Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Pema Chodron Audio Collection: Pure Meditation:Good Medicine:From Fear to Fearlessness

Rate this book
"Chodron demonstrates how effective the Buddhist point of view can be in bringing order into disordered lives." Publishers Weekly

Pema Chdron,one of the West’s most beloved teachers of Buddhism,makes the Tibetan vajrayana tradition accessible in today’s world. Now three of her most popular teachings are available in one boxed set.

Pema Chdrn is a bhikshuni,or Buddhist nun in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition. Since her ordination in 1974,Ane Pema has conducted workshops,seminars,and meditation re&ndsh;treats in Europe,Australia,and throughout North America. For the first time,enjoy over seven hours of Ani Pema’s trademark humor and a down&ndsh;to&ndsh;earth style in one collectors edition.

6 CDs,7 hours


First published October 1, 2004

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Pema Chödrön

156 books4,489 followers
Ani Pema Chödrön (Deirdre Blomfield-Brown) is an American Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition, closely associated with the Kagyu school and the Shambhala lineage.

She attended Miss Porter's School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three grandchildren.

While in her mid-thirties, she traveled to the French Alps and encountered Lama Chime Rinpoche, with whom she studied for several years. She became a novice nun in 1974 while studying with Lama Chime in London. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa came to England at that time, and Ani Pema received her ordination from him.

Ani Pema first met her root guru, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972. Lama Chime encouraged her to work with Trungpa, and it was with him that she ultimately made her most profound connection, studying with him from 1974 until his death in 1987. At the request of the Sixteenth Karmapa, she received the full bikshuni ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong.

Ani Pema served as the director of the Karma Dzong, in Boulder, CO, until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche gave her explicit instructions on establishing this monastery for western monks and nuns.

Ani Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada and plans for an increased amount of time in solitary retreat under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
164 (54%)
4 stars
111 (37%)
3 stars
24 (8%)
2 stars
0 (0%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 reviews
Profile Image for Magen.
776 reviews31 followers
January 17, 2020
3.5 stars This collection centers around tonglen, or loving kindness towards oneself and humanity. The first two books in the collection are strong and provide solid understanding of the practice as well as well done guided meditations. They are not the best lectures Chodron has given and show that they are early lectures in her career, but they are worth listening to nonetheless. The last book was poorly done, partly from editing and partly from Chodron's discussion. In the audiobook, Chodron explains how to do a particular meditation, then rings the beginning bell, and then the book immediately goes into a lecture. I wanted to practice this meditation, like we did in the previous books, but that didn't happen. In addition, Chodron makes a suicide joke, which is in incredibly poor taste and very distracting.
Profile Image for Cynthia.
301 reviews6 followers
April 19, 2019
As always, good. Because it's a collection, there are different focuses but also some repetition. After reading some of her focused books, I find those more useful as she goes into more depth in each idea. Nevertheless, as I am experiencing for all of what she says, I find nuggets of gold to hold on to and it is always a pleasure to hear her voice and equanimity.
Profile Image for K M.
454 reviews
September 30, 2018
Learning a lot, and learning that I have a lot to learn :-)
Profile Image for Rich Yavorsky.
194 reviews9 followers
September 30, 2019
The Pema Chodron Audio Collection made for great listening to take the edge off the most hectic days. As the title implies, this collection is three lectures in one, all recorded live.

Lecture 1--Pure Meditation--discusses the fundamentals of meditation, becoming aware of our always-thinking mind, and coming to accept ourselves at face value. As Pema discusses, meditation serves five reasons: steadfastness with oneself, clear seeing, allowing the experience of emotional distress, and attention to the here and now.

Lecture 2--Good Medicine--focuses on maitri: unwavering self-acceptance. GM teaches how happiness lies not in the "seven dharmas" (pleasure/pain, praise/blame, etc.), and discusses the need to positively train your mind "like a dog," to constantly "stay" with you through good times and bad, and not have any self-aggression. This book also discusses the importance of compassion ("may others feel this happiness, and be relieved of pain"), and tonglen (using difficult or painful scenarios as a gateway to your own maitri). Perhaps my personal highlight was the discussion of elders often sheltering themselves within walls for safety, then becoming fearful of anything within the walls themselves. Ultimately, the "good medicine" discussed is the need to embrace life and all of its mortalities without fear.

Lecture 3--From Fear to Fearlessness discusses enlightenment, materialism, and "The Four Limitless Ones." To be enlightened is to be completely fearless and open to all emotions and thoughts. The "Lords of Materialism" (form, speech and mind) move people away from enlightenment. In contrast, the "Limitless Ones" consist of maitri (covered in Lecture 2), joy (the celebration of happiness in others), compassion (covered in Lecture 2) and equanimity (remaining balanced, not falling for the seven dharmas). Strategies are discussed on how you can pursue these qualities--and ultimately move closer to enlightenment--on your own (practice maitri by thinking of someone loved/neutral/despised; not clinging to emotions of pity or anxiety when someone else is in need).

Buddhist teachings like this title are so appealing to me because they are straightforward, self-centered, logical, challenging and appeal to the emotions. These recordings, while not the greatest quality, let Puma's warm personality come through. Enjoy.
218 reviews
August 23, 2022
My notes as I listen:

Heard good things. But quite conventional, and dull. . . don’t object to orthodoxy. But give me something particularly useful in how to apply it.

I don’t get it. Perhaps she starts out slow to dull us out. It is starting bc finally it is starting to get applicable. The people she is speaking to laugh at too little. Far from me critiquing then, I am saying almost the opposite: clearly they are in sync with her. Receptive. And assuming it was not mere reputation as well, she has done something with her presence. And the community in the room, to justify this. And create this confidence.

As it gets more applicable, I have added stars.
Profile Image for Scott Maclellan.
139 reviews5 followers
September 24, 2019
I enjoyed this book and it caused me to reflect a great deal. I loved Pema's sense of humour throughout.

This is the type of book you can jump around and pull out a lesson or teaching based on where your life finds you. Perhaps this time my heart is a little harder and less open to something new. I look forward to trying it again in another season.
Profile Image for Susan.
568 reviews
May 9, 2021
I love listening to Pema's soothing and calm voice and I very much enjoy her humour and light-hearted "real-life" examples. She inspires me to want to meditate and learn more about the Buddhist teachings: so simple, yet so profound. In this series, she focuses a lot on the concept of maitri and the tonglen meditation practice.
Profile Image for slp.
94 reviews8 followers
April 12, 2022
as these are recordings of retreats and actual meditation sessions, there are benefits and drawbacks to these recordings--from getting to have some practical application in guided meditation to a good deal of repetition that is not always expansive. I don't know that I'll return to this as often as I might, say, Bodhisattva Mind, but I am always glad for pema's work in the world.
Profile Image for Denny Troncoso.
262 reviews1 follower
October 22, 2021
Identify when thinking when meditating by saying; Thinking. Enlightenment is fearlessness. Meditate to feel others pain to remove others pain. Enlightenment is knowing there is suffering but not letting it make you suffer.
Profile Image for Joe.
470 reviews
July 24, 2019
I'm going to try an actual book next vs a seminar recording. Founds it difficult to keep listening through the entire audiobook.
Profile Image for A.V..
864 reviews10 followers
April 16, 2020
A few shreds of wisdom before dozing off every time. In-person is definitely preferable.
Profile Image for Ellen.
210 reviews4 followers
August 26, 2020
I really enjoy listening to her speak, she has a lot of wisdom and a good sense of humor. There are a few actual meditation sittings, nice additions to the lectures.
Profile Image for Marla.
449 reviews19 followers
August 29, 2016
I was originally not such a fan of Pema Chodron. Now, I can't get enough of her. Sometimes it's a matter of the right teacher at the right time.

This is an excellent discourse of Tonglen practice. She goes into depth with her presentation of it and I really wish I would have read (listened to) this first years ago when I tried it for the first time. She explains that Tonglen can be too much energy at first. That in training the mind, you eventually have more and more courage to face that which frightens you most. It shouldn't be frightening (as was my original experience with it). Start out with smaller situations. Don't start with some huge trauma that you've never worked through properly. If it frightens you or is negative in any way, quit and come back when (or if) you're ready. Difficult situations are OK, but you should feel ready to deal with them. I have never heard anyone else make this observation about Tonglen (or meditation in general) before. I needed to hear it a long time ago. I had a monk tell me a long time ago, "meditation shouldn't be like torture." If you're uncomfortable or in pain, try and work through it, if you can't it's perfectly acceptable to move a little. Pema's message is much the same.

Like I said, the right teacher at the right time...I heard so many affirming things from this audio collection. She gives credence to aloneness...there is maitri and healing in being alone. Sometimes your life makes a turn and aloneness is needed, necessary even. I know this to be true. Our extroverted country has led us to believe otherwise. She encourages us to look at the assholes in our lives as gurus...and if you think about it, you know this is true too. The lesson comes not from your most loving friend, but the wanker who rolls down the window in his car and curses at you. And she presents meditation as what it really is...a taming of the mind, a getting to know yourself. It's not a cure all, it doesn't make you a better person, it doesn't stop suffering. For it's when you meditate on impatience that you find how impatient you are, or on selfishness that you realize how stingy you are, and when you think on empathy what an asshole you yourself can be. And it's when you see yourself honestly and know you are like the rest of the human race, that you can find compassion for all, including yourself (hopefully).

I'm so happy because with all the audio books, youtube clips, books, videos of Pema, I will never run out of her wisdom. Excellent. 100 stars.

"The Path is the goal."
Profile Image for Sonia Allison.
191 reviews70 followers
February 4, 2019
continues a journey to be free of suffering
Is open gentle precise.
good kind encouragement to decency
890 reviews
September 14, 2016
This is the first of her audios I have heard, and I hit a trilogy of them. As a group, they build up the ideas necessary for a good tonglen practice, with the 49 slogans of the Lojung teachings. She only uses one as an example, which clearly demonstrates how fruitful each contemplation can be for deepening.
Her voice is calm, and her talk is very honest about the foibles of undertaking a venture in meditation. Often using herself as an example, that there are struggles, and those struggles can inspire one to stop. Carefully explaining that if one needs to stop, then do so; or whatever else it is to reach a greater state of self-knowledge and building compassion for others. She offers clear advice, that is drawn directly from decades of effort, and experience. A refreshing vulnerability, lest one should place her upon a pedestal of power, expressing her trials and errors, even after these many years.
Profile Image for Anita Ashland.
259 reviews17 followers
May 4, 2016
Listening to this is a good way to feel less stressed, so I'll be adding this to the handful of audio books I revisit once per quarter or so.

The most beneficial part of her teaching was the section on tonglen meditation. Transcendental meditation doesn't interest me at all, but tonglen works in such a way as to increase your self-compassion and compassion for others. It fixes some of the problems I've had with prayer, so I think Christians would benefit from learning about tonglen and applying it to prayer.
Profile Image for Sam Motes.
927 reviews32 followers
January 31, 2016
This is a collection of talks by the author on the practice of meditation through Buddhist philosophy. The discussion of Tonglen meditation focusing on breathing in others pain and breathing out peace seems backwards to my self centered brain but is a truly altruistic belief system. Interesting listen with advise on living a less stressful life.
Profile Image for Nalini.
54 reviews12 followers
June 21, 2020
This is a collection of talks given by Pema Chodron mostly revolving around the practice of Tonglen. What makes these teachings so timeless is their practicality, and the refreshing lack of preaching and spiritual jargon. Pema Chodron's humor is a relief that disrupts the seriousness that otherwise dominates the spiritual seeker's mind.
Profile Image for Yuliia.
167 reviews7 followers
January 6, 2023
What an amazing set of lectures. So much wisdom, eye-opening (at least for me). I loved it. I wish there was a transcript of these lectures because some frases/paragraphs are just precious and I would like to just glance at them from time to time:
Profile Image for Valerie.
53 reviews
November 11, 2016
I just can't get enough of Pema. She shows us how to move through what we simply can't get around, and she does so with humor, honesty, clarity, and gentle kindness.
Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.