200 Best Pema Chödrön Quotes on Hope, Inner Peace & Love

Pema Chödrön, born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, is a notable American Tibetan-Buddhist, author and ordained nun.

She was a disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and became the first American to be fully ordained as a nun in the ‘Vajrayana’ tradition.

A former director of Boulder Shambhala Center and Gampo Abbey, she has contributed greatly to Buddhism in the West through her many books, including “The Wisdom of No Escape,” “Start Where You Are” and “When Things Fall Apart.”

Chödrön’s teachings focus on “shenpa,” or attachment, which she interprets as a cycle of habitual negative thoughts and actions.

Despite her 2020 resignation from her acharya role in Shambhala International, Chödrön remains a highly respected Buddhist teacher.

See also: Lori Deschene Quotes from Founder of Tiny Buddha and Buddha Quotes on Love, Life and Wisdom

Top 10 Pema Chödrön Quotes


1. “Let your curiosity be greater than your fear.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


2. “Words themselves are neutral. It’s the charge we add to them that matters.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


3. “I’m here to tell you that the path to peace is right there, when you want to get away.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


4. “Softening what is rigid in our hearts…” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


5. “We already have everything we need.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


6. “The ego seeks to divide and separate. Spirit seeks to unify and heal.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


7. “The future is completely open and we are writing it moment to moment.” ~ (Pema Chodron).


8. “Feel the feelings and drop the story.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


9. “The teacher will never give up on the student no matter how mixed up he or she might be.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


10. “If you’re invested in security and certainty, you are on the wrong planet.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

Best Pema Chödrön Quotes

11. “Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves. 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).

12. “This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we go.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

13. “To cultivate equanimity we practice catching ourselves when we feel attraction or aversion, before it hardens into grasping or negativity.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


14. “Difficult people are the greatest teachers.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

15. “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).

16. “The only way to ease our pain is to experience it fully. Learn to stay with uneasiness, learn to stay with the tightening, so that the habitual chain reaction doesn’t continue to rule your life.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

17. “The most complete and true happiness comes in moments when you feel right there, completely present, with no ideas about good and bad, right and wrong – just a sense of open heart and open mind.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


18. “Since death is certain and the time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing?” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

19. “Wholeheartedly do what it takes to awaken your clear-seeing intelligence, but one day at a time, one moment at a time. If we live that way, we will benefit this earth.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

20. “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 Chödrön).

21. “The spiritual journey involves going beyond hope and fear, stepping into unknown territory, continually moving forward. The most important aspect of being on the spiritual path maybe just to keep moving.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


22. “Just where you are – that’s the place to start!” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

23. “All you need to know is that the future is wide open and you are about to create it by what you do.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

24. “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).

25. “Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic-this is the spiritual path.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

26. “Determination means to use every challenge you meet as an opportunity to open your heart and soften, determined to not withdraw.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

27. “Our true nature is like a precious jewel: although it may be temporarily buried in mud, it remains completely brilliant and unaffected. We simply have to uncover it.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

28. “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

29. “The idea of karma is that you continually get the teaching that you need to open your heart.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

30. “The essence of generosity is letting go. Pain is always a sign that we are holding on to something – usually ourselves.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


31. “Pain is not a punishment; pleasure is not a reward.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

32. “Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

33. “Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

Famous Pema Chödrön Quotes

34. “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

35. “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. Even if we run a hundred miles an hour to the other side of the continent, we find the very same problem awaiting us when we arrive.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

36. “This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted and shaky – that’s called liberation.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

37. “Resistance to unwanted circumstances has the power to keep those circumstances alive and well for a very long time.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

38. “The Process of becoming unstuck requires tremendous bravery, because basically, we are completely changing our way of perceiving reality…” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

39. “What if rather than being disheartened by the ambiguity, the uncertainty of life, we accepted it and relaxed into it?” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

40. “Each time you stay present with fear and uncertainty, you’re letting go of a habitual way of finding security and comfort.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

41. “Fear is a natural reaction of moving closer to the truth. If we commit ourselves to staying right where we are, then our experience becomes very vivid. Things become very clear when there is nowhere to escape.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

42. “The central question of a warrior’s training is not how we avoid uncertainty and fear but how we relate to discomfort.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

43. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience and Infinite love is the only truth; everything else is an illusion.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


44. “Usually we think that brave people have no fear. The truth is that they are intimate with fear.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

45. “Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. It is all we ever have, so we night 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).

46. “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).

47. “The essence of bravery is being without self-deception.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

48. “It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up space.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

49. “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-endedness of the human situation, which is fresh, unfixated, unbiased.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

50. “I can’t overestimate the importance of accepting ourselves exactly as we are right now, not as we wish we were or think we ought to be.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

51. “Share the wealth. Be generous with your joy. Give away what you most want. Be generous with your insights and delights.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

52. “You must learn to sit with the restless, painful energy and not let the momentum pull you under and cause you to do the same thing over and over that’s ruining your life and the lives of those around you.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

53. “Trying to run away is never the answer to being a fully human. Running away from the immediacy of our experience is like preferring death to life.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

54. “We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


55. “When you have made good friends with yourself, your situation will be more friendly too.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

56. “If we Pause and breathe in and out, then we can have the experience of timeless presence, of the inexpressible wisdom and goodness of our own minds. We can look at the world with fresh eyes and hear things with fresh ears.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

57. “We don’t experience the world fully unless we are willing to give everything away. Samaya means not holding anything back, not preparing our escape route, not looking for alternatives, not thinking that there is ample time to do things later.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

58. “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 it’s dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

Powerful Pema Chödrön Quotes

59. “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).

60. “The third noble truth says that the cessation of suffering is letting go of holding on to ourselves.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

61. “Being fully present isn’t something that happens once and then you have achieved it; it’s being awake to the ebb and flow and movement and creation of life, being alive to the process of life itself.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

62. “To put it concisely, we suffer when we resist the noble and irrefutable truth of impermanence and death.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

63. “The future is the result of what we do right now.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

64. “The approach is that the best way to use unwanted circumstances on the path of enlightenment is not to resist but to lean into them.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


65. “Things become clear when there is no escape.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

66. “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.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

67. “People get into a heavy-duty sin and guilt trip, feeling that if things are going wrong, that means that they did something bad and they are being punished. That’s not the idea at all.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

68. “Deep down in the human spirit, there is a reservoir of courage. It is always available, always waiting to be discovered.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

69. “Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

70. “Unconditional good heart toward others is not even a possibility unless we attend to our own demons.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

71. “In meditation and in our daily lives there are three qualities that we can nurture, cultivate, and bring out. We already possess these, but they can be ripened: precision, gentleness, and the ability to let go.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

72. “Constantly apply cheerfulness, if for no other reason than because you are on this spiritual path. Have a sense of gratitude to everything, even difficult emotions, because of their potential to wake you up.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

73. “Use what seems like poison as medicine. Use your personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

74. “When there’s a disappointment, I don’t know if it’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

75. “All situations teach you, and often it’s the tough ones that teach you best.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

76. “Clarity and decisiveness come from the willingness to slow down, to listen to and look at what’s happening.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

77. “The wisdom, the strength, the confidence – the awakened heart and mind are always accessible – here, now, always.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

78. “It is a commitment to respect whatever life brings that we develop wholehearted determination to use discomfort as an opportunity for awakening, rather than trying to make it disappear.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

79. “Enlightenment is a direct experience with reality.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

80. “That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence. Everything is in process.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


81. “When resistance is gone, the demons are gone.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

82. “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).

83. “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).

84. “Everybody loves something, even if it’s only tortillas.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

85. “One of the deepest habitual patterns that we have is to feel that now is not enough.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

86. “Treat yourself as your own beloved child.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

87. “The root of compassion, is compassion for oneself.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

88. “It’s not a terrible thing that we feel fear when faced with the unknown. It is part of being alive, something we all share.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

89. “Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allowing ourselves to move gently toward what scares us.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

90. “Hell is just resistance to life.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

Wise Pema Chödrön Quotes

91. “By becoming intimate with how we close down and how we open up, we awaken our unlimited potential.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

92. “The essence of practice is always the same: instead of falling prey to a chain reaction of revenge or self-hatred, we gradually learn to catch the emotional reaction and drop the story lines.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

93. “The real thing that we renounce is the tenacious hope that we could be saved from being who we are.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

94. “We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

95. “Surrendering, letting go of possessiveness, and complete nonattachment-all are synonyms for accumulating merit.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

96. “Honesty without kindness, humor, and goodheartedness can be just mean. From the very beginning to the very end, pointing to our own hearts to discover what is true isn’t just a matter of honesty but also of compassion and respect for what we see.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

97. “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).


98. “At the root of all the harm we cause is ignorance.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

99. “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).

100. “It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

101. “Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

102. “As we learn to have compassion for ourselves, the circle of compassion for others – what and whom we can work with, and how – becomes wider.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

103. “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 Chödrön).

104. “Whatever is happening is the path to enlightenment.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

105. “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

106. “If we’re willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be eliminated, then we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation. This is the first step on the path.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

107. “There comes a time when the bubble of ego is popped and you can’t get the ground back for an extended period of time. Those times, when you absolutely cannot get it back together, are the most rich and powerful times in our lives.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

108. “If it’s painful, you become willing not just to endure it but also to let it awaken your heart and soften you. You learn to embrace it.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

109. “The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

110. “If you aren’t feeding the fire of anger or the fire of craving by talking to yourself, then the fire doesn’t have anything to feed on.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

111. “The root of suffering is resisting the certainty that no matter what the circumstances, uncertainty is all we truly have.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

112. “The first noble truth of the Buddha is that when we feel suffering, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. What a relief.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

113. “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 Chödrön).

114. “Don’t get caught up in hopes of what you’ll achieve and how good your situation will be someday in the future. What you do right now is what matters.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

115. “Don’t worry about achieving. Don’t worry about perfection. Just be there each moment as best you can.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


116. “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

117. “Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

118. “The more we witness our emotional reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

119. “Lower your standards and relax as it is.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

120. “Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

121. “The trick is to keep exploring and not bail out, even when we find out that something is not what we thought.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

122. “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).

123. “You build inner strength through embracing the totality of your experience, both the delightful parts and the difficult parts.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

124. “All ego really is, is our opinions, which we take to be solid, real, and the absolute truth about how things are.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

125. “Never give up on yourself. Then you will never give up on others.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

126. “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).

127. “Whatever happens in your life, joyful or painful, do not be swept away by reactivity. Be patient with yourself and don’t lose your sense of perspective.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

128. “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 Chödrön).

129. “Never underestimate the desire to bolt.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

130. “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

131. “Feeling irritated, restless, afraid, and hopeless is a reminder to listen more carefully.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

132. “Most spiritual experiences begin with suffering. They begin with groundlessness. They begin when the rug has been pulled out from under us.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

133. “Allow situations in your life to become your teacher.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

134. “By not knowing, not hoping to know, and not acting like we know what’s happening, we begin to access our inner strength.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

135. “So war and peace start in the human heart. Whether that heart is open or whether that heart closes has global implications.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

136. “The best spiritual instruction is when you wake up in the morning and say, ‘I wonder what’s going to happen today.’ And then carry that kind of curiosity through your life.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

137. “Remember that this is not something we do just once or twice. Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

138. “We sow the seeds of our future hells or happiness by the way we open or close our minds right now.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

139. “In practicing meditation, we’re not trying to live up to some kind of ideal – quite the opposite. We’re just being with our experience, whatever it is.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

140. “Openness doesn’t come from resisting our fears but rather from getting to know them well.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

141. “This genuine heart of sadness can teach us great compassion. It can humble us when we’re arrogant and soften us when we are unkind.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

142. “One way to practice staying present is to simply sit still for a while and listen. For one minute, listen to the sounds close to you. For one minute, listen to the sounds at a distance. Just listen attentively.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

143. “At some point, we realize that what we do for ourselves benefits others, and what we do for others benefits us.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

144. “Although we have the potential to experience the freedom of a butterfly, we mysteriously prefer the small and fearful cocoon of ego.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

145. “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).


146. “The biggest obstacle to taking a bigger perspective on life is that our emotions capture and blind us.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

147. “I equate ego with trying to figure everything out instead of going with the flow. That closes your heart and your mind to the person or situation that’s right in front of you, and you miss so much.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

148. “When we scratch the wound and give into our addictions we do not allow the wound to heal.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

149. “When we are willing to stay even a moment with uncomfortable energy, we gradually learn not to fear it.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

150. “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).

Great Pema Chödrön Quotes

151. “To live is to be willing to die over and over again.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

152. “Whatever you are doing, take the attitude of wanting it directly or indirectly to benefit others. Take the attitude of wanting it to increase your experience of kinship with your fellow beings.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

153. “In meditation, you learn how to get out of your own way long enough for there to be room for your wisdom to manifest.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

154. “Patience is not learned in safety.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

155. “There isn’t anything except your own life that can be used as a ground for your spiritual practice. Spiritual practice is your life, twenty-four hours a day.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

156. “Feel the wounded heart that’s underneath the addiction, self-loathing, or anger.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

157. “Every moment is unique, unknown, completely fresh.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

158. “Now is the only time. How we relate to it creates the future.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

159. “All the terrible things we do to ourselves and others from alcoholism to character assignation to abuse to murder come from one cause: the inability to stay present with an uncomfortable feeling in the body and seek short-term relief.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

160. “Don’t worry about achieving. Don’t worry about perfection. Just be there each moment as best you can. When you realize you’ve wandered off again, simply very lightly acknowledge that. This light touch is the golden key to reuniting with our openness.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

161. “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).

162. “We can stop thinking that good practice is when it’s smooth and calm, and bad practice is when it’s rough and dark. If we can hold it all in our hearts, then we can make a proper cup of tea.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

163. “Simply be present with your own shifting energies and with the unpredictability of life as it unfolds.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

164. “Even if you don’t feel appreciation, just look. Feel what you feel; take an interest and be curious.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

165. “When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

166. “Being preoccupied with our self-image is like being deaf and blind. It’s like standing in the middle of a vast field of wildflowers with a black hood over our heads. It’s like coming upon a tree of singing birds while wearing earplugs.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

167. “When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

168. “Suffering begins to dissolve when we can question the belief or the hope that there’s anywhere to hide.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

169. “Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

170. “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).

171. “When we feel left out, inadequate, or lonely, can we take a warrior’s perspective and contact bodhichitta?” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

172. “True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

173. “Generosity is an activity that loosens us up. By offering whatever we can – a dollar, a flower, a word of encouragement – we are training in letting go.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

174. “Ego is like a room of your own, a room with a view with the temperature and the smells and the music that you like. 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.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

175. “Honesty without kindness, humor, and goodheartedness can be just mean.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

Inspiring Pema Chödrön Quotes

176. “Patience has nothing to do with suppression. In fact, it has everything to do with a gentle, honest relationship with yourself.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

177. “Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. Why? Because it is all we ever have.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

178. “Life’s work is to wake up, to let the things that enter your life wake you up rather than put you to sleep.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


179. “Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

180. “We cannot be present and run our story-line at the same time.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

181. “Right down there in the thick of things, we discover the love that will not die.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

182. “We are all capable of becoming fundamentalists because we get addicted to other people’s wrongness.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

183. “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 Chödrön).

184. “The point is that our true nature is not some ideal that we have to live up to. It’s who we are right now, and that’s what we can make friends with and celebrate.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

185. “Once you create a self-justifying storyline, your emotional entrapment within it quadruples.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

186. “In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

187. “Somehow, in the process of trying to deny that things are always changing, we lose our sense of the sacredness of life. We tend to forget that we are part of the natural scheme of things.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

188. “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).

189. “The Buddha taught that we’re not actually in control, which is a pretty scary idea. But when you let things be as they are, you will be a much happier, more balanced, compassionate person.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

Inspirational Pema Chödrön Quotes

190. “We spend all our energy and waste our lives trying to recreate these zones of safety, which are always falling apart. That’s the essence of samsara – the cycle of suffering that comes from continuing to seek happiness in all the wrong places.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

191. “Every moment is incredibly unique and fresh, and when we drop into the moment, as meditation allows us to do, we learn how to truly taste this tender and mysterious life that we share together.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

192. “There is no cultivation of patience when your pattern is to just try to seek harmony and smooth everything out. Patience implies willingness to be alive rather than trying to seek harmony.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

193. “The most heartbreaking thing of all is how we cheat ourselves of the present moment.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).


194. “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

195. “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

196. “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 Chodron).

197. “In a nutshell, when life is pleasant, think of others. When life is a burden, think of others.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

198. “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

199. “Let difficulty transform you. And it will. In my experience, we just need help in learning how not to run away.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

200. “Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).

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Short Biography of Pema Chödrön

Pema Chödrön, born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in New York in 1936, transitioned from a Catholic upbringing to becoming a prominent American Tibetan-Buddhist nun and author.


Educated in English literature and elementary education, she delved into Buddhism in her adult years, studying under various teachers before becoming the first American ordained in the Vajrayana tradition.

Full Name Pema Chödrön
Birth Name Deirdre Blomfield-Brown
Born 14 July 1936 (age 87 years), New York City, New York, United States
Title Bhikkhuni
Children Arlyn Bull, Edward Bull
Religion Buddhism
Occupation Resident teacher at Gampo Abbey
Education Sarah Lawrence College; University of California, Berkeley
Teacher Chögyam Trungpa; Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
Lineage Shambhala Buddhism
Website pemachodronfoundation.org

Chödrön directed the Boulder Shambhala Center, then moved to Gampo Abbey, North America’s first Tibetan Buddhist monastery for Westerners.

Despite health challenges and controversies within the Shambhala community, she made significant contributions through her writings and teachings on mindfulness and peace.

Quick Facts about Pema Chödrön

  • Pema Chödrön, originally named Deirdre Blomfield-Brown, was born on July 14, 1936.
  • She grew up in New York City and was raised Catholic.
  • Chödrön completed her bachelor’s degree in English literature at Sarah Lawrence College.
  • She earned a master’s in elementary education from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Her early career included studying with Lama Chime Rinpoche in London.
  • In the United States, she studied under Trungpa Rinpoche in San Francisco.
  • In 1974, she became a novice Buddhist nun under the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa.
  • Chödrön was the first American to become a fully ordained nun in the Vajrayana tradition in 1981.
  • She served as director of the Boulder Shambhala Center in the early 1980s.
  • Moved to Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia in 1984 and became its first director in 1986.
  • Published her first book, “The Wisdom of No Escape,” in 1991.
  • Received the title of acharya in 1993 within the Shambhala lineage.
  • Chödrön was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome in 1994.
  • Met Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and took him as her teacher during her illness.
  • Released “Start Where You Are” in 1994 and “When Things Fall Apart” in 1996.
  • Authored “No Time to Lose” in 2005, a commentary on Shantideva’s works.
  • She became a member of The Committee of Western Bhikshunis in 2005.
  • “Practicing Peace in Times of War” was published in 2007.
  • Awarded the Global Bhikkhuni Award by the Chinese Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association in 2016.
  • She resigned as acharya from Shambhala International in 2020 due to concerns over the organization’s direction.
  • She teaches the traditional “Yarne” retreat at Gampo Abbey each winter.
  • She offers teachings on the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life in Berkeley during the summer.
  • Her teachings often focus on the concept of “shenpa,” or attachment.
  • Chödrön’s first marriage was at 21, and she has two children.
  • After two divorces, she now has three grandchildren residing in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • “When Things Fall Apart” is among her most well-known works.
  • Her writings frequently explore the themes of uncertainty and finding comfort in discomfort.
  • Grew up with an older brother and sister on a New Jersey farm.
  • Attended Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut.
  • Engages in teachings that help people deal with habitual negative thoughts and actions.

Top Questions about Pema Chödrön

Q: Where is Pema Chodron currently?

A: Pema Chodron is currently teaching in the United States and Canada and spending more time in solitary retreat, guided by Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche.

Q: Who is a well-known female Buddhist nun?

A: Pema Chödrön is a renowned female Buddhist nun.

Q: Has Pema Chodron retired from teaching?

A: Yes, Pema Chodron announced her retirement from teaching in a letter to the Shambhala board, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Q: What are Pema Chodron’s views on reincarnation?

A: Pema Chodron believes in the concept of reincarnation, emphasizing the importance of navigating life’s transitions to prepare for death and whatever follows.

Q: How did Pema Chodron receive her name?

A: During her spiritual studies, her teacher Chögyam Trungpa gave her the name Pema Chödrön, which symbolically means “lotus torch of the dharma” or “lamp of the truth.”

Q: Why did Pema Chodron decide to become a nun?

A: Encouraged by her teacher Trungpa Rinpoche to deepen her commitment to Buddhism, Pema Chodron became a nun after taking the bodhisattva vows in 1974, with the aspiration to aid all beings in achieving enlightenment.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

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