I just wanted to thank the Outreach Services of the Coquitlam Public Library for the services they provide to shut-ins, particularly Teresa, the Community Services Librarian. Teresa brings me all kinds of library materials on subjects which she thinks I would be interested in: books, CD books, music CDs and DVDs on world economy, medical science, mythology, Eastern religion, culture and health sciences, etc. Her choices are usually very good and I enjoy almost everything she brings me.
This past Christmas, Teresa surprised me with a very good selection of Christmas CDs which I enjoyed thoroughly. The ones which deserve special mention are: Christmas is Calling by Roch Voisine; The Best of BB King Christmas Collection; Christmas with The Westminster Choir and Christmas Bells by the Westminster Concert Bell Choir. These Christmas CDs reminded me of past Christmases when I was in the choir and of happy times. Listening to them made me feel like a participant during the Christmas season. The BB King CD reminded me of when I was a teenager learning to do the jive.
My favourite was Christmas Bells which I kept by my bed and listened to every night for three weeks during the Christmas season. This CD took me to a very sacred place as it were and helped me go to sleep well. I loved the high notes of the bells. My thanks and appreciation go to the Coquitlam Public Library Outreach Services and to Teresa for the great work they provide to shut-in patrons like me. I don’t know what I would do with this service.
Kassandra is a library shut-in patron. This is her first blog post transcribed by Community Services Librarian, Teresa.
Pema Chödrön is the author of a number of books on Buddhist wisdom. Her books are filled with short, but profound chapters on cultivating compassion, loving-kindness, and understanding for ourselves and towards others.
In her book When Things Fall Apart, Pema offers advice for ways to communicate, be compassionate, and change our negative patterns. Comfortable with Uncertainty is another wonderful book that helps us come to terms with our own fears, learn patience with ourselves, and focus on “mindfulness”, how we are feeling/reacting now.
In this season of gratitude and thanks, reading one of her books could go a long way to appreciating all of the good things in your life, and finding courage and wisdom to deal with the not so good.
I hope you find Pema’s books as helpful as I have. For her books, audiobooks, and other fine books on Buddhist thought and practice, please go to 294.3444 on the shelves at CPL.
And enjoy the company of your family and friends! Happy Thanksgiving!
Your comments are welcome.
Karen Armstrong has written many good books on world religions and mythology, and she often emphasizes values that are held in common across belief systems. In her latest book, she discusses self-compassion, compassion for others, and international compassion from historical, philosophical, and comparative religious perspectives.
She reproduces the text of the Charter for Compassion, describes how it was developed, and how this book is one of many projects around the world aimed at implementing it. To learn more about the Charter, and see how you can act, visit charterforcompassion.org/site.
Her book gives you dozens of practical activities for strengthening these several kinds of compassion. There are extended discussions about how to apply these ideas, for example, to the Middle East conflict. Armstrong believes in God, and she often presents her arguments using religious language, so athiests will at times need to do some mental gyrations to apply the concepts to their own situation. No big problems are involved, though, especially since Armstrong’s ideas about deity are broad and inclusive.
I found some of the chapters more impressive than others (e.g., the one on mindfulness meditation is not terribly informative) but on the whole this book is well written, engaging, and concrete rather than theoretical.
Your comments, as well as suggestions for related titles, are welcome.