Transforming the Heart of Suffering

PemabyLizaMatthewscolor

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

heart-sand

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

Pema Chodron young Diedre Blomfield Brown

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

2013-09-pema5

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

Sunflower-Field-Crop-Sunlight__39201-1024x682

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

dove peace

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

Shantideva-1

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 [...]

Let’s Be Honest

pema chodron dzigar kongtrul

A discussion led by Elizabeth Namgyel  Pema Chödrön and Dzigar Kongtrül—a student and her teacher—talk straight about honesty, self-deception, and why the difference is the key to the dharma. By any measure Pema Chödrön is one of the most successful Western Buddhist teachers. And yet, after all her years of practice, teaching, and writing bestsellers, she has found the need [...]

No Time to Lose

Shantideva(1)

Pema Chödrön offers her unique perspective on The Way of the Bodhisattva, Shantideva’s classic description of the Mahayana path. Here she addresses one of the most important of all spiritual questions—how to free ourselves from the powerful spell of the emotional afflictions. Rousing the bodhi heart means connecting with our longing for enlightenment, with the clear desire to [...]

The Answer to Anger & Aggression is Patience

PemaChodron220

We can suppress anger and aggression or act it out, either way making things worse for ourselves and others. Or we can practice patience: wait, experience the anger and investigate its nature. Pema Chödrön takes us step by step through this powerful practice. The Buddhist teachings tell us that patience is the antidote to anger and aggression. When we feel aggression in all [...]