Pema Chödrön

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Pema Chödrön in 2007

Pema Chödrön (born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown, July 14, 1936) is an American Tibetan Buddhist. She is an ordained nun, formerAcharya of Shambhala Buddhism and disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Chödrön has written books and audiobooks, and is principal teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia. Chödrön teaches the traditional "Yarne" retreat at Gampo Abbey each winter and the Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life in Berkeley each summer.


How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind (2008)[edit]

How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind

  • The natural quality of mind is clear, awake, alert, and knowing. Free from fixation. By training in being present, we come to know the nature of our mind. So the more you train in being present - being right here - the more you begin to feel like your mind is sharpening up. The mind that can come back to the present is clearer and more refreshed, and it can better weather all the ambiguities, pains, and paradoxes of life.
  • The principle of nowness is very important to any effort to establish an enlightened society.
  • Meditation is just gently coming back again and again to what's right here.
  • But the Buddhist teachings are not only about removing the symptoms of suffering, they’re about actually removing the cause, or the root, of suffering.
  • When we multitask and split up our mind into a million directions, we are actually creating our own suffering, because these habits strengthen strong emotional reactivity and discursive thought.
  • We can't control what's going to happen but we can grow in awareness of what is happening.
  • But there is that feeling. And there’s always another challenge, and that keeps us humble. Life knocks you off your pedestal.
  • The experience of a sad and tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness.
  • Meditation helps you to meet your edge; it’s where you actually come up against it and you start to lose it.
  • This is a standard meditation instruction that you can embody in the entirety of your life: do not act out and do not repress. See what happens if you don’t do either of those things.

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