than will power sometimes. It was doable, but yesterday, when she or her assistant, Carolyn Rose Gimian, led the meditation practice it occurred as super-simple. Remembering that it had been simple was useful and encouraged me to stick with the practice this morning even though it wasn't simple at all today.
Smile at Fear is the name of the new book of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche teachings compiled by Carolyn. It is also the theme of the talks Pema gave all weekend. Pema said they considered calling the book "Conquering Fear," or other things, but that "Smiling at Fear," seemed to just get it right. It worked for me!