Top 150 Pema Chödrön Quotes From The Buddhist Nun | Kidadl


Top 150 Pema Chödrön Quotes From The Buddhist Nun

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 Pema Chödrön was born on July 14, 1936, and is a beloved Buddhist teacher, author, mother, and nun.

The real name of Pema Chödrön is Deirdre Blomfield-Brown. She is an American-Tibetan Buddhist. She is the proud author of books 'The Wisdom of No Escape', 'Start Where You Are,' and 'When Things Fall Apart.'

Pema Chödrön was a disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, both great Buddhist masters of meditation, and an Acharya of Shambhala Buddhism. She has written many books and now resides in Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada, working as a principal teacher.

Famous Pema Chödrön Quotes

Pema Chödrön did not start life out living in peace and compassion. She went through life very similar to all of us. Like many, she struggled with depression, one of the things that led her to become a Buddhist nun. Here are some famous quotes from the Buddhist nun for you.

  • "Feel the feelings and drop the story."
  • "The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new."
  • "If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher."
  • "Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person."
  • "Running from the immediacy of our experience is like preferring death to life."
  • "To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest."
  • "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 squeamish about taking a good look."
  • "Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different from the way they are."
  • "All you need to know is that the future is wide open and you are about to create it by what you do."
  • "Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world."
  • “In other words, no matter how well documented or noble our cause is, it won’t be helped by our felling aggression toward the oppressors or those who are promoting the danger.  Nothing will ever change through aggression.”
  • "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."
  • "Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it."
  • "Just where you are – that’s the place to start."
  • "We can use our difficulties and problems to awaken our hearts."
  • "Things are as bad and as good as they seem. There’s no need to add anything extra."
  • "The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face-to-face."
  • "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."
  • "when we feel embarrassed or awkward, when pain presents itself to us in any form whatsoever, we run like crazy to try to become comfortable."

Pema Chödrön Quotes On Life

Pema Chödrön was born in New York City.

Since her enlightenment, she has always focused on spreading the message of peace and compassion. Her words are used by many to help them through the difficult times they pass through in their lives. Discover more inspiring quotes about life from Pema Chödrön below.

  • "Live your life as an experiment."
  • "Let your curiosity be greater than your fear."
  • "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 cover. Lean into it."
  • "Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know."
  • "Curiously enough, if we primarily try to shield ourselves from discomfort, we suffer. Yet when we don’t close off and we let our hearts break, we discover our kinship with all beings.”
  • "Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior's world."
  • "Our whole world falls apart, and we’ve been give this great opportunity.  However, we don’t trust our basic wisdom mind enough to let it stay like that.  Our habitual reaction is to want to get ourselves back—even our anger, resentment, fear, or bewilderment.  So we re-create our solid, immovable personality as if we were Michelangelo chiseling ourselves out of marble."
  • "Those events and people in our lives who trigger our unresolved issues could be regarded as good news.  We don’t have to go hunting for anything.  We don’t need to try to create situations in which we reach our limit.  They occur all by themselves, with clockwork regularity."
  • "Look ahead to the rest of your life and ask yourself what you want it to add up to."
  • "Sometimes when things fall apart, well, that’s the big opportunity to change."
  • "The more you try to get it your way, the less you feel at home."
  • "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."
  • "Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?"
  • "The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face to face."
  • "You must face annihilation over and over again to find what is indestructible in yourself."
  • "We sow the seeds of our future hell or happiness by the way we open or close our minds right now."
  • "Blaming is a way to protect our hearts, to try to protect what is soft and open and tender in ourselves."
  • "We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves."
  • "Resisting what is happening is a major cause of suffering."
  • "Without giving up hope, we will never relax with where we are or who we are."
  • "At the root of all the harm we cause is ignorance."
  • "Life is like that. We don’t know anything."
  • "Approach what you find repulsive, help the ones you think you cannot help, and go to places that scare you."
  • "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 Quotes About Love

Her enlightenment came when she learned with several Buddhist teachers. In 1981, she became the first American woman to become a wholly ordained Buddhist nun. Here, you can find some heart advice for difficult times from Pema Chödrön.

  • "What may appear to be an arrow or a sword we can actually experience as a flower."
  • "Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace."
  • "Without loving-kindness for ourselves, it is difficult to genuinely feel it for others."
  • "The ego seeks to divide and separate. Spirit seeks to unify and heal."
  • "Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too was a gift."
  • "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."
  • "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."
  • "Everybody loves something, even if it’s only tortillas."
  • "War and peace start in the human heart."
  • "It is said that we can’t attain enlightenment, let alone feel contentment and joy, without seeing who we are and what we do, without seeing our patterns and habits.  This is called maitri—developing loving-kindness and an unconditional friendship with ourselves."
  • "The point is to touch into the good heart that we already have and nurture it."
  • "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."
  • "Don’t let life harden your heart."

Pema Chödrön Compassion Quotes

Find a quote on the relationship between the healer and the wounded or a Buddha quote about death here.

Her teachings usually have a central theme revolving around the premise that “shenpa,” the Tibetan word for “attachment,” is interpreted as the moment one is hooked in the habitual negative or self-destructive actions and thought. Here, you can find many more Pema Chödrön quotes. 'The Places That Scare You' was just one of her works, she also wrote many great 'Start Where You Are' quotes,

  • "Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves."
  • "Be kinder to yourself."
  • "Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at."
  • "Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves."
  • "True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves."
  • "When we become more insightful and compassionate about how we ourselves get hooked, we spontaneously feel more tenderness for the human race."
  • "Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals."
  • "Not causing harm obviously includes not killing or robbing or lying to people. It also includes not being aggressive-not being aggressive with our actions, our speech, or our minds. Learning not to cause harm to ourselves or others is a basic Buddhist teaching on the healing power of nonaggression."
  • "Let your kindness flood the world."
  • "As long as our orientation is toward perfection or success, we will never learn about unconditional friendship with ourselves, nor will we find compassion."
  • "Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity."
  • "The more we witness our emotional reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain."
  • "As we become more wholehearted in this journey of gentle honesty, it comes as quite a shock to realize how much we’ve blinded ourselves to some of the ways in which we cause harm."
  • "Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. 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."
  • "None of us is ever OK, but we all get through everything just fine."
  • "Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don't struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality."
  • "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."

Pema Chödrön Meditation Quotes

She was married, has two children, and was divorced twice. She worked as an elementary school teacher in both California and New Mexico after graduation, and before her conversion to Buddhism. This section includes Buddhist quotes on death, quotations on meditation, Pema Chödrön quotes on gratitude, and more.

  • "Completely let go."
  • "There are three traditional methods for relating directly with difficult circumstances as a path of awakening and joy. The first method we’ll call no more struggle; the second, using poison as medicine; and the third, seeing whatever arises as enlightened wisdom. These are three techniques for working with chaos, difficulties, and unwanted events in our daily lives."
  • "Meditation practice is not about later when you get it all together."
  • "If you ask why we meditate, I would say it’s so we can become more flexible and tolerant to the present moment."
  • "Deep down in the human spirit, there is a reservoir of courage. It is always available, always waiting to be discovered."
  • "How sad it is that we become so expert at causing harm to ourselves and others. The trick then is to practice gentleness and letting go."
  • "Meditation is a totally nonviolent, nonaggressive occupation."
  • "What we're doing as we progress along the path is leaving home and becoming homeless."
  • "One of the main discoveries of meditation is seeing how we continually run away from the present moment."
  • "When we find ourselves in a mess, we don’t have to feel guilty about it. Instead, we could reflect on the fact that how we relate to this mess will be sowing the seeds of how we will relate to whatever happens next. … Right now we are creating our state of mind for tomorrow, not to mention this afternoon, next week, next year, and all the years of our lives."
  • "Pain is not a punishment; Pleasure is not a reward."
  • "You are the sky. Everything else - it's just the weather."
  • "We already have everything we need."
  • "Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better."
  • "In practicing meditation, we’re not trying to live up to some kind of ideal."
  • "Learning not to panic – this is the spiritual path."

Pema Chödrön 'When Things Fall Apart' Quotes

Discover quotes about hard lives from Pema Chödrön, inspiring Pema Chödrön quotes fear quotes, and quotes about impermanence. You can also find a quote on inner peace and discomfort quotes from her book, 'When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times'.

  • "There’s no way to benefit anybody unless we start with 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."
  • "Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know."
  • "We deserve our birthright, which is an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity."
  • "So the next time you encounter fear, consider yourself lucky. This is where courage comes in."
  • "The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves."
  • "There's no certainty about anything. This basic truth hurts, and we want to run away from it."
  • "To live fully is to be always in no-man's-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh."
  • "Dharma isn't a belief; it isn't dogma. It is total appreciation of impermanence and change."
  • "Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth."
  • "For those who want something to hold on to, life is even more inconvenient."
  • "Every time we give, every time we practice discipline, patience, or exertion, it's like putting down a heavy burden."

The Best Pema Chödrön Quotes

Here, we have collected the best Pema Chödrön quotes that will tell you what you can do to overcome the problem, pass the test, and learn to open the heart and be fully alive. These quotes are perfect for when you feel like giving up, they tell us to start where we are, and work from there.

  • "Our true nature is like a precious jewel: although it may be temporarily buried in mud, it remains completely brilliant and unaffected. We simply have to uncover it."
  • "We’re just being with our experience, whatever it is."
  • "Blaming is a way to protect our hearts, to try to protect what is soft and open and tender in ourselves. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground."
  • "This very moment is the perfect teacher."
  • "The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment."
  • "Clarity and decisiveness come from the willingness to slow down, to listen and look at what’s happening."
  • "Everything that ends is also the beginning of something else. Pain is not a punishment; pleasure is not a reward."
  • "It’s a nice feeling to just be."
  • "Patience is not learned in safety."
  • ”All addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.”
  • "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 an open mind."
  • "Let difficulty transform you. And it will. In my experience, we just need help in learning how not to run away."
  • "One of the happiest moments ever is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change."
  • "We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same."
  • "Trying to run away is never the answer to being fully human."
  • "This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted, and shaky – that’s called liberation."
  • "Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together."
  • "Suffering begins to dissolve when we can question the belief or the hope that there’s anywhere to hide."
  • "Everything is fresh, the essence of realization."
  • "The idea of karma is that you continually get the teaching that you need to open your heart."
  • "If you are invested in security and certainty, you are on the wrong planet."
  • "Once you create a self-justifying storyline, your emotional entrapment within it quadruples."
  • "Difficult people are the greatest teachers."
  • "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."
  • "Rather than trying to get rid of something or buying into a dualistic sense of being attacked, we take the opportunity to see how we close down when we’re squeezed. This is how we open our hearts."
  • "The greatest obstacle to connecting with our joy is resentment."
  • "Every moment is unique, unknown, completely fresh."
  • "When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something."
  • "Honesty without kindness, humor, and good-heartedness can be just mean."
  • "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."

Pema Chödrön Quotes On Letting Go of Hope

Hope is that light we all have within and have difficulties and sufferings while that light is present and it imparts those sufferings in our daily lives. These quotes from Pema Chödrön on letting go of hope will help you in living a greater and free life.

  • "So many times we’ve indulged the short-term pleasure of addiction. We’ve done it so many times that we know that grasping at this hope is a source of misery that makes a short-term pleasure a long-term hell."
  • "We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but that there’s something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world."
  • "if we totally experience hopelessness, giving up all hope of alternatives to the present moment, we can have a joyful relationship with our lives, an honest, direct relationship, one that no longer ignores the reality of impermanence and death."
  • "Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves."
  • "Hopelessness is the basic ground….We could save ourselves a lot of time by taking this message very seriously right now. Begin the journey without hope of getting ground under your feet. Begin with hopelessness."
  • "Hope and fear is a feeling with two sides. As long as there’s one, there’s always the other. This re-dok is the root of our pain. Abandoning hope is an affirmation, the beginning of the beginning. You could even put “Abandon hope” on your refrigerator door instead of more conventional aspirations like “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better."
  • "Renunciation is a teaching to inspire us to investigate what’s happening every time we grab something because we can’t stand to face what’s coming."
  • "What happens with you when you begin to feel uneasy, unsettled, queasy? Notice the panic, notice when you instantly grab for something. That grabbing is based on hope."
  • "If we're willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be exterminated, then we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation."

Pema Chödrön Quotes Concerning Fear

Fear is considered an experience which even a small creature feels. One can achieve greater heights on abandoning fear. These Pema Chödrön quotes might help you encounter and let go of fear.

  • "Underneath our ordinary lives, underneath all the talking we do, all the moving we do, all the thoughts in our minds, there’s a fundamental groundlessness. It’s there bubbling along all the time. We experience it as restlessness and edginess. We experience it as fear. It motivates passion, aggression, ignorance, jealousy, and pride, but we never get down to the essence of it. Refraining is the method for getting to know the nature of this restlessness and fear. It’s a method for settling into groundlessness."
  • "When we feel inadequate and unworthy, we hoard things. We are so afraid-afraid of losing, afraid of feeling even more poverty-stricken than we do already. This stinginess is extremely sad. We could look into it and shed a tear that we grasp and cling so fearfully. This holding on causes us to suffer greatly. We wish for comfort, but instead we reinforce aversion, the sense of sin, and the feeling that we are a hopeless case."
  • "We think that by protecting ourselves from suffering we are being kind to ourselves. The truth is, we only become more fearful, more hardened, and more alienated."
  • "When you wake up in the morning and out of nowhere comes the heartache of alienation and loneliness, could you use that as a golden opportunity? Rather than persecuting yourself or feeling that something terribly wrong is happening, right there in the moment of sadness and longing, could you relax and touch the limitless space of the human heart? The next time you get a chance, experiment with this."
  • "Usually we think that brave people have no fear. The truth is that they are intimate with fear."
  • "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."
  • "Basically, disappointment, embarrassment, and all these places where we just cannot feel good are a sort of death."
  • "So the next time you encounter fear, consider yourself lucky. This is where the courage comes in."
  • "All anxiety, all dissatisfaction, all the reasons for hoping that our experience could be different are rooted in our fear of death. … As the Zen master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi said, life is like getting into a boat that’s just about to sail out to sea and sink."
  • "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."
Written By
Writvik Gupta

Writvik Gupta is a freelance content writer from Kolkata, India. Before venturing into the startup and writing worlds, he worked with several corporations, namely, ITC WelcomHotel Jodhpur, Bharti AXA Life Insurance, Aryan Imaging, and Eduquity, to name a few. Writvik also consults with a hostel-chain-based startup in Bangalore. He is an outdoor person and loves trekking and traveling to remote destinations. Besides that, he loves trying out cuisines from different cultures and also is an enthusiastic volunteer.

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