Pema Chödrön is a Tibetan Buddhist from the United States.
She is a former acharya of Shambhala Buddhism and a disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, as well as an ordained nun.
Chödrön is the main instructor at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia and has published a number of books and CDs.
Here is the compilation of quotes from Pema Chödrön.
Best Pema Chödrön Quotes
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).
8. “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).
9. “If you’re invested in security and certainty, you are on the wrong planet.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).
10. “We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).
16. “Let your curiosity be greater than your fear.” ~ (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. “We already have everything we need.” ~ (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).
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).
34. “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~ (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. “The future is completely open and we are writing it moment to moment.” ~ (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).
54. “The teacher will never give up on the student no matter how mixed up he or she might be.” ~ (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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
91. “By becoming intimate with how we close down and how we open up, we awaken our unlimited potential.” ~ (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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
169. “Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?” ~ (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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
200. “Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.” ~ (Pema Chödrön).
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