If there ever was a time to feel like things are falling apart, a pandemic sweeping the world into quarantine and economic strife would be it. In difficult moments such as this, Dominican Sister of Hope Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP revisits one of her beloved texts: When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron.
On Saturday, June 13th from 10:30AM – 12:00PM EDT, Sister Jo-Ann will invite the public to process through some key parts of Chodron’s book at her program Reading Pema Chodron: When Things Fall Apart. The session will include a presentation by Sister Jo-Ann along with time for silent contemplation and sharing. Together, participants will explore Chodron’s themes of intimacy with fear, curiosity, the practice of Tonglen.
Originally planned to be a daylong retreat, Sister Jo-Ann has condensed the experience into a rich 1.5-hours intended for anyone who’s curious.
“I hope people who come will bring a kind of openness,” Sister Jo-Ann says. “We’re learning from the text of a woman and a Buddhist. I hope people will make the connection between the life they’re leading now and what they might be hearing about in the text about how they might work with that life and grow in that life.”
No one is ever truly prepared for things to fall apart. But, as Sister Jo-Ann notes, conquering the future necessitates living fully in the present.
“We’ll focus on the simple, direct living in the now,” Sister Jo-Ann says. “Not what you’d like life to bring you in the future. Not what you hoped it would bring you in the past. The now. It is the best preparation for meeting what the future will bring. It’s not escaping. In meeting it is when it’s conquered.”
No one’s an expert. But taking time to reexamine how we react to life and what lies in our deepest hearts can only help. All are welcome to join us to experience Pema Chodron’s text and message on Saturday June 13th. Sign up here.