Best Pema Chodron When Things Fall Apart Quotes 2022

Best Pema Chodron When Things Fall Apart Quotes
  • MatthewDusQues

The Tibetan Buddhist nun Pema Chodron was asked in an interview what advice she would give to someone who is suffering. She stated, “The thing that’s most important is to remember you’re not alone. And it’s only a passing condition.”

In her book When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chodron provides wisdom and practical guidance on how to maintain sanity during challenging times. Her teachings are grounded in the belief that every individual has the ability to find peace within themselves no matter what happens in their lives.

Best Pema Chodron When Things Fall Apart Quotes can be helpful for people going through difficult times by reading quotes from this book and sharing them with others online or offline.

Who is Pema Chödrön?

Pema Chodron, an American Tibetan Buddhist fully ordained in the Chinese lineage, is the author of “When Things Fall Apart” and was previously a teacher. She received her master’s degree in elementary education at Berkely.

What does a monk look like? How is it different from a nun? I was honestly astonished to find out that a monk is a person who chooses to live in solitude and pray and contemplate instead of the mainstream. . . The term ‘nun,’ which is used to describe female monastics, is most commonly used.

Monks and nuns are a source of inspiration for me. They represent one of my favorite paths to understanding the world. We have learned this from positive psychology, which is one of five essential elements of well-being. These spiritual leaders also spend a lot of time in meditation and stillness. This makes their brains happier, more connected, and more introspective.

Pema Chodron Foundation website states that she is “interested” in helping establish the monastic tradition of the West and continuing her work with Buddhists from all rules, sharing ideas, teachings, and writing books. Chodron currently teaches in Canada. She is now 84 years old at the time of writing.

Pema Chödrön

Top Best Pema Chodron When Things Fall Apart Quotes

We might think, as we become more open, that it’s going to take bigger catastrophes for us to reach our limit. The interesting thing is that, as we open more and more, it’s the big ones that immediately wake us up and the little things that catch us off guard.

However, no matter what the size, color, or shape is, the point is still to lean toward the discomfort of life and see it clearly rather than to protect ourselves from it. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

When we protect ourselves so we won’t feel pain, that protection becomes like armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of the heart.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

No one ever tells us to stop running away from fear…the advice we usually get is to sweeten it up, smooth it over, take a pill, or distract ourselves, but by all means make it go away.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Not causing harm requires staying awake. Part of being awake is slowing down enough to notice what we say and do. 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.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Whenever we’re feeling good, our thoughts are usually about things we like – praise, gain, pleasure, and fame. When we’re feeling uncomfortable and irritable and fed up, our thoughts and emotions are probably revolving around something like pain, loss, disgrace, or blame.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Without giving up hope—that there’s somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be—we will never relax with where we are or who we are.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Fear is a universal experience. Even the smallest insect feels it. We wade in the tidal pools and put our finger near the soft, open bodies of sea anemones and they close up. Everything spontaneously does that. It’s not a terrible thing that we feel fear when faced with the unknown.

It is part of being alive, something we all share. We react against the possibility of loneliness, of death, of not having anything to hold on to. Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart.

Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Could we just settle down and have some compassion and respect for ourselves? Could we stop trying to escape from being alone with ourselves? What about practicing not jumping and grabbing when we begin to panic? Relaxing with loneliness is a worthy occupation.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

What may appear to be an arrow or a sword we can actually experience as a flower. Whether we experience what happens to us as an obstacle and enemy or as teachers and friends depends entirely on our perception of reality. It depends on our relationship with ourselves. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Not causing harm obviously includes not killing or robbing or lying to people. It also includes not being aggressive – not being aggressive with our actions, our speech, or our minds. Learning not to cause harm to ourselves or others is basic Buddhist teaching on the healing power of nonaggression.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

The first noble truth of the Buddha is that when we feel suffering, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. What a relief. Finally, somebody told the truth. Suffering is part of life, and we don’t have to feel it’s happening because we personally made the wrong move.

In reality, however, when we feel suffering, we think that something is wrong. As long as we’re addicted to hope, we feel that we can tone our experience down or liven it up or change it somehow, and we continue to suffer a lot.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

For those who want something to hold on to, life is even more inconvenient.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

So the next time you encounter fear, consider yourself lucky. This is where the courage comes in. Usually, we think that brave people have no fear. The truth is that they are intimate with fear.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

What happens with you when you begin to feel uneasy, unsettled, queasy? Notice the panic, notice when you instantly grab for something.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Basically, disappointment, embarrassment, and all these places where we just cannot feel good are a sort of death. We’ve just lost our ground completely; we are unable to hold it together and feel that we’re on top of things. Rather than realizing that it takes death for there to be birth, we just fight against the fear of death.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Nontheism is finally realizing that there’s no babysitter that you can count on. You just get a good one and then he or she is gone. Nontheism is realizing that it’s not just babysitters that come and go. The whole of life is like that. This is the truth, and the truth is inconvenient.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Whoever got the idea that we could have pleasure without pain? It’s promoted rather widely in this world, and we buy it. But pain and pleasure go together; they are inseparable. They can be celebrated. They are ordinary.

Birth is painful and delightful. Death is painful and delightful. Everything that ends is also the beginning of something else. Pain is not a punishment; Pleasure is not a reward.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Trying to run away is never the answer to being a fully human. Running away from the immediacy of our experience is like preferring death to life.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Hope and fear is a feeling with two sides. As long as there’s one, there’s always the other. This re-dok is the root of our pain. Abandoning hope is an affirmation, the beginning of the beginning. You could even put Abandon hope on your refrigerator door instead of more conventional aspirations like Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Honesty without kindness, humor and goodheartedness can be just mean.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

We can spend our whole lives escaping from the monsters of our minds.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

The very first noble truth of the Buddha points out that suffering is inevitable for human beings as long as we believe that things last—that they don’t disintegrate, that they can be counted on to satisfy our hunger for security.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Relaxing with the present moment, relaxing with hopelessness, relaxing with death, not resisting the fact that things end, that things pass, that things have no lasting substance, that everything is changing all the time—that is the basic message.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

The essence of life is that it’s challenging. Sometimes it is sweet, and sometimes it is bitter. Sometimes your body tenses, and sometimes it relaxes or opens. Sometimes you have a headache, and sometimes you feel 100 percent healthy.

From an awakened perspective, trying to tie up all the loose ends and finally get it together is death, because it involves rejecting a lot of your basic experience. There is something aggressive about that approach to life, trying to flatten out all the rough spots and imperfections into a nice smooth ride.

There’s no way to benefit anybody unless we start with ourselves.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

There’s no certainty about anything. This basic truth hurts, and we want to run away from it.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Pema Chödrön Quotes

Thinking that we can find some lasting pleasure and avoid pain is what in Buddhism is called samsara, a hopeless cycle that goes round and round endlessly and causes us to suffer greatly. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

All addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain. In fact, the rampant materialism that we see in the world stems from this moment.

There are so many ways that have been dreamt up to entertain us away from the moment, soften its hard edge, deaden it so we don’t have to feel the full impact of the pain that arises when we cannot manipulate the situation to make us come out looking fine. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds we sit with that restlessness when yesterday we couldn’t sit for even one, that’s the journey of the warrior.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

We think that by protecting ourselves from suffering we are being kind to ourselves. The truth is, we only become more fearful, more hardened, and more alienated. We experience ourselves as being separate from the whole. This separateness becomes like a prison for us, a prison that restricts us to our personal hopes and fears and to caring only for the people nearest to us.

Curiously enough, if we primarily try to shield ourselves from discomfort, we suffer. Yet when we don’t close off and we let our hearts break, we discover our kinship with all beings.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

To stay with that shakiness—to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feelings of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.

Getting the knack of catching ourselves, of gently and compassionately catching ourselves is the path of the warrior. We catch ourselves one zillion times as once again, whether we like it or not, we harden into resentment, into a sense of relief, a sense of inspiration.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but that there’s something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

First, we like pleasure; we are attached to it. Conversely, we don’t like pain. Second, we like and are attached to praise. We try to avoid criticism and blame. Third, we like and are attached to fame. We dislike and try to avoid disgrace. Finally, we are attached to gain, to getting what we want. We don’t like losing what we have.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

In any case, the point is not to try to get rid of thoughts, but rather to see their true nature. Thoughts will run us around in circles if we buy into them, but really they are like dream images. They are like an illusion-not really all that solid. They are, as we say, just thinking.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

This kinship with the suffering of others, this inability to continue to regard it from afar, is the discovery of our soft spot, the discovery of bodhicitta. Bodhichitta is a Sanskrit word that means ‘noble or awakened heart.’ It is said to be present in all beings. Just as butter is inherent in milk and oil is inherent in a sesame seed, this soft spot is inherent in you and me.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

…we cannot be in the present moment and run our storylines at the same time!- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Blaming is a way to protect our hearts, to try to protect what is soft and open and tender in ourselves. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

We are like children building a sandcastle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off-limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sandcastle away.

The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

I used to have a sign pinned up on my wall that read: Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us…It was all about letting go of everything.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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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.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Scrambling for security has never brought anything but momentary joy. It’s like changing the position of our legs in meditation. Our legs hurt from sitting cross-legged, so we move them. And then we feel, ‘Phew! What a relief!’ But two and a half minutes later, we want to move them again. We keep moving around seeking pleasure, seeking comfort, and the satisfaction that we get is very short-lived.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

It is said that we can’t attain enlightenment, let alone feel contentment and joy, without seeing who we are and what we do, without seeing our patterns and our habits. This is called Maitri – developing loving-kindness and an unconditional friendship with ourselves.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Death in everyday life could also be defined as experiencing all the things that we don’t want. Our marriage isn’t working; our job isn’t coming together. Having a relationship with death in everyday life means that we begin to be able to wait, to relax with insecurity, with panic, with embarrassment, with things not working out.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Generally speaking, we regard discomfort in any form as bad news. But for practitioners or spiritual warriors—people who have a certain hunger to know what is true—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.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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. When we discover the Buddha that we are, we discover that everything and everyone is Buddha. We discover that everything is awake and everyone is awake. Everything is equally precious and whole and good. When we regard thoughts and emotions with humor and openness, that’s how we perceive the universe.

We’re not just talking about our individual liberation, but how to help the community we live in, how to help our families, our country, and the whole continent, not to mention the world and the galaxy and as far as we want to go.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Read also: Best Things Aren’t Always What They Seem Quotes 2022

Pema Chödrön Quotes 2

Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape all addictions stemming from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle. The day arrived.

The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?” Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.” Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?” Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face.

Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.” In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Just as we are on the verge of really understanding something, allowing our heart to truly open, just as we have the opportunity to see clearly, we put on a Groucho Marx mask with fluffy eyebrows and a big nose. Then we refuse to laugh or let go because we might discover who knows what?″- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Our whole world falls apart, and we’ve been given this great opportunity. However, we don’t trust our basic wisdom mind enough to let it stay like that. Our habitual reaction is to want to get ourselves back—even our anger, resentment, fear, or bewilderment. So we re-create our solid, immovable personality as if we were Michelangelo chiseling ourselves out of marble. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

If we find ourselves unworkable and give up on ourselves, then we’ll find others unworkable and give up on them. What we hate in ourselves, we’ll hate in others. To the degree that we have compassion for ourselves, we will also have compassion for others.

Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at. Compassion isn’t some kind of self-improvement project or ideal that we’re trying to live up to.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

…nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion. perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched. maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. but what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.

If we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. It just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

”The only reason that 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.”- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Everything that occurs is not only usable and workable but is actually the path itself. We can use everything that happens to us as the means for waking up. We can use everything that occurs—whether it’s our conflicting emotions and thoughts or our seemingly outer situation—to show us where are asleep and how we can wake up completely, utterly, without reservations. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves. Yet it’s never too late or too early to practice loving-kindness. It’s as if we had a terminal disease but might live for quite a while. Not knowing how much time we have left, we might begin to think it was important to make friends with ourselves and others in the remaining hours, months, or years. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Hopelessness is the basic ground. Otherwise, we’re going to make the [spiritual] journey with the hope of getting security. If we make the journey to get security, we’re completely missing the point. We can do our meditation practice with the hope of getting security; we can study the teachings with the hope of getting security; we can follow all the guidelines and instructions with the hope of getting security, but it will only lead to disappointment and pain.

We could save ourselves a lot of time by taking this message very seriously right now. Begin the journey without the hope of getting ground under your feet. Begin with hopelessness.- When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

All anxiety, all dissatisfaction, all the reasons for hoping that our experience could be different are rooted in our fear of death. Fear of death is always in the background. As the Zen master, Shunryu Suzuki Roishi said, life is like getting into a boat that’s just about to sail out to sea and sink.

But it’s very hard—no matter how much we hear about it—to believe in our own death. Many spiritual practices try to encourage us to take our own death seriously, but it’s amazing how difficult it is to allow it to hit home. The one thing in life that we can really count on is incredibly remote for all of us.

We don’t go so far as to say, ‘No way, I’m not going to die,’ because of course, we know that we are. But it definitely will be later. That’s the biggest hope. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

We think that if we just meditated enough or jogged enough or ate perfect food, everything would be perfect. But from the point of view of someone who is awake, that’s death. Seeking security or perfection, rejoicing in feeling confirmed and whole, self-contained and comfortable, is some kind of death. It doesn’t have any fresh air. There’s no room for something to come in and interrupt all that.

We are killing the moment by controlling our experience. Doing this, sooner or later, we’re going to have an experience we can’t control: our house is going to burn down, someone we love is going to die, we’re going to find out we have cancer, a brick is going to fall out of the sky and hit us on the head, somebody’s going to spill tomato juice all over our white suit, or we’ve going to arrive at our favorite restaurant and discover that no one ordered produce and seven hundred people are coming for lunch. – When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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