A Bodhicitta Practice

Bodhicitta Practice Instruction Pema Chodron Suffering Lion's Roar Buddhism

Pema Chödrön offers a method for generating love and compassion for all human beings. The best way to begin this practice is by thinking of a person whose suffering you feel strongly and whose happiness is very important to you. This could be someone you know or have known, or someone you've seen on the street or read about in the newspaper. The thought of certain people [...]

What to Do When the Going Gets Rough

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Pema Chödrön on four ways to hold our minds steady and hearts open when facing difficult people or circumstances. The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful. If we take this instruction to heart and begin to use it, we will probably find that it is [...]

Tonglen: Bad In, Good Out

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In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves. In particular, to care about other people who are fearful, angry, jealous, overpowered by addictions of all kinds, arrogant, proud, miserly, selfish—you name it—means to not run from the pain of finding these things in ourselves. In fact, one's whole attitude toward pain can change. Instead of [...]

Transforming the Heart of Suffering

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In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves. In particular, to care about other people who are fearful, angry, jealous, overpowered by addictions of all kinds, arrogant, proud, miserly, selfish, mean—you name it—to have compassion and to care for these people, means not to run from the pain of finding these things in ourselves. In fact, [...]

The Natural Warmth of the Heart

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In the difficulties of your life, says Pema Chödrön, you will discover your natural love and warmth. Before we can know what natural warmth really is, often we must experience loss. We go along for years moving through our days, propelled by habit, taking life pretty much for granted. Then we or someone dear to us has an accident or gets seriously ill, and it’s as if blinders [...]

Becoming Pema

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Andrea Miller on the life and spiritual journey of one Deirdre Blomfield-Brown. Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in New York City in 1936. She has said that she had a pleasant childhood with her Catholic family, but that her spiritual life didn’t begin until she attended boarding school, where her intellectual curiosity was cultivated. At age twenty-one, Pema [...]

Meditation for Difficult Times

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Pema Chödrön on four ways that meditation helps us deal with difficulty. Meditation takes us just as we are, with our confusion and our sanity. This complete acceptance of ourselves as we are is a simple, direct relationship with our being. We call this maitri, loving-kindness toward ourselves and others. There are four qualities of maitri that are cultivated when we [...]

Waking Up to Your World

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Throughout our day we can pause, take a break from our usual thoughts, and wake up to the magic and vastness of the world around us. Pema Chödrön says this easy and spacious type of mindfulness practice is the most important thing we can do with our lives. One of my favorite subjects of contemplation is this question: “Since death is certain, but the time of death is [...]

Choosing Peace

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There is a key moment, says Pema Chödrön, when we make the choice between peace and conflict. In this teaching from her program Practicing Peace in Times of War, she describes the practice we can do at that very moment to bring peace for ourselves, for others, and for the world. If we want to make peace, with ourselves and with the world at large, we have to look closely at [...]

Turn Your Thinking Upside Down

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We base our lives on seeking happiness and avoiding suffering, but the best thing we can do for ourselves—and for the planet—is to turn this whole way of thinking upside down. Pema Chödrön shows us Buddhism’s radical side. On a very basic level all beings think that they should be happy. When life becomes difficult or painful, we feel that something has gone wrong. This [...]