It’s a strange thing to do – sit there and do basically nothing. Yet somehow this simple act of stopping, says the renowned American Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön, is the best way to cultivate our good qualities. (PDF download, 7 pages)
Pema Chodron Primer
Here’s a wonderful introduction to Pema and her work,
compliments of our friends at Shambhala Publications.
(PDF download, 33 pages).
Meditation for Difficult Times
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.
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.
There is a key moment, says Pema Chödrön, when we make the choice between peace and conflict. In this new 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pema Chödrön offers a method for generating love and compassion for all human beings.
Pema Chödrön on how to awaken bodhichitta—enlightened heart and mind—the essence of all Buddhist practice.
Pema Chödrön’s commentary on Atisha’s famed mind-training slogans that use our difficulties and problems to awaken our hearts.
Shenpa is the urge, the hook, that triggers our habitual tendency to close down. We get hooked in that moment of tightening when we reach for relief. To get unhooked we begin by recognizing that moment of unease and learn to relax in that moment.
Pema Chödrön on four ways to hold our minds steady and hearts open when facing difficult people or circumstances.
The mind of enlightenment, called bodhichitta, is always available, in pain as well as in joy. Pema Chödrön lays out how to cultivate this soft spot of bravery and kindness.
Meditation practice awakens our trust that the wisdom and compassion that we need are already within us. It helps us to know ourselves: our rough parts and our smooth parts, our passion, aggression, ignorance and wisdom.
It is only when we begin to relax with ourselves as we are, says Pema Chodron, that meditation becomes a transformative process. The pith instruction is, Stay. . . stay. . . just stay.
To be without a reference point, says Pema Chodron, is the ultimate loneliness. It is also called enlightenment.
Margaret Wheatley and Pema Chödrön discuss how organizations can acknowledge their confusion and trust in the goodness of the underlying order.
“As long as our orientation is toward perfection or success,” says Pema Chodron, “we will never learn about unconditional friendship with ourselves, nor will we find compassion.”
Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön and novelist Alice Walker on how tonglen meditation practice opens our heart, expands our vision, and plants the seeds of love in our lives. From an evening of discussion at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts Theater.
Rather than feeling discouraged by laziness, we could get to know laziness profoundly. Pema Chodron on how this very moment of laziness becomes our personal teacher.
According to Pema Chödrön, we might think that knowing ourselves is a very ego-centered thing, but by beginning to look clearly and honestly at ourselves, we begin to dissolve the walls that separate us from others.
“To begin with, just give up any expectations of yourself. That’s a simple good instruction for how to do Buddhist meditation.”
According to Pema Chödrön, love and compassion are like the weak spots in the walls of ego. If we connect with even one moment of the good heart of bodhicitta and cherish it, our ability to open will gradually expand.
Times of chaos and challenge can be the most spiritually powerful . . . if we are brave enough to rest in their space of uncertainty. Pema Chödrön describes three ways to use our problems as the path to awakening and joy.
In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves.