Tami Simon: Welcome to Insights at the Edge produced by Sounds True. My name’s Tami Simon, I’m the founder of Sounds True, and I’d love to take a moment to introduce you to the new Sounds True Foundation. The Sounds True Foundation is dedicated to creating a wiser and kinder world by making transformational education widely available. We want everyone to have access to transformational tools such as mindfulness, emotional awareness, and self-compassion, regardless of financial, social, or physical challenges. The Sounds True Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to providing these transformational tools to communities in need, including at-risk youth, prisoners, veterans, and those in developing countries. If you’d like to learn more or feel inspired to become a supporter, please visit soundstruefoundation.org.
You’re listening to Insights at the Edge. Today is a special re-broadcast of a webinar that I had with beloved meditation teacher, the author of When Things Fall Apart and How to Meditate, Pema Chödrön. This conversation was originally broadcast as part of a collection of free resources that Sounds True has made available, a type of digital care package to help people navigate this unprecedented time with mindfulness, compassion, and presence. It’s called “Resilience in Challenging Times,” that’s what we call the whole digital care package, and you can visit soundstrue.com to learn more.
I wanted to re-broadcast here on Insights at the Edge this conversation with Ani Pema. “Ani” is an honorific term in Tibetans because Ani Pema has such a terrific gift at helping us turn towards ourselves with a kind embrace no matter what we’re going through. It’s said that the Buddha was sometimes referred to as a “great physician,\” and Ani Pema in my view is someone who offers us that very good medicine, the medicine I believe that can be so helpful to so many of us in this time. Here’s my conversation on “Resilience in Challenging Times” with Ani Pema:
It is my great delight to be here with Ani Pema, Pema Chödrön, as part of Sounds True’s free series on “Resilience in Challenging Times.” Ani Pema, thank you so much, thank you for your willingness to jump on the phone and talk to me as part of this series, thank you.
Pema Chödrön: Oh, thank you for inviting me, Tami.
TS: Yes, I think so many people are turning to you and your work, Welcoming the Unwelcome, Comfortable with Uncertainty, When Things Fall Apart. Your books—
PC: I know.
TS: —are almost the phrases of our time.
PC: I know, I know. [Laughs] How did I know?
TS: How did you know? Yes, you were right there, you’re ahead of your time.
PC: I’m ahead of my time.
TS: Yes, well, it’s great to be with you again, I feel so fortunate. Here’s where I wanted to start, I wanted to start with this notion of uncertainty because I think for many people there’s a feeling that our level of, I would say groundlessness, to use that word, is at an all-time high. “When are my kids going to go back to school? Will there be a second return of the pandemic in the fall? Is my income reliable?” I could go on and on and on, massive uncertainty and a feeling of groundlessness. So I wanted to start our conversation, how can you help people feel anchored in some way, a sense of ground in the midst of groundlessness?
PC: Yes. Well, one way—this might sound sort of silly, but honestly, I find it’s extremely helpful is to remain embodied. And by that, I mean that you keep touching in with physically how you’re feeling. It’s like self-reflection but at the level of the physical body, just checking in with how you’re feeling. And it seems like when you get panicked, afraid, anxiety level getting higher—which is first of all just a natural reaction to groundlessness and uncertainty and not-knowing, but then there has to be some kind of a way—well, as you say, how for people to stay anchored.
So what I’m finding is that coming to the body and being embodied, so embodied and present and kind with whatever it is you’re feeling. So in other words, obviously there’s things that need to be taken care of, details that need to be taken care of, but just as you say it, really what’s going on here is there’s no way to control this, you don’t know what’s going to happen. So the one thing that you can work with it is your mind, and that’s so crucial.
So first of all I would just say this thing about embodied, like coming back to how you’re feeling in your body, like what does anxiety feel like? It’s usually in the stomach or for some people in the chest or in the shoulders, but just getting in touch with it. And then kind of three conscious breaths with the feeling, and a sense of sending a kindness or holding it with kindness. So that sense of self-kindness, self-warmth, is so important, and to do it as embodied as you can. I mean there’s more I can say, but I’d like to have a conversation going back and forth with you.
TS: Yes, sure. Well, let’s start with this being embodied during this time of grief and tumult, because I think, an experience that I think a lot of people have when they turn to their embodied experience is that it doesn’t feel safe in there. It feels all stirred up, there’s a whirlwind and a swirling and a panicky kind of feeling and, “OK, I can be there for three conscious breaths, but not much longer than that.” And so how do we stay with that when it feels so uncomfortable, but even more than uncomfortable, deeply disturbing?
PC: Deeply disturbing, yes. Well I think the main point really is to try it. What we do, right, is we get so caught up with our storylines, our panic storylines, which result in this churned-up feeling. And every time we run with the storylines—which are futile, futile, worries and storylines are futile in terms of uncertainty and really not being able to control what’s going to happen. So then instead of disaster scenarios or just escape routes or whatever, to however you can be with yourself and relax with yourself. So I think one of the best ways is breathing in really deeply, breathing in really deeply and then when you breathe out, it’s like that [sighs deeply] kind of a feeling you get when you have a sigh of relief and then you breathe in really deeply. The way I was taught it is you have a feeling of your lungs filling up, and then you breathe out with a sense of relief or [sighs again] like that, like [sighs] out, and then in.
And I had to do it the other day, I was doing it consciously and kindly and as bravely as I could for a good half hour before things calmed down and I was able to just be present with what I was feeling without that, “I can’t bear this, I can’t bear this.” So I guess the message I’m trying to give is move closer, rather than run away from.
TS: Now you mentioned to do it with kindness, do it kindly. What’s the difference between doing it kindly and just breathing deeply in and breathing deeply out and trying to get through it?
PC: [Laughs] Yes, trying to get through it, that’s right. By the way, sense of humor is very, very helpful these days and there is a lot on the internet that’s great that’s making you laugh about what’s going on. So it’s kind of atmospheric, I guess, it’s a feeling of—and each person would probably have to do it pretty differently. I have found that word “kind” can help people like jumpstart people to work with it in their own personal way, But it’s the feeling of holding it, holding it almost.
Trungpa Rinpoche has this phrase which is so beautiful, of, “Placing the fearful mind in the cradle of lovingkindness.” So again, that’s not how to, but do you also think, Tami, that sometimes words direct you in a certain direction? They don’t really tell you how to, but each person finds their way to hold to this in the cradle of lovingkindness. Some way, some people actually physically embrace themselves and rock, and other people would find that very obnoxious to do. So they do more, maybe even an analytical meditation or something like that, but that’s why I hesitate to give too much of a technique because of that, how personal it is for different people.
But there is one thing I could say, and that is the compassionate abiding, which is a kind of precursor of Tonglen; which is that the feeling if you breathe it in, with the sense of breathing it into the heart, breathing it into the whole body, like breathing it in with the feeling of opening to it, and with kindness, with warmth, not with fear or hatred but like some people use the language, “What is it you need to tell me?” Or that kind of stuff, anything that works.
But breathing it in on the in-breath, that deep in-breath, and then sending out to yourself and then you can include other people for sure, but to yourself you send out, you send out that kindness, you send out that compassion, you send out that love, you send out that heartfelt appreciation of, “This is tough and we’re only human and we can be kind to ourselves and to each other. And what else matters at a time like this, than to be kind to ourselves and to each other?”
TS: So what I was going to say is that I do think words really matter and when you offered that word cradle, the cradle of lovingkindness, that word “cradle” made a big difference to me; and now this practice you’re offering us, compassionate abiding, those words are very powerful too. I wonder, could we together right now do one or two minutes of compassionate abiding together? Ani Pema, can you just lead us through it? So that person who came on right now to the “Resilience in Challenging Times” page because they’re suffering in some way, and let’s just compassionately abide together in whatever we might be experiencing. Could we do that? Could you take us through it?
PC: Yes, yes, I can. And personally I’m a person that with guided meditations, often I want the person to stop talking so that I can experience it, but maybe in this case I will talk so that the person has some tools, I guess you want to use that word, to do it on their own, but I’ll also leave some space.
So one thing is—excuse me for digressing here but it’s relevant, maybe if you’re really over the top with anxiety, maybe best to avoid the news for a couple of days anyway. The Internet you may need for various reasons, and also there is humor on there and also relating with friends is so helpful, but in terms of the news, anything that just gets you jangled, it could help a lot to go on a vacation from that for a little bit. Just as if you just went to a beautiful place that didn’t have Internet so you couldn’t listen to the news. It’s going to be the same in three days, so you could just relax a little bit around that in terms of causing yourself so much anguish.
But OK, the feelings of panic are up for you or the groundlessness feeling is up for you. And so ideally, you can do this out walking if that’s helpful—for some people, to move is really, really almost essential in terms of crawling out of your skin. To go out, if you have the good fortune to have a park nearby or a nature nearby, any way to get out in that and just walk, and you can do this walking or sitting or lying down.
But you have the feeling, that’s usually pretty easy to acknowledge and contact. You don’t have to call it anything, it’s just what feeling scared or bad feels like in your body. So then you breathe in, you breathe it in, it’s like breathing it in deeply. I often use the image of the heart getting bigger and bigger and bigger, as big as it needs to be to hold all of this. And sometimes I use the image when you breathe in, that you breathe into this big space, this big space like the whole universe, the whole outer space around you and behind you and above you and below you and in front of you. But some sense of breathing into a big space, but some sense of giving it space, giving it warmth, and breathing it in as fully as you possibly can and then breathing out like, [sighs deeply].
So we could just try it for just a minute here, let’s say. First contact, contact the feeling and maybe put your hand there, put your hand wherever it is, put your hands sort of gently there and then breathing in. Sometimes maybe the heart feels very tight and you—it’s just like trying to relax a muscle, so you just breathe in and then relax and breathe out, like relief. And you could have a sense, then, when you’re really breathing out of just a lot of space, a lot of relaxation, a lot of relief, but you could also send yourself—some people prefer like on the out-breath to just sort of send them something like the face of someone smiling into them that makes them feel better, or the view from the top of the mountain that where they were, or being on the beach looking out at the sea. Some people prefer that. And you breathe in again, opening as much as you can, each time you breathe in, it might be easier. Breathe out, breathe in. Open, open and breathe. Breathe out. [Breathes audibly].
Something like that. And for one thing it slows you down and it’s good if you aren’t in a rush, if you have five minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes to just do it. And as I say, or you can be out walking—somehow it’s easier out walking, for me, I don’t know. Then breathe out. And I just kind of leave it at that. What I find is people make it their own somehow, they make it their own. Now what do you think, Tami?
TS: Oh, I think it’s beautiful, the slowing down and the making space for what we’re experiencing and then breathing out that relief. For me when you did it, I saw the image of someone I love smiling at me and that flooded me actually with some, a real softening experience.
Now Ani Pema, one of the things I wanted you to connect for our listeners is a way that a practice like compassionate abiding could also help us feel connected to other people who are suffering. Because I think sometimes when we’re suffering, when we’re really afraid, we’re in our own kind of contracted, pulled-in little world, we don’t feel our connection with others. And I know this is something you teach on so beautifully, how our places of pain and suffering could be a doorway to connection with other people.
PC: That’s right, that’s right. Absolutely, it definitely is. It’s where the empathy comes from. It’s kind of the upside of difficult times is that it puts you in touch with other people being in the same boat. And if there’s ever been a time where you know—even if it’s conceptual, just conceptual, you know that everyone in your building, everyone on your block, everyone in your town, almost everybody is feeling just like this, like you’re feeling.
And then also, maybe you have people dying from this disease, maybe you have people who have died from this disease, maybe that kind of sorrow. So then, I said that compassionate abiding was like a precursor for Tonglen, which is the practice I think that you were referring to, right?
TS: It could be Tonglen or it could be a more kind of just everyday version of connecting whatever we’re experiencing to other people. But I think it would be good, Ani Pema, for the listeners who are new to Tonglen, who are hearing that word for the first time, if you could explain that and connect the dots for them about how compassionate abiding is a precursor to that practice.
PC: Yes, I’ll explain that. Tonglen is, I believe, a Tibetan word that means “taking in and sending out,” so if you’ve been doing the compassionate abiding, then you just take it another step. And sometimes if you do it say for 10 minutes, 20 minutes around your own fear, with your own fear, then at the end a good way to end is to let it be your link with what everybody else is going through, not just in your country but all over the world.
And so when you’re breathing in and you’ve been able to open that heart and you’re feeling—you’re doing this let’s just say for groundlessness, a feeling of groundlessness or fear, which are connected for sure. So you breathe in for that feeling and you’re opening your heart and then you say, “Millions of people right now with this pandemic are feeling exactly like this.” And you breathe it in. Since you’re feeling it anyway, it’s your doorway, it’s your connection, your stepping stone for understanding what other people feel too.
So as you’re breathing it in there’s this sort of like you say, “This very feeling that I am feeling in my stomach or I am feeling in my heart or in my throat, this very feeling, millions and millions of people are feeling this.” And you breathe it in and say, “May they also be able to open their hearts and embrace this, may they be free of suffering.” And then you breathe out and you send out that sense of relief, that sense of your dear friends smiling at you, that sense of being able to slow down, and you breathe it out for everyone.
And lately I’ve been doing—since this is so much the whole Earth, I’ve been visualizing the Earth from the moon and just breathing out for the whole Earth, just sending out that sense of slowing down and relaxing and that feeling of being able to embrace what you’re feeling, sending that out to the whole Earth and then breathing in all the suffering and sending—so breathing in, your pain is the connection with other people’s pain and when you breathe out, your sense of relaxation is your connection with wanting other people to feel that sense of relaxation. So you do the same thing with the breath, in and out, but whatever you’re feeling is sort of shared with everybody else, so there’s that sense of empathetic, compassionate love and caring for each other at this time.
And honestly for me, this is what I’m doing a lot because this is the most important thing for me is it gets me out of this, as you were saying, this contracted, “All about me” kind of panic, but what panic and fear does to all human beings. So it allows you, there’s a lot of relief that comes from feeling love and care for other people, feeling concerned for other people. But rather than it be abstract, just share what you’re going through. When you breathe in, you breathe in with a sense of, “May we all be free of suffering.” And when you breathe out, “May we all have love and caring and the feeling of interconnectedness in our life, may we all be there for each other.” So empathy and love and caring on the in-breath and on the out-breath. So I can say a little more, but what would you say now about this?
TS: That I think you’re offering the “good medicine” we need in our time, that’s what I would say. And I put “good medicine” in quotes because that’s a way that we’ve just described Tonglen at Sounds True in a program that’s about teaching people Tonglen. But I just think you’re offering the good medicine that we need, that’s what I would say.
PC: Yes. And then if some people really have trouble with breath for various reasons—they have breathing problems or trauma-related things can have sometimes trouble with breath also. So in terms of this both things, compassionate abiding can just be a sense of without the breath, sending love and care to yourself and a sense of—people don’t usually have too much trouble breathing out [makes an audible out-breath] like that, but anyway it could be just a sense of sending compassion and love to yourself. And then in terms of other people, when you’re starting to panic, you can just say, “May I and all the other people on the earth be free from this.”
And then when anything nice happens, there’s a lot of so much good happening now.
But let’s just say in your personal life, a good cup of coffee or something that makes you laugh that somebody sent you in your email or just something beautiful that you see out your window or when you’re on a walk or someone’s smiling at you. When there’s anything that makes you feel good you say, “Ah, may all the people that are going through what I’m going through here, may they feel. I’d like to share this with them, I have the feeling of wanting them also to feel this happiness, to feel this laughter bubbling up in me, to feel this sense of connectedness.”
Or whatever it might be, or just the awe of suddenly seeing—today I looked out my window and there was this huge, huge raven just sitting on a branch, a snow-covered branch by the way, right outside my window. I’m in Nova Scotia, so at least it’s been getting to be spring, but today it snowed. So anyway, that kind of thing is so—awe, there is a lot of awe you feel and then you think, “Oh, may all people have this kind of goodness in their lives.”
TS: You know, Ani Pema, I think this is so important as I mentioned because I think during the pandemic there’s a way, with a mask on and keeping physical distance from other people, we can feel closed off. And so much of the meditation training that you teach and other people teach is even referred to as a training and openness, being open, open, open, and yet we find ourselves closed. And so you’re talking about a way that we can feel connected with other people and yet be closed off to the germs at the same time, it’s an interesting posture, both—having both be true.
PC: Yes, that’s right.
TS: I wonder what you might think about that.
PC: Yes, well, it’s interesting like we’re all in quarantine here at the abbey, so none of us are going out. We have one person who goes and does the shopping and she’s living in a retreat cabin so she’ll do it for a couple of weeks and then be in quarantine and then someone else will do it and be in quarantine like that. So I haven’t been anywhere, I do all of this kind of thing just what I’ve been describing, but I’ve been talking to a lot of people. And for sure, the description of going out and people even starting to scream at you if you come anywhere near them, let alone—yes. You can’t go up and hug anybody, you can’t, and everyone’s in their masks and so forth.
But someone was just telling me but then they realized that, that person, all those people with the masks and gloves and stuff were feeling just as cut off and isolated as they were and wishing they could hug each other, or say hi, get closer. And so you can just take that attitude of having a sense of caring for them, being in the same boat you are, and so it becomes material for awakening your heart and opening to them and what they’re going through and opening to all the people, really, all over who are doing this, who are in the same situation.
And then the people that are—and this other thing which is anger and that is short-temperedness particularly. And I think of people who were already prone to violence, being all closed into a very small apartment or something like that and whoa, how hard it must be. But because I noticed even in our very spacious situation that that is very easy for people to snap at each other, and then they apologize or something but your nerves are kind of on edge.
And so there’s some sense of also working with your frustration and how anxiety makes you edgy and irritable and angry and also kind of working with that in the same way—feeling it, owning it, and breathing out the relief. And so not in any way criticizing yourself for that but just say, “This is a human reaction to a very claustrophobic kind of situation. And may I be free of this particular suffering, may I not cause harm to other people, and when I do, may I say on it, ‘I’m really sorry, I’m just feeling so edgy.'” And people understand, they definitely understand. So I think it’s—a big part of being in the same boat, everyone has the same masks and gloves.
And I was just talking to someone that was really angry at the fact that they were out in a park and there were all these people walking along together chatting with no masks and no protection, and then they were getting close to them, and that kind of thing that makes people really go off. So you can do this kind of practice with that, too, in mind.
TS: You know, Ani Pema, I wanted to end with having you unpack a quote from your own work that I think is really useful right now for us to understand, and here it is and we can go through it slowly. The first part, “Lean into the sharp points and fully experience them.” Then, “The essence of bravery is being without self-deception. Wisdom is inherent in emotions.”
So in this conversation, you’ve already I think spoken some to this notion of leaning into the sharp points and fully experiencing them, and you’ve offered us this practice of compassionate abiding. And then you move on, “The essence of bravery is being without self-deception.” Can you explain that? How is that the essence of bravery?
PC: Hmm. Well, deception altogether is lying, lying, lying. It’s like deceiving another person is you lie to them in some way or another, and so self-deception is lying to yourself. And so it takes a lot of bravery to stop lying to yourself because why in the world are you lying to yourself to begin with? It’s because there’s something under there, some truth that is very painful to actually fully acknowledge with kindness and love and it’s something that you feel embarrassed about, ashamed about, like something you loathe. And so you lie to yourself and it might manifest as arrogance or something like that, or it manifests as aggression.
But some way when you lie to yourself, when you’d stop, when you’re brave, it takes a lot of bravery to not lie to yourself because there’s something there—I’m just repeating myself here, but there’s something there that you don’t want to experience fully. And then of course, that’s when the ideas of leaning into it.
So I said sharp points, that’s a quote from Trungpa Rinpoche actually, but just breathing in anything that’s difficult, that’s in the practice of compassionate abiding. So to stop lying to yourself takes courage and when you’re willing to do it or when circumstances kind of bring it out of you, something happens to you where you’re suddenly willing to feel, then compassionate abiding can be very helpful to get you through that resistance. And so that as time goes on, you are more and more courageous and less and less into self-deception or less and less into lying to yourself.
TS: OK, so someone listening says, “OK, I’m going to come forward and say the truth. I’m really afraid right now, I’m really concerned.” And then the last line of the quote is, “Wisdom is inherent in emotions.” I think that during this time when people are feeling so many challenging emotions, maybe more than they ever thought they would. If you had said to them, maybe they’d go, “OK, I can handle it.” But it’s like, “No, I’m on a roller coaster, I’m feeling a lot.” They may not—what is the wisdom? What’s the wisdom inherent in emotions?
PC: Well, there’s a whole teaching on this in Tibetan Buddhism that every emotion has its wisdom quality, every emotion is imbued with a wisdom quality, but that takes a whole lot of teaching on that. But the basic message there is that the only place that you’re going to find, let’s just say the wisdom of love, the wisdom of empathy, the wisdom of kindness, or the wisdom of an open mind and an open heart. The only place you’re going to find that is in your emotions being open, kind, embracing them.
So I guess the real message there is if you touch or allow yourself to be touched by what you’re feeling in, say, by using compassionate abiding, then you will find that what becomes accessible to you is not by getting rid of these feelings, but by knowing them completely intimately as something felt, something felt in the heart, something that you cannot run away from anymore. Because it’s—the analogy that’s often used is alchemy, that in the base metal, the alchemists were looking to find gold not by getting rid of the metal and looking for gold out elsewhere, but by going into the metal they would find the gold there. That’s the analogy.
And the other analogy which I always love is if free-flowing water is an analogy for an open heart and an open mind like flowing water, and ice is an analogy for when you get stuck, when emotions are running out of control, they are controlling—your basic goodness is being obscured by the emotions because they have such a power to send you on a rant, send you out of control.
And so if the analogy for that is ice, then how you could understand wisdom and emotions is your practice becomes, your journey becomes knowing ice, really, really becoming intimate with ice. Because where else are you going to find the flowing water? You’re not going to find it by throwing the ice cube away, you’re going to find it by sending warmth, love and kindness to the ice cube. It’s kind of a funny analogy, but then it melts it and the water is right there. So do you see what I’m saying? It’s inherent—
TS: Oh, yes.
PC: —and it’s in the ice. So that’s what I’m kind of getting at when I say the wisdom is in the emotions.
TS: It’s beautiful and helpful, yes. And it leads me to, I think, a good note to end on, with is this notion of having unconditional friendship, which is a phrase that you use in your teaching, towards ourselves. How we bring that warmth to the ice, and specifically to that person who maybe hasn’t been a very good friend to themselves in some ways, but wants to be. And they’re listening to this conversation and they’re ready to go back and befriend themselves but maybe there’s some reconciliation that has to happen between them and themselves for that friendship—
PC: Yes, definitely.
TS: —that unconditional friendship to pick back up.
PC: Right, right, right. Well, I would say that across the earth, one of the things that is the most prevalent is unfriendly to oneself, self-criticism. And if being friendly to oneself is kind of the basis of happiness, let’s just say happiness, contentment, settled with your body and mind, a sense of OK-ness, then this friendliness is so, so important. And so how to do it? I honestly, I think compassionate abiding is a way that you can train in that, but one of the things that’s helpful to know, I think, and to keep in mind is that friendship is not just with the good parts, friendship is with the whole person.
So if you have a really, really close friend who’s been a close friend for a long time, you love this person and they love you, I guarantee that you have been through, they’ve seen the worst of you and you have seen the worst of them. And maybe it even impacted the relationship negatively at one time but somehow you’ve come through it together and you two remain heart friends. You love each other and you know each other completely, that’s called unconditional love or unconditional friendship with yourself.
And so the way you could have unconditional friendship with your friend—or let’s just say you have a child who you love, you’ve always loved this child very dearly, and this child is a piece of work. This child has temper tantrums and this child when they’re little, they do all kinds of things that are difficult, maybe they’re jealous and maybe they are angry. But nevertheless, with all of that, and even what they go through as adolescents and addiction and all these things, your love from them never shifts, it’s always there.
And so that’s the kind of love that’s unconditional, not based on conditions of being one way or the other. So this kind of acceptance of yourself is what I’m talking about. Unconditional friendliness to oneself, that’s what I’m talking about.
TS: Ani Pema, I feel, as I put my own hands to my heart and bow to you, I feel all the people listening and I feel so many of them joining me in a feeling of gratitude and a bow to you. Thank you so much for coming on this call and offering such good teaching, thank you.
PC: You’re welcome. And I bow back to you, Tami, and to all of these people, like mutual friendship with each other, mutual respect for each other.
TS: A special thank you to Pema Chodron for this conversation that’s part of Sounds True’s ongoing digital series, “Resilience in Challenging Times.” You can learn more by visiting SoundTrue.com.
Thank you for listening to Insights at the Edge, you can read a full transcript of today’s interview at soundstrue.com/podcast. And if you’re interested, hit the subscribe button in your podcast app, and also if you feel inspired, head to iTunes and leave Insights at the Edge a review. I love getting your feedback, being in connection with you, and learning how we can continue to evolve and improve our program. Working together, I believe we can create a kinder and a wiser world. SoundsTrue.com: waking up the world.