Pema Chodron quotes

  • Instead of asking ourselves, 'How can I find security and happiness?' we could ask ourselves, 'Can I touch the center of my pain? Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away? Can I stay present to the ache of loss or disgrace-disapp ointment in all its many forms-and let it open me?' This is the trick.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Pain #Loss #Suffering

  • 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 Chodron

    #Heart #Advice #Feelings

  • 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

    #Essence #Luxury #Joy

  • If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Teacher #Inspirational Love #Peace

  • Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Life #Spiritual #Learning

  • Being satisfied with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Keys #Alive #Golden

  • It isn't what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it's what we say to ourselves about what happens.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Suffering #Causes

  • Some of us can accept others right where they are a lot more easily than we can accept ourselves. We feel that compassion is reserved for someone else, and it never occurs to us to feel it for ourselves. My experience is that by practicing without 'shoulds,' we gradually discover our wakefulness and our confidence. Gradually, without any agenda except to be honest and kind, we assume responsibility for being here in this unpredictable world, in this unique moment, in this precious human body.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Responsibility #Unique #Compassion

  • Rejoicing in the good fortune of others is a practice that can help us when we feel emotionally shut down and unable to connect with others. Rejoicing generates good will.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Practice #Down And #Helping

  • Learning how to be kind to ourselves, learning how to respect ourselves, is important. The reason it's important is that, fundamentally, when we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn't just ourselves that we're discovering. We're discovering the universe.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Respect #Sweet #Confused

  • So war and peace start in the human heart. Whether that heart is open or whether that heart closes has global implications.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #War #Heart #Humans

  • The future is completely open and we are writing it moment to moment.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Writing #Moments

  • Instead of making others right or wrong, or bottling up right and wrong in ourselves, there's a middle way, a very powerful middle way...... Could we have no agenda when we walk into a room with another person, not know what to say, not make that person wrong or right? Could we see, hear, feel other people as they really are? It is powerful to practice this way..... true communication can happen only in that open space.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Inspirational #Powerful #Communication

  • The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Peace #Believe

  • 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 Chodron

    #Spiritual #Perspective #Suffering

  • Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic-this is the spiritual path.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Spiritual #Panic #Path

  • Use your life to wake you up.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Positive #Use

  • 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

    #Integrity #Heart #Compassion

  • We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Peace #Helping Others #Order

  • We think that by protecting ourselves from suffering, we are being kind to ourselves. The truth is we only become more fearful, more hardened and more alienated. We experience ourselves as being separate from the whole. This separateness becomes like a prison for us - a prison that restricts us to our personal hopes and fears, and to caring only for the people nearest to us. Curiously enough, if we primarily try to shield ourselves from discomfort, we suffer. Yet, when we don't close off, when we let our hearts break, we discover our kinship with all beings.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Truth #Fear #Heart

  • 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 Chodron

    #Letting Go #Struggle #Suffering

  • When we practice generating compassion, we can expect to experience our fear of pain. 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 Chodron

    #Pain #Moving #Emotional

  • Resisting what is happening is a major cause of suffering,
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Suffering #Causes

  • 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 Chodron

    #Heart #Dark #Thinking

  • You could begin to notice whenever you find yourself blaming others or justifying yourself. If you spent the rest of your life just noticing that and letting it be a way to uncover the silliness of the human condition-the tragic yet comic drama that we all continually buy into-you could develop a lot of wisdom and a lot of kindness as well as a great sense of humor.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Kindness #Drama #Finding Yourself

  • …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. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Teacher #Disappointment #Irritation

  • 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 Chodron

    #Perspective #Patient #Painful

  • It is possible to move through the drama of our lives without believing so earnestly in the character that we play. That we take ourselves so seriously, that we are so absurdly important in our own minds, is a problem for us. We feel justified in being annoyed with everything. We feel justified in denigrating ourselves or in feeling that we are more clever than other people. Self-importance hurts us, limiting us to the narrow world of our likes and dislikes. We end up bored to death with ourselves and our world. We end up never satisfied.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Hurt #Clever #Drama

  • 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

    #Peace #Buddhist #Heart

  • We are like children building a sand castle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Beautiful #Hurt #Children

  • If you ask why we meditate, I would say it's so we can become more flexible and tolerant to the present moment.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Moments #Present Moment

  • 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

    #Atheist #Believe #Hands

  • When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You're able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Inspirational #Heart #Eye

  • 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 Chodron

    #Spiritual #Gratitude #Path

  • Although we have the potential to experience the freedom of a butterfly, we mysteriously prefer the small and fearful cocoon of ego.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Butterfly #Ego #Cocoons

  • Softening what is rigid in our hearts...
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Heart

  • Well, it starts with being willing to feel what we are going through. It starts with being willing to have a compassionate relationship with the parts of ourselves that we feel are not worthy of existing on the planet. If we are willing through meditation to be mindful not only of what feels comfortable, but also of what pain feels like, if we even aspire to stay awake and open to what we're feeling, to recognize and acknowledge it as best we can in each moment, then something begins to change.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Change #Pain #Meditation

  • 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 Chodron

    #Butterfly #Knowing #Laughing

  • 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 Chodron

    #Love #Inspirational #Heart

  • When we start out on a spiritual path we often have ideals we think we're supposed to live up to. We feel we're supposed to be better than we are in some way. But with this practice you take yourself completely as you are. Then ironically, taking in pain - breathing it in for yourself and all others in the same boat as you are heightens your awareness of exactly where you're stuck.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Spiritual #Pain #Thinking

  • Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. Why? Because it is all we ever have.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Curiosity #Welcome #Moments

  • The ego seeks to divide and separate. Spirit seeks to unify and heal.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Ego #Spirit #Heal

  • The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Inspirational #Freedom #Giving

  • Although it is embarrassing and painful, it is very healing to stop hiding from yourself. It is healing to know all the ways that you’re sneaky, all the ways that you hide out, all the ways that you shut down, deny, close off, criticize people, all your weird little ways. You can know all of that with some sense of humor and kindness. By knowing yourself, you’re coming to know humanness altogether. We are all up against these things. We are all in this together.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Kindness #Healing #Knowing

  • Come back to square one, just the minimum bare bones. 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 Chodron

    #Buddhism #Squares #Suffering

  • The essence of bravery is being without self-deception.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Essence #Self #Bravery

  • 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 Chodron

    #Disappointment #Adventure #Knowing

  • If you work with your mind, instead of trying to change everything on the outside... that's how your temper will cool down.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Mind #Trying #Temper

  • What's encouraging about meditation is that, even if we shut down, we can no longer shut down in ignorance. We see very clearly that we're closing off. That in itself begins to illuminate the darkness of ignorance.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Buddhist #Ignorance #Meditation

  • 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 Chodron

    #Giving Up #Giving #Relax

  • Compassion isn't some kind of self-improvement project or ideal that we're trying to live up to. 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.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Compassion #Self #Imperfection

  • It's also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that's sitting right here right now... with its aches and it pleasures... is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Inspiring #Needs #Sitting

  • Suffering begins to dissolve when we can question the belief or the hope that there's anywhere to hide.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Acceptance #Suffering #Belief

  • Ego could be defined as whatever covers up basic goodness. From an experiential point of view, what is ego covering up? It's covering up our experience of just being here, just fully being where we are, so that we can relate with the immediacy of our experience. Egolessness is a state of mind that has complete confidence in the sacredness of the world. It is unconditional well being, unconditional joy that includes all the different qualities of our experience.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Views #Joy #Ego

  • We cannot be present and run our story-line at the same time.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Running #Lines #Stories

  • If you’re aggressive in your dealings, that’s how you’ll be regarded in the world. You might smile and give generously, but if you frequently explode in anger, people never feel comfortable in your presence and you’ll never have peace of mind.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Giving #People #Mind

  • 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

    #Fear #Struggle #Looks

  • 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 Chodron

    #Revenge #Heart #Practice

  • Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Life #Determination #Commitment

  • We feel that we have to be right so that we can feel good. We don’t want to be wrong because then we’ll feel bad. But we could be more compassionate toward all these parts of ourselves. The whole right and wrong business closes us down and makes our world smaller. Wanting situations and relationships to be solid, permanent, and graspable obscures the pith of the matter, which is that things are fundamentally groundless.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Our World #Feel Good #Want

  • 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 Chodron

    #Peace #Humanity #Facts

  • 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 Chodron

    #Heart #Arrows #Would Be

  • 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

    #Reality #Two #Challenges

  • 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 Chodron

    #Men #Land #Nests

  • At the root of all the harm we cause is ignorance.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Ignorance #Roots #Causes

  • The most important aspect of being on a spiritual path may be to just keep moving.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Spiritual #Moving #Important

  • 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 Chodron

    #Buddhist #Meditation #Ignorant

  • 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 Chodron

    #Compassion #Long #Perfection

  • 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 Chodron

    #Spring #Ocean #Teaching

  • When we protect ourselves so we won't feel pain, that protection becomes like armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of of the heart.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Pain #Heart #Armor

  • 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

    #Attitude #Positive Thinking #Compassion

  • 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 Chodron

    #Buddhism #Suffering #Trying

  • Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don't struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Struggle #Buddhism #Reality

  • 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. The idea of karma is that you continually get the teachings that you need to open your heart. To the degree that you didn't understand in the past how to stop protecting your soft spot, how to stop armoring your heart, you're given this gift of teachings in the form of your life, to give you everything you need to open further.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Karma #Teaching #Heart

  • This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted and shaky - that's called liberation.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Moving #Comfort #Uncharted

  • 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 Chodron

    #Challenges #Feelings #Enough

  • As long as we're caught up in always looking for certainty and happiness, rather than honoring the taste and smell and quality of exactly what is happening, as long as we're always running from discomfort, we're going to be caught in a cycle of unhappiness and discomfort, and we will feel weaker and weaker. This way of seeing helps us develop inner strength. And what's especially encouraging is the view that inner strength is available to us at just the moment when we think that we've hit the bottom, when things are at their worst.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Running #Thinking #Views

  • 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 Chodron

    #Light #Keys #Worry

  • Every moment is unique, unknown, completely fresh.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Unique #Moments

  • Everything that human beings feel, we feel. We can become extremely wise and sensitive to all of humanity and the whole universe simply by knowing ourselves, just as we are.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Wise #Knowing #Humanity

  • We don't experience the world fully unless we are willing to give everything away.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Giving #World #Willing

  • The root of compassion, is compassion for oneself.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Compassion #Roots #Oneself

  • Compassionate action involves working with ourselves as much as working with others.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Compassion #Action #Compassionate

  • Lean into the sharp points and fully experience them. The essence of bravery is being without self-deception. Wisdom is inherent in (understanding) emotions.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Self #Essence #Bravery

  • 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 Chodron

    #Teacher #Struggle #Night

  • The Process of becoming unstuck requires tremendous bravery, because basically we are completely changing our way of perceiving reality...
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Reality #Bravery #Way

  • In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Compassion #Order #Compassion For Others

  • Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Kindness #Compassion #Compassion For Others

  • This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it's with us wherever we go.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Teacher #Perfect #Lucky

  • Let your curiosity be greater than your fear.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Curiosity

  • 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 Chodron

    #Spiritual #Morning #Curiosity

  • Compassion starts with making friends with ourselves.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Compassion #Making Friends

  • 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 Chodron

    #Spiritual #Positive Thinking #Love Is

  • The biggest obstacle to taking a bigger perspective on life is that our emotions capture and blind us.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Perspective #Emotion #Obstacles

  • Simply be present with your own shifting energies and with the unpredictabilit y of life as it unfolds.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Energy #Shifting

  • Meditation practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Practice #Meditation #Trying

  • 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 Chodron

    #Choices #Suffering #Relax

  • If we begin to get in touch with whatever we feel with some kind of kindness, our protective shells will melt, and we'll find that more areas of our lives are workable. 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 Chodron

    #Kindness #Compassion #Circles

  • While we are sitting in meditation, we are simply exploring humanity and all of creation in the form of ourselves. We can become the world's greatest experts on anger, jealousy, and self-deprecatio n, as well as on joyfulness, clarity, and insight. Everything that human beings feel, we feel. We can become extremely wise and sensitive to all of humanity and the whole universe simply by knowing ourselves, just as we are.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Wise #Self #Knowing

  • I have all the support I need to simply relax and be with the transitional, in-process quality of my life. I have all I need to engage in the process of awakening.
    -- Pema Chodron

    #Support #Relax #Quality