12 Life-Changing Quotes From Pema Chödrön…

12 Life-Changing Quotes From Pema Chödrön

Pema Chödrön is one of the most popular Buddhist teachers in the world. Her books have been translated into many languages and have been in circulation for many years.

These select quotes give a preview to the great wisdom Pema Chodron teaches and embodies in her own life.



SEE ALSO: 5 Effective Techniques To Help Cope With Painful Memories



If your mind is expansive and unfettered, you will find yourself in a more accommodating world, a place that’s endlessly interesting and alive. That quality isn’t inherent in the place but in your state of mind. ― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change


Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle. The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?” Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.” Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?” Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.” In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times




The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves. ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times


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 Chödrön


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 Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times


There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds onto the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then she notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World


We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times


You are the sky. Everything else–it’s just the weather. ― Pema Chödrön


As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity. ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times


Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World


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 Chödrön


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, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times


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Matt Caron

Matt is the content manager of the Sivana blog, an enthusiastic Yoga teacher, and life voyager. He strives to inspire conscious living and conscious dialogue- not only for others but for himself. He's the founder of TheYogaBlog.com. You can find him on Facebook.

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