Quote Archives: Pema Chödron

Staying with the discomfort of a situation ~ Pema Chödron

Difficult things provoke all your irritations and bring your habitual patterns to the surface. And that becomes the moment of truth. You have the choice to launch into your lousy habitual patterns, or to stay with the rawness and discomfort of the situation and let it transform you. Pema Chödron

No fresh air ~ Pema Chödron

We think that if we just meditated enough or jogged enough or ate the perfect food, everything would be perfect. But from the 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. […]

What is in front of us right in the moment ~ Pema Chödron

We’re always in some kind of mood. It might be sadness, it might be anger, it might be not much of anything, just a kind of blur. It might be humor or contentment. In any case, whatever it is, that’s the path. When something hurts in life, we don’t usually think of it as our […]

We Have a Choice ~ Pema Chödron

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, and unbiased. Pema Chödron

Don’t Set Out to Save the World ~ Pema Chödron

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. In fact, there are no promises of fruition at all. Instead, we are encouraged to simply look deeply at joy and sorrow, at laughing and crying, at hoping and fearing, […]

The key instruction ~ Pema Chödron

The key instruction is to stay in the present. Don’t get caught up in hopes of what you’ll achieve and how good your situation will be some day in the future. What you do right now is what matters. Pema Chödron

The mandala of our life ~ Pema Chödron

Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life. We enter a room, and the room is our mandala. We get on the subway, and the subway car is our […]

Only in our own experience ~ Pema Chödron

Listening to talks about the dharma, or the teachings of Buddha, or practicing meditation is nothing other than studying ourselves. Whether we’re eating or working or meditating or listening or talking, the reason that we’re here in this world at all is to study ourselves. In fact, it has been said that studying ourselves provides […]

The most important requirements for a teacher ~ Pema Chödron

The most important requirements for a teacher are to know you well, see where you’re holding on, and be able to create circumstances that highlight your grasping. Situations emerge that allow you to see where you’re stuck. Because it’s happening with your dharma teacher, you don’t run away when you’re insulted or uncomfortable, and that’s […]

Beginning to trust in your basic goodness ~ Pema Chödron

The teacher serves as a mirror but also encourages your ability to trust in yourself. You begin to trust in your basic goodness instead of identifying with your neurosis. There’s a shift of allegiance. Then the obstacles begin to seem temporary, and what’s permanent is the wisdom. To the degree that you become intimate with […]

Just as we are ~ Pema Chödron

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-deprecation, as well as on joyfulness, clarity, and insight. Everything that human beings feel, we feel. We can become extremely wise and sensitive to […]

Cultivating equanimity ~ Pema Chödron

Training in equanimity is learning to open the door to all, welcoming all beings, inviting life to come visit. Of course, as certain guests arrive, we’ll feel fear and aversion. We allow ourselves to open the door just a crack if that’s all that we can presently do, and we allow ourselves to shut the […]

A reservoir of courage ~ Pema Chödron

Deep down in the human spirit there is a reservoir of courage. It is always available, always waiting to be discovered. Pema Chödron

Getting unstuck ~ Pema Chödron

We can contact our inner strength, our natural openness, for short periods before getting swept away. And this is excellent, heroic, a huge step in interrupting and weakening our ancient habits. If we keep a sense of humor and stay with it for the long haul, the ability to be present just naturally evolves. Gradually […]

Seeing clearly ~ Pema Chödron

Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives. It’s about seeing how we react to all these things. It’s seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right […]

Everything and everyone is in process ~ Pema Chödron

Our attempts to find lasting pleasure, lasting security, are at odds with the fact that we’re part of a dynamic system in which everything and everyone is in process. Pema Chödron

Nurturing ourselves ~ Pema Chödron

As adults, we begin to cultivate a sense of loving-kindness for ourselves — by ourselves, for ourselves. The whole process of meditation is one of creating that good ground, that cradle of loving-kindness where we actually are nurtured. What’s being nurtured is our confidence in our own wisdom, our own health, and our own courage, […]

Fully alive ~ Pema Chödron

To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. Pema Chödron

Here, Now, Always ~ Pema Chödron

This is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth. I have discovered, just as my teachers always told me, that we already have what we need. The wisdom, the strength, the confidence, the awakened heart and mind are always accessible, here, now, always. We are […]

The first mark of existence ~ Pema Chödron

That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence. Pema Chödron