The Best Pema Chodron quotes

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Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist nun who has been teaching meditation since the 1970s. She founded a non profit organization called the tibetan nuns project to educate and empower women in Tibet. Pema was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown, but took on her monastic name after joining a Tibetan monastery at the age of 18. Her teachings have influenced many people including Oprah Winfrey, Desmond Tutu and other celebrities. Puma’s books are well known for their wisdom and humor as she shares her extensive knowledge about life with readers both young and old alike. For those interested in learning more about this incredible woman, please continue reading below!

Here are the most interesting phrases from Pema Chodron.

Here are the most interesting Compassion, Feelings, Experience, Life, Practice, Heart, Learning quotes from Pema Chodron, and much more.


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About Pema Chodron

title of the author


birth of the author

July 14, 1936

religion of the author


education of the author

University Of California, Berkeley

occupation of the author

Resident Teacher Gampo Abbey


Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both…Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. — Pema Chodron

In a nutshell, when life is pleasant, think of others. When life is a burden, think of others. — Pema Chodron

Use your life to wake you up. — Pema Chodron

Hell is just resistance to life. — Pema Chodron

use your life to wake you up Pema Chodron quote

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 Chodron

The essence of life is that it’s challenging. — Pema Chödrön

Life is a good teacher and a good friend. — Pema Chödrön

My teacher Trungpa Rinpoche encouraged us to lead our lives as an experiment, a suggestion that has been very important to me. — Pema Chödrön

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

hell is just resistance to life Pema Chodron quote

In truth, there is enormous space in which to live our everyday lives. — Pema Chodron

We can spend our whole lives escaping from the monsters of our minds. (36) — Pema Chodron

According to the Buddhist belief, you can go on and on indefinitely, so you see your life as just a brief moment in time. — Pema Chodron

What if rather than being disheartened by the ambiguity, the uncertainty of life, we accepted it and relaxed into it? — Pema Chodron

Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up or put us to sleep. Allowing it to awaken us is up to us. — Pema Chodron

in truth there is enormous space in which to live our everyday lives Pema Chodron quote

Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear? — Pema Chodron

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


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The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face–to–face. — Pema Chödrön

Allow situations in your life to become your teacher. — Pema Chodron

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

we can spend our whole lives escaping from the monsters of our minds 36 Pema Chodron quote

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

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

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 Chodron

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

The second noble truth says that this resistance is the…mechanism of what we call ego, that resisting life causes suffering. — Pema Chodron


The more you just try to get it your way, the less you feel at home. — Pema Chödrön

Without loving–kindness for ourselves, it is difficult, if not impossible, to genuinely feel it for others. — Pema Chodron

When we feel left out, inadequate, or lonely, can we take a warrior’s perspective and contact bodhichitta? — Pema Chodron

Even if you don’t feel appreciation, just look. Feel what you feel; take an interest and be curious. — Pema Chodron

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 Chodron

one of the deepest habitual patterns that we have is to feel that now is not enough Pema Chodron quote

One of the deepest habitual patterns that we have is to feel that now is not enough. — Pema Chodron

Feel the wounded heart that’s underneath the addiction, self–loathing, or anger. — Pema Chodron

What happens with you when you begin to feel uneasy, unsettled, queasy? Notice the panic, notice when you instantly grab for something. (51) — Pema Chodron

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 Chodron

Ego is something that you come to know–something that you befriend by not acting out or by repressing all the feelings that you feel. — Pema Chodron

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 Chodron

Feel the feelings and drop the story. — Pema Chodron

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

The next step is to learn to communicate with the people that you feel are causing your pain and misery–not to learn how to prove them wrong and yourself right but how to communicate from the heart. — Pema Chodron

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


If you follow your heart, you’re going to find that it is often extremely inconvenient. — Pema Chodron

Softening what is rigid in our hearts. — Pema Chodron

Unconditional good heart toward others is not even a possibility unless we attend to our own demons. — Pema Chodron

The idea of karma is that you continually get the teaching that you need to open your heart. — Pema Chodron

We can begin to open our hearts to others when we have no hope of getting anything back. We just do it for its own sake. — Pema Chodron

if you follow your heart you re going to find that it is often extremely inconvenient Pema Chodron quote

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 Chodron

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

The wisdom, the strength, the confidence–the awakened heart and mind are always accessible––here, now, always. — Pema Chodron

Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. — Pema Chodron

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 Chodron

softening what is rigid in our hearts Pema Chodron quote

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

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

When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless. — Pema Chodron

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

Determination means to use every challenge you meet as an opportunity to open your heart and soften, determined to not withdraw. — Pema Chodron

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 Chodron

Redundant Thematics

In Pema Chodron Statements


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 Chodron

Nothing in its essence is one way or the other. — Pema Chodron


We practice to liberate ourselves from a burden. — Pema Chodron

As we practice, we begin to know the difference between our fantasy and reality. — Pema Chodron

we practice to liberate ourselves from a burden Pema Chodron quote

Patience takes courage. It is not an ideal state of calm. In fact, when we practice patience we will see our agitation far more clearly. — Pema Chodron

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

Tonglen practice begins to dissolve the illusion that each of us is alone with this personal suffering that no one else can understand. — Pema Chodron

Ordinarily we are swept away by habitual momentum and don’t interrupt our patterns slightly. When we feel betrayed or disappointed, does it occur to us to practice? — Pema Chodron

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

Discomfort of any kind becomes the basis for practice. We breathe in knowing our pain is shared. — Pema Chodron

To cultivate equanimity we practice catching ourselves when we feel attraction or aversion, before it hardens into grasping or negativity. — Pema Chodron

There isn’t anything except your own life that can be used as ground for your spiritual practice. Spiritual practice is your life, twenty–four hours a day. — Pema Chodron

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

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allowing ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. — Pema Chodron


Anything we experience, no matter how challenging, can become an open pathway to awakening. — Pema Chodron

Enlightenment is a direct experience with reality. — Pema Chodron

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

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 Chodron

It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up space. — Pema Chodron

anything we experience no matter how challenging can become an open pathway to awakening Pema Chodron quote

Most spiritual experiences begin with suffering. They begin with groundlessness. They begin when the rug has been pulled out from under us. — Pema Chodron

We don’t experience the world fully unless we are willing to give everything away. — Pema Chodron

Meditation isn’t really about getting rid of thoughts, it’s about changing the pattern of grasping on to things, which in our everyday experience is our thoughts. — Pema Chodron

You build inner strength through embracing the totality of your experience, both the delightful parts and the difficult parts. — Pema Chodron

What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck. — Pema Chödrön

enlightenment is a direct experience with reality Pema Chodron quote

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

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 Chodron

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

Let difficulty transform you. And it will. In my experience, we just need help in learning how not to run away. — Pema Chodron

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 Chodron

Each of us has a ‘soft spot’: the place in our experience where we feel vulnerable and tender. This soft spot is inherent in appreciation and love, and it is equally inherent in pain. — Pema Chodron

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

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 Chodron


Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves. — Pema Chodron

The root of compassion, is compassion for oneself. — Pema Chodron

compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves Pema Chodron quote

Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity. — Pema Chodron

Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. — Pema Chodron

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

We give it up and just look directly with compassion and humor at who we are. Then loneliness is no threat and heartache, no punishment. — Pema Chodron

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

the root of compassion is compassion for oneself Pema Chodron quote

Compassion starts with making friends with ourselves. — Pema Chodron

Use what seems like poison as medicine. Use your personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings. — Pema Chodron


When we are willing to stay even a moment with uncomfortable energy, we gradually learn not to fear it. — Pema Chodron

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

There’s a reason you can learn from everything: you have basic wisdom, basic intelligence, and basic goodness. — Pema Chodron

nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know Pema Chodron quote

Patience is the antidote to anger, a way to learn to love and care for whatever we meet on the path. — Pema Chödrön

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

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