Pema Chodron Quotes (149)

Pema Chodron Quotes

In this article, titled “Pema Chodron Quotes”, we will shade some of the kindest and most peaceful words of the Beloved Buddist nun and teacher, Pema Chodron.

We hope the author’s word will bring you peace and a state of happiness and wellbeing.  

Pema Chodron Quotes (149)

Pema Chödrö is an admired Buddhist teacher, author, nun, and mother.

She is a leading exponent of teachings on meditation and has inspired millions of people from around the world who have been touched by her example and message of practicing peace and cherish every day.

Pema is widely known for her charming and down-to-earth interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism for Western audiences.

While in her mid-thirties, Pema 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 Pema received her ordination from him.

The Beloved Buddist has served as the director of Karma Dzong, in Boulder, until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche asked her to work towards the establishment of a monastery for western monks and nuns.

Pema has been teaching and writing extensively for the past two decades. In 2006, The Pema Chodron Foundation was founded in order to help ensure that Pema’s work can be supported sustainably into the future.

The goal of The Pema Chodron Foundation is the creation of an endowment to hold and generate the funds needed to help share Pema’s teachings of how to “practice peace”’ in our lives and communities, and to support those who choose to lead a contemplative life.

Pema’s writings are not only about how to get up when we fall down, but also  how to accept the nature of this cycle.

She currently spends 7 months a year in solitary retreat, while continuing to teach the remainder of the year on topics such as peace, compassion, and acceptance.

A central theme of her work is “shenpa,” the Tibetan word for “attachment.”

Pema is a source of wisdom and comfort for millions across the world, a luminary in modern-day spirituality, and a significant contributor to the aims of the Buddhist religion.

But perhaps most importantly, Pema is an inspiration to all the people who dream of becoming something wonderful in life.

She has written several books: “The Wisdom of No Escape”, “Start Where You Are”, “When Things Fall Apart”, “The Places that Scare You”, “No Time to Lose” and “Practicing Peace in Times of War”, and most recently, “Smile at Fear”.

 

5 Pema Chodron Quotes

  1. “The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes. ” ― Pema Chodron
  2. “The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  3. “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”― Pema Chödrön
  4. “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ― Pema Chodron
  5. “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

15 Pema Chodron Quotes

  1. “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth” ― Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  2. “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.” ― Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times
  3. “We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” ― Pema Chödrön
  4. “If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart…” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  5. “Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  6. “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ― Pema Chodron
  7. “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.”― Pema Chodron
  8. “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. ” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  9. “We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart.” ― Pema Chodron
  10. “Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape — all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times
  11. “We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.” ― Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times
  12. “As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  13. “A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us.” ― Pema Chodron
  14. “I used to have a sign pinned up on my wall that read: Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us…It was all about letting go of everything.” ― Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  15. “Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know.” ― Pema Chödron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

20 Pema Chodron Quotes

  1. “When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something. We might realize that this is a very vulnerable and tender place, and that tenderness can go either way. We can shut down and feel resentful or we can touch on that throbbing quality.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times
  2. “WE ALREADY HAVE everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.”― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  3. “Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?”― Pema Chodron
  4. “Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.” ― Pema Chodron
  5. “The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God. . . Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. . . Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves.”― Pema Chodron
  6. “We can spend our whole lives escaping from the monsters of our minds. ”― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times
  7. “So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds we sit with that restlessness when yesterday we couldn’t sit for even one, that’s the journey of the warrior. (68)” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times
  8. “Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what is going on, but that there is something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  9. “When we protect ourselves so we won’t feel pain, that protection becomes like armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of the heart.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  10. “Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  11. “No one ever tells us to stop running away from fear…the advice we usually get is to sweeten it up, smooth it over, take a pill, or distract ourselves, but by all means make it go away.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times
  12. “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  13. “We are all capable of becoming fundamentalists because we get addicted to other people’s wrongness.” ― Pema Chodron
  14. “Without giving up hope—that there’s somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be—we will never relax with where we are or who we are.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  15. “As long as our orientation is toward perfection or success, we will never learn about unconditional friendship with ourselves, nor will we find compassion. ” ― Pema Chödrön
  16. “We have two alternatives: either we question our beliefs – or we don’t. Either we accept our fixed versions of reality- or we begin to challenge them. In Buddha’s opinion, to train in staying open and curious – to train in dissolving our assumptions and beliefs – is the best use of our human lives.” ― Pema Chodron, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  17. “True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings.” ― Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  18. “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  19. “When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  20. “When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment” ― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change

25 Pema Chodron Quotes

  1. “We think that if we just meditated enough or jogged enough or ate perfect food, everything would be perfect. But from the point of view of someone who is awake, that’s death. Seeking security or perfection, rejoicing in feeling confirmed and whole, self-contained and comfortable, is some kind of death. It doesn’t have any fresh air. There’s no room for something to come in and interrupt all that. We are killing the moment by controlling our experience.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  2. “What happens with you when you begin to feel uneasy, unsettled, queasy? Notice the panic, notice when you instantly grab for something.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times
  3. “The first noble truth of the Buddha is that when we feel suffering, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. What a relief. Finally, somebody told the truth. Suffering is part of life, and we don’t have to feel it’s happening because we personally made the wrong move. In reality, however, when we feel suffering, we think that something is wrong. As long as we’re addicted to hope, we feel that we can tone our experience down or liven it up or change it somehow, and we continue to suffer a lot.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  4. “Abandon hope.” ― Pema Chodron
  5. “The greatest obstacle to connecting with our joy is resentment.” ― Pema Chodron
  6. “The more we witness our emotional reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain.” ― Pema Chödrön
  7. “Trying to run away is never the answer to being fully human. Running away from the immediacy of our experience is like preferring death to life.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  8. “We insist on being Someone, with a capital S. We get security from defining ourselves as worthless or worthy, superior or inferior. We waste precious time exaggerating or romanticizing or belittling ourselves with a complacent surety that yes, that’s who we are. We mistake the openness of our being—the inherent wonder and surprise of each moment—for a solid, irrefutable self. Because of this misunderstanding, we suffer.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  9. “It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately fill up space. By waiting, we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness. -Pema Chodron, from “When Things Fall Apart”
  10. “When we touch the center of sorrow, when we sit with discomfort without trying to fix it, when we stay present to the pain of disapproval or betrayal and let it soften us, these are times that we connect with bodhicitta.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  11. “At the root of all the harm we cause is ignorance.” ― Pema Chödrön
  12. “Everybody loves something, even if it’s only tortillas.”  Pema Chödrön
  13. “Be grateful to everyone” is about making peace with the aspects of ourselves that we have rejected… If we were to make a list of people we don’t like – people we find obnoxious, threatening, or worthy of contempt – we would discover much about those aspects of ourselves that we can’t face… other people trigger the karma that we haven’t worked out.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  14. “None of us is ever OK, but we all get through everything just fine.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  15. “It is only when we begin to relax with ourselves that meditation becomes a transformative process. Only when we relate with ourselves without moralizing, without harshness, without deception, can we let go of harmful patterns. Without Maitri (Metta), the renunciation of old habits becomes abusive. This is an important point.” ― Pema Chodron
  16. “It isn’t the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it’s how we relate to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer.” ― Pema Chödrön
  17. “The essence of bravery is being without self-deception.” ― Pema Chödrön
  18. “Honesty without kindness, humor, and goodheartedness can be just mean.” ― Pema Chödrön
  19. “It’s hard to know whether to laugh or to cry at the human predicament. Here we are with so much wisdom and tenderness, and—without even knowing it—we cover it over to protect ourselves from insecurity. Although we have the potential to experience the freedom of a butterfly, we mysteriously prefer the small and fearful cocoon of ego.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  20. “We have a choice. We can spend our whole life suffering because we can’t relax with how things really are, or we can relax and embrace the open-mindedness of the human situation, which is fresh, unfixed, unbiased.” ― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
  21. “My experience with forgiveness is that it sort of comes spontaneously at a certain point and to try to force it it’s not really forgiveness. It’s Buddhist philosophy or something spiritual jargon that you’re trying to live up to but you’re just using it against yourself as a reason why you’re not okay.” ― Pema Chodron
  22. “Once you create a self-justifying storyline, your emotional entrapment within it quadruples.”
  23. “The very first noble truth of the Buddha points out that suffering is inevitable for human beings as long as we believe that things last—that they don’t disintegrate, that they can be counted on to satisfy our hunger for security.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  24. “Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  25. “NOT CAUSING HARM obviously includes not killing or robbing or lying to people. It also includes not being aggressive—not being aggressive with our actions, our speech, or our minds. Learning not to cause harm to ourselves or others is the basic Buddhist teaching on the healing power of nonaggression. Not harming ourselves or others in the beginning, not harming ourselves or others in the middle, and not harming ourselves or others, in the end, is the basis of enlightened society.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

30 Pema Chodron Quotes

  1. “Don’t let life harden your heart.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket 
  2. “The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you’re feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves. This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering—yours, mine, and that of all living beings. ” ― Pema Chödrön
  3. “To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is.”  ― Pema Chodron
  4. “Times are difficult globally; awakening is no longer a luxury or an ideal. It’s becoming critical. We don’t need to add more depression, more discouragement, or more anger to what’s already here. It’s becoming essential that we learn how to relate sanely with difficult times. The earth seems to be beseeching us to connect with joy and discover our innermost essence. This is the best way that we can benefit others.” ― Pema Chodron
  5. “Relaxing with the present moment, relaxing with hopelessness, relaxing with death, not resisting the fact that things end, that things pass, that things have no lasting substance, that everything is changing all the time—that is the basic message.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  6. “Things are as bad and as good as they seem. There’s no need to add anything extra.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  7. “One can appreciate & celebrate each moment — there’s nothing more sacred. There’s nothing more vast or absolute. In fact, there’s nothing more!” ― Pema Chödrön
  8. “Patience is the training in abiding with the restlessness of our energy and letting things evolve at their own speed.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  9. “Everything is fresh, the essence of realization.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  10. “Pain is not a punishment, pleasure is not a reward.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  11. “In truth, there is enormous space in which to live our everyday lives.” ― Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  12. “Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  13. “We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  14. “We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have this choice.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  15. “Affirmations are like screaming that you’re okay in order to overcome this whisper that you’re not… maybe you’re not okay. Well, no big deal. None of us is okay and all of us are fine.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  16. “Nothing in its essence is one way or the other.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
Pema Chodron Quotes (149)
  1. “Words themselves are neutral. It’s the charge we add to them that matters”

― Pema Chödrön, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears

  1. “In a nutshell, when life is pleasant, think of others. When life is a burden, think of others.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket
  2. “LIFE’S work is to wake up, to let the things that enter into your life wake you up rather than put you to sleep. The only way to do this is to open, be curious, and develop some sense of sympathy for everything that comes along, to get to know its nature and let it teach you what it will.”― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  3. “If your mind is expansive and unfettered, you will find yourself in a more accommodating world, a place that’s endlessly interesting and alive. That quality isn’t inherent in the place but in your state of mind.” ― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
  4. “Patience is not learned in safety.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  5. “Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth, it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.” ― Pema Chödrön, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
  6. “The truth you believe in and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.”

― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World

  1. “The more we make friends with ourselves, the more we can see that our ways of shutting down and closing off are rooted in the mistaken thinking that the way to get happy is to blame somebody else.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  2. “Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  3. “An emotion like anger that’s an automatic response lasts just ninety seconds from the moment it’s triggered until it runs its course. One and a half minutes, that’s all. When it lasts any longer, which it usually does, it’s because we’ve chosen to rekindle it.” ― Pema Chodron
  4. “Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” ― Pema Chödrön
  5. “I dedicate the merit of the occasion to all beings. This gesture of universal friendship has been likened to a drop of fresh spring water. If we put it on a rock in the sunshine, it will soon evaporate. If we put it in the ocean, however, it will never be lost. Thus the wish is made that we not keep the teachings to ourselves but to use them to benefit others.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  6. “When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast and limitless.”― Pema Chodron
  7. “Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom, available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary everyday lives.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times

35 Pema Chodron Quotes

  1. “Scrambling for security has never brought anything but momentary joy.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  2. “That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence. It is the ordinary state of affairs. Everything is in process. Everything—every tree, every blade of grass, all the animals, insects, human beings, buildings, the animate and the inanimate—is always changing, moment to moment. We don’t have to be mystics or physicists to know this. Yet at the level of personal experience, we resist this basic fact. It means that life isn’t always going to go our way. It means there’s loss as well as gain.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  3. “Finally, never give up on yourself. Then you will never give up on others.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  4. “Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. We” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  5. “A Native American grandfather was speaking to his grandson about violence and cruelty in the world and how it comes about. He said it was as if two wolves were fighting in his heart. One wolf was vengeful and angry, and the other wolf was understanding and kind. The young man asked his grandfather which wolf would win the fight in his heart. And the grandfather answered, “The one that wins will be the one I choose to feed.” ― Pema Chödrön, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
  6. “Maybe the most important teaching is to lighten up and relax. It’s such a huge help in working with our crazy mixed-up minds to remember that what we’re doing is unlocking a softness that is in us and letting it spread. We’re letting it blur the sharp corners of self-criticism and complaint.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times
  7. “There are many changes in the weather of a day.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  8. “Meditation practice is not about later when you get it all together and you’re this person you really respect.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  9. “It helps to remember that our spiritual practice is not about accomplishing anything—not about winning or losing—but about ceasing to struggle and relaxing as it is.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  10. “Each moment is an opportunity to make a fresh start.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  11. “The Buddha’s principal message that day was that holding on to anything blocks wisdom. Any conclusion that we draw must be let go. The only way to fully understand the bodhichitta teachings, the only way to practice them fully, is to abide in the unconditional openness of the prajna, patiently cutting through all our tendencies to hang on.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  12. “LIFE is a good teacher and a good friend.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket 
  13. “What causes misery is always trying to get away from the facts of life, always trying to avoid pain and seek happiness—this sense of ours that there could be lasting security and happiness available to us if we could only do the right thing.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket 
  14. “Compassionate action starts with seeing yourself when you start to make yourself right and when you start to make yourself wrong. At that point, you could just contemplate the fact that there is a larger alternative to either of those, a more tender, shaky kind of place where you could live.” ― Pema Chödrön
  15. “WE can learn to rejoice in even the smallest blessings our life holds. It is easy to miss our own good fortune; often happiness comes in ways we don’t even notice.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  16. “As the twelfth-century Tibetian yogi Milarepa said when he heard of his student Gampopa’s peak experiences, ‘They are neither good nor bad. Keep meditating.’ ”― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  17. “We awaken this bodhicitta, this tenderness for life when we can no longer shield ourselves from the vulnerability of our condition, from the basic fragility of existence. In the words of the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, “You take it all in. You let the pain of the world touch your heart and you turn it into compassion.” It is said that in difficult times, it is only bodhichitta that heals.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times
  18. “Ordinarily we are swept away by habitual momentum. We don’t interrupt our patterns even slightly. With practice, however, we learn to stay with a broken heart, with a nameless fear, with the desire for revenge. Sticking with uncertainty is how we learn to relax in the midst of chaos, how we learn to be cool when the ground beneath us suddenly disappears.” ― Pema Chödrön
  19. “A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not knowing is part of the adventure, and it’s also what makes us afraid.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  20. “It’s as if you were in a spaceship going to the moon, and you looked back at this tiny planet Earth and realized that things were vaster than any mind could conceive and you just couldn’t handle it, so you started worrying about what you were going to have for lunch. There you are in outer space with this sense of the world being so vast, and then you bring it all down into this very tiny world of worrying about what’s for lunch… We do this all the time.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  21. “Life’s work is to wake up, to let the things that enter into the circle wake you up rather than put you to sleep. The only way to do this is to open, be curious, and develop some sense of sympathy for everything that comes along, to get to know its nature and let it teach you what it will. It’s going to stick around until you learn your lesson, at any rate.”― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  22. “Transformation occurs only when we remember, breath by breath, year after year, to move toward our emotional distress without condemning or justifying our experience.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  23. “One of the main discoveries of meditation is seeing how we continually run away from the present moment, how we avoid being here just as we are.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  24. “Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion, to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  25. “When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
Pema Chodron Quotes (149)
  1. “Birth is painful and delightful. Death is painful and delightful. Everything that ends is also the beginning of something else. Pain is not a punishment; Pleasure is not a reward.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  2. “Live your life as an experiment.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  3. “If we are willing to stand fully in our own shoes and never give up on ourselves, then we will be able to put ourselves in the shoes of others and never give up on them.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  4. “The essence of this practice is that when we encounter pain in our life we breathe into our heart with the recognition that others also feel this. It’s a way of acknowledging when we are closing down and of training to open up. When we encounter any pleasure or tenderness in our life, we cherish that and rejoice.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  5. “The more you just try to get it your way, the less you feel at home.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  6. “Everything is fresh, the essence of realization.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  7. “Pain is not a punishment, pleasure is not a reward.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  8. “In truth, there is enormous space in which to live our everyday lives.” ― Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  9. “Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  10. “We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

40 Pema Chodron Quotes

  1. “I’d like to encourage us all to lighten up, to practice with a lot of gentlenesses. This is not the drill sergeant saying, “Lighten up or else.” I have found that if we can possibly use anything we hear against ourselves, we usually do.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  2. “However, no matter what the size, color, or shape is, the point is still to lean toward the discomfort of life and see it clearly rather than to protect ourselves from it.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  3. “It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up space. By waiting, we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  4. “Resentment, bitterness, and holding a grudge prevent us from seeing and hearing and tasting and delighting.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: And The Path of Loving-Kindness: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  5. “The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face-to-face.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  6. “What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  7. “The essence of life is that it’s challenging.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  8. “You want it your own way. You’d just like to have a little peace; you’d like to have a little happiness, you know, just “gimme a break!” But the more you think that way, the more you try to get life to come out so that it will always suit you, the more your fear of other people and what’s outside your room grows.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  9. “We can begin anything we do—start our day, eat a meal, or walk into a meeting—with the intention to be open, flexible, and kind. Then we can proceed with an inquisitive attitude. As my teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche used to say, “Live your life as an experiment.”― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  10. “If you stay in bed all day with the covers over your head if you overeat for the millionth time in your life, if you get drunk, if you get stoned, if it’s just this habitual thing that you think is going to make you feel better, you know that’s going to depress you and make you more discouraged.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  11. “Without loving-kindness, staying in pain is just warfare.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  12. “Meditation takes us just as we are, with our confusion and our sanity. This complete acceptance of ourselves as we are is called Maitri, or unconditional friendliness, a simple, direct relationship with the way we are.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  13. “A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  14. “You’re never going to get your act together, fully, completely.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: And The Path of Loving-Kindness: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  15. “It’s very helpful to realize that being here, sitting in meditation, doing simple everyday things like working, walking outside, talking with people, bathing, using the toilet, and eating, is actually all that we need to be fully awake, fully alive, fully human.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  16. “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  17. “Meditation is a totally nonviolent, nonaggressive occupation.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron 
  18. “The root of suffering is resisting the certainty that no matter what the circumstances, uncertainty is all we truly have.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  19. “PATIENCE is the antidote to anger, a way to learn to love and care for whatever we meet on the path.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  20. “Pointing directly at your own heart, you find Buddha.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  21. “Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment,” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  22. “the life span of any particular emotion is only one and a half minutes. After that we have to revive the emotion and get it going again.” ― Pema Chödrön, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
  23. “When thoughts come up, touch them very lightly, like a feather touching a bubble. Let the whole thing be soft and gentle but at the same time precise.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving-Kindness
  24. “When the resistance is gone, so are the demons. It’s like a koan that we can work with by learning how to be more gentle, how to relax, and how to surrender to the situations and people in our lives.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  25. “The central question of a warrior’s training is not how we avoid uncertainty and fear but how we relate to discomfort. How do we practice with difficulty, with our emotions, with the unpredictable encounters of an ordinary day?” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  26. “Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. It is all we ever have so we might as well work with it rather than struggling against it. We might as well make it our friend and teacher rather than our enemy.” ― Pema Chödrön
  27. “The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions, and to all people, experiencing everything totally without mental reservations and blockages, so that one never withdraws or centralizes into oneself.” ― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
  28. “Tonglen means “taking in and sending out”. This meditation practice is designed to help ordinary people like ourselves connect with the openness and softness of our hearts. Instead of shielding and protecting our soft spot, with tongue we could let ourselves feel what it is to be human.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  29. “With the global economy in chaos and the environment of the planet at risk, with war raging and suffering escalating, it is time for each of us in our own lives to take the leap and do whatever we can to help turn things around.” ― Pema Chödrön, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
  30. “The trick is to keep exploring and not bail out, even when we find out that something is not what we thought. That’s what we’re going to discover again and again and again. Nothing is what we thought.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  31. “Be curious. Welcome groundlessness. Lighten up and relax. Offer chaos a cup of tea.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  32. “IN practicing meditation, we’re not trying to live up to some kind of ideal—quite the opposite.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  33. “What you do for yourself, any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honesty and clear seeing toward yourself, will affect how you experience your world. In fact, it will transform how you experience the world. What you do for yourself, you’re doing for others, and what you do for others, you’re doing for yourself.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  34. “The calligraphy reads, “Pointing directly at your own heart, you find Buddha.” Listening to talks about the dharma, or the teachings of Buddha, or practicing meditation is nothing other than studying ourselves.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  35. “Usually we feel that there’s a large problem and we have to fix it. The instruction is to stop. Do something unfamiliar. Do anything besides rushing off in the same old direction, up to the same old tricks.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  36. “IMPERMANENCE means that the essence of life is fleeting. Some people are so skillful at their mindfulness practice that they can actually see each and every little movement of mind—changing, changing, changing.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  37. “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  38. “Once we have the fixed idea “this is me,” then we see everything as a threat or a promise—or something we couldn’t care less about.” ― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
  39. “Each day, we’re given many opportunities to open up or shut down. The most precious opportunity presents itself when we come to the place where we think we can’t handle whatever is happening. It’s too much. It’s gone too far. We feel bad about ourselves. There’s no way we can manipulate the situation to make ourselves come out looking good. No matter how hard we try, it just won’t work. Basically, life has just nailed us.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  40.  “Death in everyday life could also be defined as experiencing all the things that we don’t want. Our marriage isn’t working; our job isn’t coming together. Having a relationship with death in everyday life means that we begin to be able to wait, to relax with insecurity, with panic, with embarrassment, with things not working out.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
Pema Chodron Quotes (149)

45 Pema Chodron Quotes

  1. “Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  2. “Every situation is a passing memory.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  3. “Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at. Compassion isn’t some kind of self-improvement project or ideal that we’re trying to live up too.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  4. “TURNING YOUR MIND toward the dharma does not bring security or confirmation. Turning your mind toward the dharma does not bring any ground to stand on. In fact, when your mind turns toward the dharma, you fearlessly acknowledge impermanence and change and begin to get the knack of hopelessness.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  5. “As we practice moving into the present moment this way, we become more familiar with groundlessness, a fresh state of being that is available to us on an ongoing basis. This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted, and shaky—that’s called liberation.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  6. “Awakening is not a process of building ourselves up but a process of letting go. It’s a process of relaxing in the middle—the paradoxical, ambiguous middle, full of potential, full of new ways of thinking and seeing—with absolutely no money-back guarantee of what will happen next.” ― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
  7. “To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is.” ― Pema Chödrön
  8. “One piece of advice that Don Juan gave to Carlos Casteneda was to do everything as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered, while all the time knowing that it doesn’t matter at all.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  9. “When you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha” means that when you see that you’re grasping or clinging to anything, whether conventionally it’s called good or bad, make friends with that. Look into it. Get to know it completely and utterly. In that way it will let go of itself.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving Kindness
  10. “We would like to believe that when things are still and calm, that’s the real stuff, and when things are messy, confused, and chaotic, we’ve done something wrong, or more usually someone else has done something to ruin our beautiful meditation. As someone once said about a loud, bossy woman, “What is that woman doing in my sacred world?” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  11. “Every time we are willing to let the storyline go, and every time we are willing to let go at the end of the out-breath, that’s fundamentally renunciation: learning how to let go of holding on and holding back.” ― Pema Chödrön
  12. “While we are sitting in meditation, we are simply exploring humanity and all of creation in the form of ourselves.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  13. “Nobody but yourself can tell you what to accept and what to reject.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: And The Path of Loving-Kindness: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  14. “Bodhichitta is our heart—our wounded, softened heart. Right down there in the thick of things, we discover the love that will not die. This love is bodhichitta. It is gentle and warm; it is clear and sharp; it is open and spacious. The awakened heart of bodhichitta is the basic goodness of all beings.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  15. “As one student said, “Lower your standards and relax as it is.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  16. “The painful thing is that when we buy into disapproval, we are practicing disapproval. When we buy into harshness, we are practicing harshness. The more we do it, the stronger these qualities become. How sad it is that we become so expert at causing harm to ourselves and others. The trick then is to practice gentleness and letting go.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  17. “There is something aggressive about that approach to life, trying to flatten out all the rough spots and imperfections into a nice smooth ride.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron 
  18. “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  19. “The opposite of patience is aggression—the desire to jump and move, to push against our lives, to try to fill up space.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  20. “Only in an open, nonjudgmental space can we acknowledge what we are feeling. Only in an open space where we’re not all caught up in our own version of reality can we see and hear and feel who others really are, which allows us to be with them and communicate with them properly.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  21. “We start by working with the monsters in our mind. Then we develop the wisdom and compassion to communicate sanely with the threats and fears of our daily life.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  22. “It’s even difficult to hear that what we reject out there is what we reject in ourselves, and what we reject in ourselves is what we are going to reject out there.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  23. “Equanimity.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  24. “Let the hard things in life break you. Let them affect you. Let them change you. Let these hard moments inform you. Let this pain be your teacher. The experiences of your life are trying to tell you something about yourself. Don’t cop out on that. Don’t run away and hide under your covers. Lean into it.” ― Pema Chodron
  25. “Cutting our expectations for a cure is a gift we can give ourselves. There is no cure for hot and cold. They will go on forever.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  26. “Resistance to unwanted circumstances has the power to keep those circumstances alive and well for a very long time.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  27. “MY teacher Trungpa Rinpoche encouraged us to lead our lives as an experiment, a suggestion that has been very important to me.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  28. “We don’t sit in meditation to become good meditators. We sit in meditation so that we’ll be more awake in our lives.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  29. “There’s a common misunderstanding among all the human beings who have ever been born on the earth that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  30. “The point is still to lean toward the discomfort of life and see it clearly rather than to protect ourselves from it.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  31. “Leonard Cohen once said about the benefits of many years of meditation, “The less there was of me, the happier I got. Letting” ― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
  32. “In Buddha’s opinion, to train in staying open and curious—to train in dissolving our assumptions and beliefs—is the best use of our human lives.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron 
  33. “Meditation practice is regarded as a good and in fact an excellent way to overcome warfare in the world: our own warfare as well as greater warfare. ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  34. “Our neurosis and our wisdom are made out of the same material.”― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: And The Path of Loving-Kindness: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  35. “We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  36. “Authentic joy is not a euphoric state or a feeling of being high. Rather, it is a state of appreciation that allows us to participate fully in our lives. We train in rejoicing in the good fortune of self and others.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  37. “According to this very simple teaching, becoming immersed in these four pairs of opposites—pleasure and pain, loss and gain, fame and disgrace, and praise and blame—is what keeps us stuck in the pain of samsara.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  38. “We can learn to act and think in ways that sow seeds of our future well-being, gradually becoming more aware of what causes happiness as well as what causes distress.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  39. “Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sandcastle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  40. “We can use our difficulties and problems to awaken our hearts.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  41. “In his talk, Suzuki Roshi says that meditation and the whole process of finding your own true nature is one continuous mistake and that rather than that being a reason for depression or discouragement, it’s actually the motivation.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  42. “To be fully alive, fully human and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to always be in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.” ― Pema Chodron
  43. “WHEN we are training in the art of peace, we are not given any promises that because of our noble intentions everything will be okay.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  44. “We train in the bodhichitta practices in order to become so open that we can take the pain of the world in, let it touch our hearts, and turn it into compassion.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  45. “The concepts of problem and solution can keep us stuck in thinking that there are an enemy and a saint or a right way and a wrong way.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron

50 Pema Chodron Quotes

  1. “For an aspiring bodhisattva, the essential practice is to cultivate maitri, or loving-kindness.”― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  2. “The basic ground of compassionate action is the importance of working with rather than struggling against, and what I mean by that is working with your own unwanted, unacceptable stuff, so that when the unacceptable and unwanted appears out there, you relate to it based on having worked with loving-kindness for yourself. Then there is no condescension.” ― Pema Chödrön
  3. “Even when our neurosis feels far more basic than our wisdom, even when we’re feeling most confused and hopeless, bodhichitta—like the open sky—is always here, undiminished by the clouds that temporarily cover it.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  4. “To live is to be willing to die over and over again. From the awakened point of view, that’s life. Death is wanting to hold on to what you have and to have every experience confirm you and congratulate you and make you feel completely together.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  5. “In most ordinary terms, egolessness is a flexible identity. It manifests as inquisitiveness, as adaptability, as humor, as playfulness. It is our capacity to relax with not knowing, not figuring everything out, with not being at all sure who we are, or who anyone else is, either.” ― Pema Chödrön
  6. “Sometimes people’s spiritual ideas become fixed and they use them against those who don’t share their beliefs – in effect, becoming fundamentalist. It’s very dangerous – the finger of righteous indignation pointing at someone who is identified as bad or wrong.”― Pema Chodron
  7. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” —Samuel Beckett” ― Pema Chödrön, Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better: Wise Advice for Leaning into the Unknown
  8. “The root of these fundamentalist tendencies, these dogmatic tendencies, is a fixed identity—a fixed view we have of ourselves as good or bad, worthy or unworthy, this or that. With a fixed identity, we have to busy ourselves with trying to rearrange reality, because reality doesn’t always conform to our view.” ― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
  9. “The problem is that the desire to change is fundamentally a form of aggression toward yourself. The other problem is that our hang-ups, unfortunately, or fortunately, contain our wealth. Our neurosis and our wisdom are made out of the same material. If you throw out your neurosis, you also throw out your wisdom.” ― Pema Chodron
  10. “As the Zen master Suzuki Roshi put it, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  11. “This is a standard meditation instruction that you can embody in the entirety of your life: do not act out and do not repress. See what happens if you don’t do either of those things.” ― Pema Chödrön, Meditation: How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind
  12. “Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  13. “As long as we believe that there is something that will permanently satisfy our hunger for security, suffering is inevitable.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  14. “In other words, I would say that the drive to blame ourselves or others comes from our inability to stay present with what is, because the sense of failure challenges us. It’s uncomfortable, unpleasant.” ― Pema Chödrön, Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better: Wise Advice for Leaning into the Unknown
  15. “There’s a richness to all of the smelly stuff that we so dislike and so little desire. The delightful things—what we love so dearly about ourselves, the places in which we feel some sense of pride or inspiration—these also are our wealth.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  16. “A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  17. “A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  18. “We’re here to get to know and study ourselves. The path, the way to do that, our main vehicle, is going to be meditation and some sense of general wakefulness.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  19. “But we don’t have to close down when we feel groundlessness in any form. Instead, we can turn toward it and say, “This is what freedom from fixed mind feels like. This is what freedom from closed-heartedness feels like. This is what unbiased, unfettered goodness feels like. Maybe I’ll get curious and see if I can go beyond my resistance and experience the goodness.” Buddhism holds” ― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
  20. “These are three very practical ways to work with chaos: no struggle, poison as medicine, and regarding everything that arises as the manifestation of wisdom.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  21. “In order to be gentle and create an atmosphere of compassion for yourself, it’s necessary to stop talking to yourself about how wrong everything is—or how right everything is, for that matter.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  22. “We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  23. “EMBARKING on the spiritual journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands. With wholehearted practice comes inspiration, but sooner or later we will also encounter fear.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  24. “It manifests as inquisitiveness, as adaptability, as humor, as playfulness. It is our capacity to relax with not knowing, not figuring everything out, with not being at all sure about who we are—or who anyone else is either.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  25. “From this point of view, the only time we ever know what’s really going on is when the rug’s been pulled out and we can’t find anywhere to land. We use these situations either to wake ourselves up or to put ourselves to sleep.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  26. “Peace between countries must rest on the solid foundation of love between individuals. —MAHATMA GANDHI” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  27. “THE ESSENCE of generosity is letting go.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  28. “In sitting meditation, we train in mindfulness and unconditional friendliness: in being steadfast with our bodies, our emotions, our thoughts.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  29. “Being caught by the lord of speech may start with just a reasonable conviction about what we feel to be true. However, if we find ourselves becoming righteously indignant, that’s a sure sign we’ve gone too far and that our ability to effect change will be hindered. Beliefs and ideals have become just another way to put up walls.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  30. “The same old demons will always come up until finally, you have learned your lesson, the lesson they came to teach you.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving-Kindness
  31. “Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.” ― Pema Chodron
  32. “Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose—you’re just there.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  33. “Thinking that we can find some lasting pleasure and avoid pain is what in Buddhism is called samsara, a hopeless cycle that goes round and round endlessly and causes us to suffer greatly.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times
  34. “Everything in our lives can wake us up or put us to sleep, and basically it’s up to us to let it wake us up.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  35. “The reason we’re often not there for others – whether for our child or our mother or someone who is insulting us or someone who frightens us – is that we’re not there for ourselves.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  36. “We think we’d be delighted to have an unconditional relationship, but that’s only as long as it’s on our own terms.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  37. “We don’t experience the world fully unless we are willing to give everything away.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  38. “Gradually we can begin to cherish the preciousness of our whole life just as it is, with its ups and downs, its failures and successes, its roughness and smoothness.” ― Pema Chödrön, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
  39. “Sometimes you just have to let everything fall apart.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  40. “We can drop the fundamental hope that there is a better “me” who one day will emerge. We can’t just jump over ourselves as if we were not there. It’s better to take a straight look at all our hopes and fears.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  41. “What we do accumulates; the future is the result of what we do right now.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  42. “The first noble truth says simply that it’s part of being human to feel discomfort.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  43. “In meditation, we can notice how emotions and moods are connected with having lost or gained something, having been praised or blamed, and so forth. We can notice how what begins as a simple thought, a simple quality of energy, quickly blossoms into full-blown pleasure and pain.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  44. “Many religions have meditations on death to let it penetrate our thick skulls that life doesn’t last forever.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
  45. “In sitting meditation, our practice is to watch our thoughts arise, label them “thinking”, and return to the breath.” ― Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
  46. “Blaming is a way to protect our hearts, to try to protect what is soft and open and tender in ourselves.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
  47. “When we sit with discomfort without trying to fix it, when we stay present to the pain of disapproval or betrayal and let it soften us, these are the times that we connect with bodhichitta. Tapping” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  48. “The Buddha taught that flexibility and openness bring strength and that running from groundlessness weakens us and brings pain.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  49. “You just can’t fly when you’re wearing socks, and shoes, and coats, and pants, and underwear. Everything has to go.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  50. “A psychotic person is drowning in the very same things that a mystic swims in.” ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: And The Path of Loving-Kindness: How to Love Yourself and Your World

Other Mental health quotes which you may like

Below are other mental health quotes which may be of interest to you:

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Paul Walker Quotes
Pema Chodron Quotes
Peter Pan Quotes
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Priority Quotes to Inspire You

Conclusions 

In this article, titled “Pema Chodron Quotes”, we shared some of the kindest and peaceful words of the Beloved Buddist nun and teacher, Pema Chodron.

We hope that you found these quotes at least as inspiring and as soothing as we did. 

What was your favorite quote? Let us know in the comments section below.

Pema Chodron Quotes (149)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.