Inspiring Pema Chödrön Quotes About Life

If you’re looking for some words of wisdom, look no further than Pema Chödrön. This Buddhist nun has a lot of great things to say about life, love, and happiness. Here are some of Pema Chödrön quotes.

best Pema Chödrön Quotes

Pema Chödrön is a Buddhist nun and teacher in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. She has written extensively on meditation, compassion, and emotional healing. She is the author of The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times and When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times.

Pema Chödrön was born in New York City in 1936. Since Trungpa Rinpoche’s death in 1987, Pema Chödrön has become one of the most widely read Buddhist teachers in the West. She is an eloquent and approachable teacher who speaks with warmth and humor, drawing on her own experience of suffering and transformation.

91 Pema Chödrön Quotes

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

2. “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”

3. “Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look.”

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

5. “Pain is not a punishment, pleasure is not a reward.”

6. “The principle of nowness is very important to any effort to establish an enlightened society.”

7. “Learning how to fail will help us more than anything else in life”

8. “We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.”

9. “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.”

10. “The essence of life is that it’s challenging.”

pema chodron quotes on fear

Inspirational Pema Chödrön Quotes

11. “Things are as bad and as good as they seem. There’s no need to add anything extra.”

12. “Live your life as an experiment.”

13. “Sometimes you just have to let everything fall apart.”

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

15. “The more we witness our emotional reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain.”

16. “Openness doesn’t come from resisting our fears but from getting to know them well.”

17. “Each moment is an opportunity to make a fresh start.”

18. “Resentment, bitterness, and holding a grudge prevent us from seeing and hearing and tasting and delighting.”

19. “Resistance to unwanted circumstances has the power to keep those circumstances alive and well for a very long time.”

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

pema chödrön quotes on letting go

Pema Chödrön Quotes About Life

21. “Our story lines are different, but when it comes to pain and pleasure and our reaction to them, people everywhere are the same.”

22. “At the root of all the harm we cause is ignorance.”

23. “Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.”

24. “Meditation practice is not about later, when you get it all together and you’re this person you really respect.”

26. “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.”

27. “It’s a continual process of opening and surrender, like taking off layer after layer of clothes,”

28. “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.”

29. “There are many changes in the weather of a day.”

30. “Transformation occurs only when we remember, breath by breath, year after year, to move toward our emotional distress without condemning or justifying our experience.”

Motivational Pema Chödrön Quotes

31. “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…”

32. “The concepts of problem and solution can keep us stuck in thinking that there is an enemy and a saint or a right way and a wrong way.”

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

34. “One of the main discoveries of meditation is seeing how we continually run away from the present moment, how we avoid being here just as we are.”

35. “What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck.”

36. “The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are.”

37. “To be fearless isn’t really to overcome fear, it’s to come to know its nature.”

38. “Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality.”

39. “Don’t let life harden your heart.”

Pema Chödrön Quotes To Live By

40. “Everything is fresh, the essence of realization.”

41. “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.”

42. “There is something aggressive about that approach to life, trying to flatten out all the rough spots and imperfections into a nice smooth ride.”

43. “We don’t experience the world fully unless we are willing to give everything away.”

44. “The root of suffering is resisting the certainty that no matter what the circumstances, uncertainty is all we truly have.”

45. “The greatest obstacle to connecting with our joy is resentment.”

46. “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.”

47. “WE can learn to rejoice in even the smallest blessings our life holds. It is easy to miss our own good fortune; often happiness comes in ways we don’t even notice.”

48. “A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet.”

49. “Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about.”

50. “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 Chödrön Quotes To Live a Happy Lif

51. “Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom, available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary everyday lives.”

52. “Without loving-kindness, staying in pain is just warfare.”

53. “Patience is the training in abiding with the restlessness of our energy and letting things evolve at their own speed.”

54. “If we are willing to stand fully in our own shoes and never give up on ourselves, then we will be able to put ourselves in the shoes of others and never give up on them.”

55. “Cutting our expectations for a cure is a gift we can give ourselves. There is no cure for hot and cold. They will go on forever.”

56. “Without loving-kindness for ourselves, it is difficult, if not impossible, to genuinely feel it for others.”

57. “The truth you believe in and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.”

58. “The more you just try to get it your way, the less you feel at home.”

59. “While we are sitting in meditation, we are simply exploring humanity and all of creation in the form of ourselves.”

60. “The most heartbreaking thing of all is how we cheat ourselves of the present moment.”

Thouht-Provoking Pema Chödrön Quotes

61. “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.”

62. “I used to have a sign pinned up on my wall that read: Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us…It was all about letting go of everything.”

63. “Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.”

64. “Let the hard things in life break you. Let them effect you. Let them change you. Let these hard moments inform you. Let this pain be your teacher. The experiences of your life are trying to tell you something about yourself. Don’t cop out on that. Don’t run away and hide under your covers. Lean into it.”

65. “Patience is not learned in safety.”

66. “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals.”

67. “If with kindly generosity One merely has the wish to soothe The aching heads of other beings, Such merit knows no bounds.”

68. “Everything in our lives can wake us up or put us to sleep, and basically it’s up to us to let it wake us up.”

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

70. “Scrambling for security has never brought anything but momentary joy.”

71. “What we do accumulates; the future is the result of what we do right now.”

72. “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.”

73. “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.”

74. “When the resistance is gone, so are the demons. It’s like a koan that we can work with by learning how to be more gentle, how to relax, and how to surrender to the situations and people in our lives.”

75. “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.”

76. “We can’t control what’s going to happen but we can grow in awareness of what is happening.”

77. “Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”

78. “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.”

79. “Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.”

80. “Thinking that we can find some lasting pleasure and avoid pain is what in Buddhism is called samsara, a hopeless cycle that goes round and round endlessly and causes us to suffer greatly.”

81. “We can use our difficulties and problems to awaken our hearts.”

82. “We start by working with the monsters in our mind. Then we develop the wisdom and compassion to communicate sanely with the threats and fears of our daily life.”

83. “Practicing loving-kindness toward ourselves seems as good a way as any to start illuminating the darkness of difficult times.”

84. “When you have made good friends with yourself, your situation will be more friendly too.”

85. “The more you’re willing to open your heart, the more challenges come along that make you want to shut it.”

86. “Nothing in its essence is one way or the other.”

87. “When thoughts come up, touch them very lightly, like a feather touching a bubble. Let the whole thing be soft and gentle, but at the same time precise.”

88. “If we want to learn about our future, we should look at what we’re doing now.”

89. “There is a teaching on the three kinds of awakening: awakening from the dream of ordinary sleep, awakening at death from the dream of life, and awakening into full enlightenment from the dream of delusion.”

90. “If we were to come up with one word about each of the troublemakers in our lives, we would find ourselves with a list of descriptions of our own rejected qualities.”

91. “Life’s work is to wake up, to let the things that enter into the circle wake you up rather than put you to sleep. The only way to do this is to open, be curious, and develop some sense of sympathy for everything that comes along,”

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