Pema Chodron

Kinship with the suffering of others

This tenderness for life, bodhichitta, awakens when we no longer shield ourselves from the vulnerability of our condition, from the basic fragility of existence. It awakens through kinship with the suffering of others. We train in the bodhichitta practices in order to become so open that we can take the pain of the world in, let it touch our hearts, and turn it into compassion.

~ from THE HEALING POWER OF BODHICHITTA by Pema Chodron

Resting in the uncertainty of the present moment

For those of us with a hunger to know the truth, painful emotions are like flags going up to say, "You're stuck!"... such uncomfortable feelings are messages that tell us to perk up and lean into a situation when we'd rather cave in and back away. When the flag goes up, we have an opportunity: we can stay with our painful emotion instead of spinning out. Staying is how we get the hang of gently catching ourselves when we're about to let resentment harden into blame, righteousness, or alienation. It's also how we keep from smoothing things over by talking ourselves into a sense of relief or inspiration...With practice, however, we learn to stay with a broken heart, with a nameless fear, with the desire for revenge. 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.

~ Pema Chödrön in COMFORTABLE WITH UNCERTAINTY

Kindness to ourselves

We are all in this together. So when you realize that you're talking to yourself, label it "thinking" and notice your tone of voice. Let it be compassionate and gentle and humorous. Then you'll be changing old stuck patterns that are shared by the whole human race. Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.
~ Pema Chodron

Beginning to cherish the preciousness of our whole life just as it is

In our most ordinary days we have moments of happiness, moments of comfort and enjoyment, moments of seeing something that pleased us, something that touched us, moments of contacting the tenderness of our hearts... It's essential during the day ... to begin to cherish those moments as precious. Gradually we can begin to cherish the preciousness of our whole life just as it is, with its ups and downs, its failures and successes, its roughness and smoothness.

~ Pema Chodron

The whole movement was based on love

I was recently rereading the writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., and I understood once again that the whole movement was based on love--love that doesn't exclude anybody. . . when you take that view and you begin to live by it, something begins to shift very dramatically and you begin to see things in a different way. You begin to have the clarity to see injustice happening, but you can also see that injustice, by its very definition, is harming everybody involved. It's harming the people who are being oppressed or abused, and it's harming those who are oppressing and abusing.

~ by Pema Chodron

The sun has only one day

The Navajo teach their children that every morning when the sun comes up, it's a brand new sun. It's born each morning, it lives for the duration of one day, and in the evening it passes on, never to return again. As soon as the children are old enough to understand, the adults take them out at dawn and they say, "The sun has only one day. You must live this day in a good way, so that the sun won't have wasted precious time." Acknowledging the preciousness of each day is a good way to live, a good way to reconnect with our basic joy.
~ from AWAKENING LOVING-KINDNESS by Pema Chodron
Awakening Loving-Kindness
By Pema Chodron

We have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid, to find the soft spot

To the degree that each of us is dedicated to wanting there to be peace in the world, then we have to take responsibility when our own hearts and minds harden and close. We have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid, to find the soft spot and play with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That's the true practice of peace.

~ from PRACTICING PEACE IN TIMES OF WAR by Pema Chodron

Compassionate relationships

In order to have compassionate relationships, compassionate communication and compassionate social action, there has to be a fundamental change of attitude... The basis of any real kind of compassionate action is the insight that the others who seem to be out there are some kind of mirror image of ourselves. By hurting others, you hurt yourself. By making friends with yourself, you make friends with others.

~ from START WHERE YOU ARE by Pema Chodron thanks to Lisa Merrill

A joyful mind

A joyful mind is very ordinary and relaxed... When your aspiration is to lighten up, you begin to have a sense of humor. Things just keep popping your serious state of mind. In addition to a sense of humor, a basic support for a joyful mind is curiosity, paying attention, taking an interest in the world around you... Noticing everything. Appreciate everything, including the ordinary. That's how to click in with JOYfulness.

~ from START WHERE YOU ARE by Pema Chodron
Syndicate content