48 Pema Chodron Quotes To Help You Lead A Spiritual Life

Pema Chodron quotes, teachings and ideas have inspired millions of people around the world. Disciple of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoce, she has trained as a nun. Having a bachelor’s degree in the subject English Literature, she has written many books, including Start Where You Are And No Time To Lose. Accolade with several awards, she frequently speaks about the phenomenal Buddhist philosophy throughout the world. The central idea of her philosophy is the principle of attachment.

Born at Dierdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, she taught in an elementary school. After the influence of Buddhism, she dedicated the rest of her life finding self-realization and helping others to follow the same. She is one of the prominent figures in America and Pema Chodron quotes and knowledge has helped many to come out of self-destructive actions. Below are some of the best Pema Chodron Quotes that you cannot miss achieving a higher perspective in life.

1. You must face annihilation over and over again to find what is indestructible in yourself.  – Pema Chodron

2. 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. – Pema Chodron

3. Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing.  We think 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.  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 Chodron

4. 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. – Pema Chodron

5. When we protect ourselves so we won’t feel pain, that protection becomes armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of the heart.  – Pema Chodron

6. Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold:  if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us.  It means thinking there’s always going to be a babysitter available when we need one.  We all are inclined to abdicate our responsibilities and delegate our authority to something outside ourselves.  Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves. – Pema Chodron

7. Look ahead to the rest of your life and ask yourself what you want it to add up to.  – Pema Chodron

8. Learning not to panic – this is the spiritual path.  – Pema Chodron

9. If you are invested in security and certainty, you are on the wrong planet.  – Pema Chodron

10. 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-mans-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.  – Pema Chodron

11. Being open and receptive to whatever is happening is always more important than getting worked up and adding further aggression to the planet, adding further pollution to the atmosphere.  – Pema Chodron

12. 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

13. Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. 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 Chodron

14. 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. – Pema Chodron

15. The painful thing is that when we buy into disapproval, we are practicing disapproval.  When we buy into harshness, we are practicing harshness.  The more we do it, the stronger these qualities become.  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. – Pema Chodron

16. Nothing will ever change through aggression. – Pema Chodron

17. 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. –  Pema Chodron

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18. When we are training in the art of peace, we are not given any promises that, because of our noble intentions, everything will be okay.  In fact, there are no promises of fruition at all.  Instead, we are encouraged to simply look deeply at joy and sorrow, at laughing and crying, at hoping and fearing, at all that lives and dies.  We learn that what truly heals is gratitude and tenderness. – Pema Chodron

19. Everything that occurs is not only usable and workable but is actually the path itself.  – Pema Chodron

20. The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.  Yet it’s never too late or too early to practice loving-kindness.  It’s as if we had a terminal disease but might live for quite a while.  Not knowing how much time we have left, we might begin to think it was important to make friends with ourselves and others in the remaining hours, months, or years. – Pema Chodron

21. It’s a nice feeling to just be.  – Pema Chodron

22. 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. – Pema Chodron

23. Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different from the way they are.  – Pema Chodron

24. Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions. – Pema Chodron

25. All anxiety, all dissatisfaction, all the reasons for hoping that our experience could be different are rooted in our fear of death. – Pema Chodron

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

27. The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.  – Pema Chodron

28. Resistance to unwanted circumstances has the power to keep those circumstances alive and well for a very long time.  – Pema Chodron

29. Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.  – Pema Chodron

30. Just where you are – that’s the place to start.  – Pema Chodron

31. Now is the only time.  How we relate to it creates the future.  In other words, if we’re going to be more cheerful in the future, it’s because of our aspiration and exertion to be cheerful in the present.  – Pema Chodron

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

33. This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted, and shaky – that’s called liberation.  – Pema Chodron

34. 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.  – Pema Chodron

35. Rather than being disheartened by the uncertainty of life, what if we accepted it and relaxed into it? What if we said, yes, this is the way it is; this is what it means to be human, and decided to sit down and enjoy the ride.  – Pema Chodron

36. The root of resisting the certainty that no matter what the circumstance, uncertainty is all we truly have.  – Pema Chodron

37. We can’t simply relax with ourselves.  We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment.  We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but there’s something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world. – Pema Chodron

38. Not causing harm requires staying awake.  Part of being awake is slowing down enough to notice what we say or do.  The more we witness our emotional chain reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain. It becomes a way of life to stay awake, slow down, and notice. – Pema Chodron

39. One piece of advice that Don Juan gave to Carlos Castaneda was to do everything as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered, while all the time knowing that it doesn’t matter at all. – Pema Chodron

40. …we cannot be in the present moment and run our storylines at the same time! – Pema Chodron

41. We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong.  The amount of effort is the same.  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. – Pema Chodron

42. 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.  – Pema Chodron

43. …perhaps nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion.  Perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched.  Maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. But what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. – Pema Chodron

44. Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.  – Pema Chodron

45. Sometimes when things fall apart, well, that’s the big opportunity to change.  – Pema Chodron

46. It helps to remember that our practice is not about accomplishing anything—not about winning or losing—but about ceasing to struggle and relaxing as it is.  That is what we are doing when we sit down to meditate.  That attitude spreads into the rest of our lives. Pema Chodron

47. When we think that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don’t know what’s really going to happen.  When we think something is going to give us misery, we don’t know.  Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. – Pema Chodron

48. You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.  – Pema Chodron

Which one of the Pema Chodron Quotes do you love reading the most? Share with me your favorite quote in the comments below.

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Nakul Grover

Nakul Grover, author of Superhuman In You and the one who runs this blog. He has been writing on self-improvement since 2014. Featured on various websites, his works have helped thousands of people to live an extraordinary life. He loves spending his leisure hours in reading books and learning new skills.