A beginner’s guide to the teachings of Pema Chödrön

A guide to teachings by Pema Chödrön.

Lion’s Roar
14 March 2016

She’s a powerful teacher—and a prolific one. There’s a Pema teaching for every stage of your life. Here are some of the best.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Shambhala Publications

Difficult moments abound in life but we can meet them with confidence and grace. The key, Pema Chödrön says, is having the courage to rest in the open space of uncertainty, instead of trying to put things back together when they fall apart. This classic feels in some ways like the pep talk we all need sometimes, but there’s plenty of practicality, too, thanks to concise meditation instructions and teachings on compassion, nonaggression, and non-attachment.

Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better

Sounds True

Pema Chödrön’s newest book presents her 2014 commencement address at Naropa University, in which she shared tips in the “fine art of failing.” Also included is a Q&A in which Pema addresses failure and success, motherhood, why she became a nun, and more.

The Wisdom of No Escape

Shambhala Publications

Drawn from talks at a one-month retreat in 1989, this bestselling book presents Pema at her upbeat best, teaching on loving-kindness, satisfaction, and the joys of committing to the Buddhist path. “Whatever life you’re in,” she says, “is a vehicle for waking up.”

No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva

Shambhala Publications

The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shanti-deva is a classic Mahayana Buddhist text for all those who aspire to be more fearless and compassionate. Pema reveals how its lessons apply to working with anger, developing patience and joy, and coming to terms with heartbreak and death, all in plain language and with good humor.

Karma: Finding Freedom in This Moment

Sounds True

Famed as a teacher, Pema nonetheless remains a student. Here, in this audio, she joins her teacher Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche for a discussion that explores karma and all the ways we might relate to it—and how karma impacts our present and future.

Be Grateful to Everyone: An In-Depth Guide to the Practice of Lojong

Shambhala Audio

Pema has said that when she first encountered the lojong (“mind training”) teachings, she was struck by their presentation of life’s unwanted aspects as “raw material necessary for awakening genuine uncontrived compassion.” In this seven-hour course, she unpacks the fifty-nine lojong slogans, leading meditations and exercises to deepen our interaction with them.

Lion's Roar

Lion’s Roar

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