Close to 40 Pema Chödrön Quotes on Love and her other Sayings from her books
#1-3 Everybody loves Something, 1 March 1998
1. The point is to touch in to the good heart that we already have and nurture it.
2. Our capacity to love is an unstoppable essence that when nurtured can expand without limit.
3. Love and compassion are like the weak spots in the walls of ego. They are like a naturally occurring opening. And they are the opening we take. If we connect with even one moment of good heart or compassion and cherish it, our ability to open will gradually expand.
#4 Practicing Peace in Times of War
4. When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.
#5 When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
5. When we protect ourselves so we won’t feel pain, that protection becomes like armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of of the heart.
#6 The Pocket Pema Chödrön
6. Without loving-kindness for ourselves it is difficult, if not impossible, to genuinely feel it for others.
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Pema Chödrön (born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown) is a notable American figure in Tibetan Buddhism. A disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, she is an ordained nun, author, and teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage which Trungpa founded.
Sayings by Pema Chödrön
#1-5 When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
1. 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.
2. …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.
3. Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.
4. The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.
5. 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.
#6-7 When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
6. 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.
7. 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. At the root of all the harm we cause is ignorance.
#8-10 Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. When we can recognize our own confusion with compassion, we can extend that compassion to others who are equally confused.
#11 The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
11. Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?
#12-14 Start where You are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
12. 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 and to relate to that wound.
13. True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings.
14. Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.
#15-19 When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
15. If we are willing through meditation to be mindful not only of what feels comfortable, but also of what pain feels like, if we even aspire to stay awake and open to what we’re feeling, to recognize and acknowledge it as best we can in each moment, then something begins to change.
16. But what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.
17. When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something. We might realize that this is a very vulnerable and tender place, and that tenderness can go either way. We can shut down and feel resentful or we can touch in on that throbbing quality.
18. Learning how to be kind to ourselves, learning how to respect ourselves, is important. The reason it’s important is that, fundamentally, when we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering. We’re discovering the universe.
19. Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. We try to do what we think is going to help. But we don’t know. We never know if we’re going to fall flat or sit up tall. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure.
#20 The Pocket Pema Chödrön
20. We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves.
#21-22 Practicing Peace in Times of War: A Buddhist Perspective
21. If we want 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 stay with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That’s true spiritual warriorship. That’s the true practice of peace.
22. So war and peace start in the human heart. Whether that heart is open or whether that heart closes has global implications.
#23-26 Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
23. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.
24. 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. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.
25. One can appreciate and celebrate each moment—there’s nothing more sacred. There’s nothing more vast or absolute. In fact, there’s nothing more!
26. …all situations teach you, and often it’s the tough ones that teach you best.
#27 How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind
27. This is your chance. This little, short human life that you have is your opportunity. Don’t blow it. Think about how you want to use this time.
#28 Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
28. Every moment is unique, unknown, completely fresh.
#29-32 Practicing Peace in Times of War: A Buddhist Perspective
29. War and peace start in the hearts of individuals.
30. We can talk about ending war and we can march for ending war, we can do everything in our power, but war is never going to end as long as our hearts are hardened against each other.
31. If you could have a bird’s-eye perspective on the Earth and could look down at all the conflicts that are happening, all you’d see are two sides of a story where both sides think they’re right.
32. So war and peace starts in the human heart. Whether that heart is open or whether that heart closes has global implications.
#33 Bill Moyers and Pema Chödrön, 4 August 2006 [S]
33. …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.
#34 Wisdom of No Escape
34. Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.
#35 The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness
35. Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world. We can do this even at the most difficult moments. Everything we see, hear, taste and smell has the power to strengthen and uplift us.
Unsourced Pema Chödrön Quotes
1. Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.
2. If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.
3. 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.
4. You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.