37 Famous Pema Chodron Quotes

37 Famous Pema Chodron Quotes

by / Comments Off / 186 View / Dec 2, 2014

Pema Chodron is a highly regarded figure in Buddhism. She was born in New York City in 1936 and after college became an ordained nun. She is also an author and teacher at the monastery in Nova Scotia, Canada.

“A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next.”

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

“As Buddhism moved to the West, one of the big characteristics was the strong place of women. That didn’t exist in the countries of origin. It’s just a sign of our culture.”

“As long as our orientation is toward perfection or success, we will never learn about unconditional friendship with ourselves, nor will we find compassion.”

“Buddhism itself is all about empowering yourself, not about getting what you want.”

“Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?”

“Don’t worry about achieving. Don’t worry about perfection. Just be there each moment as best you can.”

“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”

“Finally, never give up on yourself. Then you will never give up on others. ”

“If right now our emotional reaction to seeing a certain person or hearing certain news is to fly into a rage or to get despondent or something equally extreme, it’s because we have been
cultivating that particular habit for a very long time.”

“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…”

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

“In a nutshell, when life is pleasant, think of others. When life is a burden, think of others.”

“No one ever tells us to stop running away from fear…the advice we usually get is to sweeten it up, smooth it over, take a pill, or distract ourselves, but by all means make it go away.”

“Only in an open space where we’re not all caught up in our own version of reality can we see and hear and feel who others really are…”

“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.”

“Searching for happiness prevents us from ever finding it.”

“Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.”

“Surrendering, letting go of possessiveness, and complete nonattachment—all are synonyms for accumulating merit.”

“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.”

“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.”

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

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

“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.”

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

“The third noble truth says that the cessation of suffering is letting go of holding on to ourselves.”

“There’s something delicious about finding fault with something. And that can be including finding fault with one’s self, you know?”

“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.”

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

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

“Use what seems like poison as medicine. Use your personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.”

“We can gradually drop our ideals of who we think we ought to be… or who we think other people think we want to be or ought to be.”

“We can spend our whole lives escaping from the monsters of our minds.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”