70 Pema Chödrön Quotes (On Love, Happiness, Change)

By Maxime Lagacé

Maxime is the founder of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.

Love QuotesHappiness QuotesSuffering Quotes – Change QuotesTakeaways – Further Readings

pema chodron quotes wisdom

You have here 70 of the best Pema Chödrön quotes.

What will you learn?

  • How to be happier
  • How to suffer less
  • How to embrace change
  • How to have more self-love
  • How to meditate (and its benefits)

Pema Chödrön (1936) is a renowned American Tibetan Buddhist nun and meditation teacher.

What I love the most about her quotes and teachings is her simplicity.

Anybody can understand them.

Despite talking about deep topics like mindfulness, meditation, compassion, etc.

She’s one of the rare few who taught me, in simple terms, the benefits of meditation.

So, let’s jump right in!

Let’s discover how powerful and applicable these quotes are in your own life.


Pema Chödrön Quotes On Love And Self-Love

pema chodron quotes kinder yourself flood world wisdom

Be kinder to yourself and then let your kindness flood the world. Pema Chödrön

The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves. Pema Chödrön

If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher. Pema Chödrön

We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves. Pema Chödrön

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift. Pema Chödrön

Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity. Pema Chödrön

pema chodron quotes dont let people storm peace wisdom

Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace. Pema Chödrön

The ego seeks to divide and separate. Spirit seeks to unify and heal. Pema Chödrön

When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless. Pema Chödrön

True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings. Pema Chödrön

As long as our orientation is toward perfection or success, we will never learn about unconditional friendship with ourselves, nor will we find compassion. Pema Chödrön

There’s no way to benefit anybody unless we start with ourselves. Pema Chödrön


Pema Chödrön Quotes On Happiness

pema chodron quotes nice feeling just be wisdom

It’s a nice feeling to just be. Pema Chödrön

Lower your standards and relax as it is. Pema Chödrön

We are one blink away from being fully awake. Pema Chödrön

The happiness we seek is already here and it will be found through letting go rather than through struggle. Pema Chödrön

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. Pema Chödrön

Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions. Pema Chödrön

If we’re willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be exterminated, then we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation. Pema Chödrön

Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found. Pema Chödrön

Related authors

pema chodron quotes moment perfect teacher wisdom

This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we go. Pema Chödrön

Appreciate everything, even the ordinary. Especially the ordinary. Pema Chödrön

The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment. Pema Chödrön

Don’t let life harden your heart. Pema Chödrön

Be curious. Welcome groundlessness. Lighten up and relax. Offer chaos a cup of tea. Pema Chödrön

You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather. Pema Chödrön

The present moment is our doorway to liberation. Pema Chödrön


Pema Chödrön Quotes On Suffering

pema chodron quotes pain punishment pleasure reward wisdom

Pain is not a punishment; pleasure is not a reward. Pema Chödrön

Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth. Pema Chödrön

There’s no certainty about anything. This basic truth hurts, and we want to run away from it. Pema Chödrön

Don’t worry about achieving. Don’t worry about perfection. Just be there each moment as best you can. Pema Chödrön

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. Pema Chödrön

Underneath our ordinary lives, underneath all the talking we do, all the moving we do, all the thoughts in our minds, there’s a fundamental groundlessness. It’s there bubbling along all the time. We experience it as restlessness and edginess. We experience it as fear. It motivates passion, aggression, ignorance, jealousy, and pride, but we never get down to the essence of it. Pema Chödrön

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. Pema Chödrön

One of the deepest habitual patterns that we have is to feel that now is not good enough. Pema Chödrön


pema chodron quotes happens suffer ourselves wisdom

It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens. Pema Chödrön

Patience means allowing things to unfold at their own speed rather than jumping in with your habitual response to either pain or pleasure. Pema Chödrön

When we feel lonely, when we feel hopeless, what we want to do is move to the right or to the left. We don’t want to sit and feel what we feel. We don’t want to go through the detox. Pema Chödrön

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. Pema Chödrön

The stronger our fixed identity of ourselves is, the easier we are insulted. Pema Chödrön

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. Pema Chödrön

Healing comes from letting there be room for everything: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. Pema Chödrön

pema chodron quotes knowing pain ingredient another person wisdom

Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. Pema Chödrön

Scrambling for security has never brought anything but momentary joy. Pema Chödrön

The greatest obstacle to connecting with our joy is resentment. Pema Chödrön

The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new. Pema Chödrön

Life is glorious but life is also wretched. It is both. Pema Chödrön

The antidote to misery is to stay present. Pema Chödrön

Pema Chödrön Quotes On Change

pema chodron quotes invested security certainty wrong planet wisdom

If you’re invested in security and certainty, you are on the wrong planet. Pema Chödrön

When the resistance is gone, so are the demons. Pema Chödrön

Life has taught me the wisdom of moving toward what scares me. Pema Chödrön

Things are always in transition if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. Pema Chödrön

Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. Pema Chödrön

Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime. Pema Chödrön

We can gradually drop our ideals of who we think we ought to be… or who we think other people think we want to be or ought to be. Pema Chödrön

That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence. Pema Chödrön

Let your curiosity be greater than your fear. Pema Chödrön

Pema Chödrön Quotes On Meditation

pema chodron quotes didnt resist moment world wisdom

When I didn’t resist, I could see the world. Pema Chödrön

If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent. Pema Chödrön

Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. Pema Chödrön

If you ask why we meditate, I would say it’s so we can become more flexible and tolerant to the present moment. Pema Chödrön

It helps to remember that our practice is not about accomplishing anything — not about winning or losing — but about ceasing to struggle and relaxing as it is. That is what we are doing when we sit down to meditate. Pema Chödrön

In practicing meditation, we’re not trying to live up to some kind of ideal — quite the opposite. We’re just being with our experience, whatever it is. Pema Chödrön

Meditation takes us just as we are, with our confusion and our sanity. This complete acceptance of ourselves as we are is called maitri, or unconditional friendliness, a simple, direct relationship with the way we are. Pema Chödrön

Meditation teaches us how to relate to life directly, so we can truly experience the present moment, free from conceptual overlay. Pema Chödrön

Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives. It’s about seeing how we react to all these things. It’s seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right now, in this very moment, in this very room, on this very seat. It’s about not trying to make them away, not trying to become better than we are, but just seeing clearly with precision and gentleness. Pema Chödrön

We don’t sit in meditation to become good meditators. We sit in meditation so that we’ll become more awake in our lives. Pema Chödrön

One of the main discoveries of meditation is seeing how we continually run away from the present moment, how we avoid being here just as we are. Pema Chödrön

Clarity and decisiveness come from the willingness to slow down, to listen and look at what’s happening. Pema Chödrön


Key Takeaways

  • Be kind. Pema believes in the power of kindness (toward others but most importantly, toward yourself). How to apply this? Take at least 10 minutes daily to decompress, relax, and do something good for your well-being. Try journaling, meditating, walking in nature, taking a hot bath, or having a good conversation with a friend. By taking care of yourself first, you’ll be more able to care of others.
  • Let go. Pema teaches the importance of letting go of expectations and attachments. How to apply this? When you catch yourself mentally suffering, remind yourself it’s probably due to your attachment to an ideal you have. Remind yourself of the ever-changing nature of life.
  • Be present. Pema teaches us to be more present and aware in our day-to-day life. How to apply this? Instead of escaping harsh realities and difficulties, face them calmly. By taking responsibility, you’ll develop mental resilience and better respond to future challenges.
  • Accept more. Pema encourages us to adopt an attitude of acceptance and non-judgment (both towards ourselves and others). How to apply this? Accept you can’t control most things that happen in your life. Say “yes” more often to how things turn out and how people behave. This will reduce your stress and improve the overall atmosphere around you.
  • Be self-understanding. Pema teaches us about the power of meditation and self-knowledge to improve our lives. How to apply this? Meditate at least 10 minutes each day. Learn about your mind, your thoughts, and your emotions. Understand the nature of your mind and how restless it is. The more self-understanding you have, the calmer you become.

Further Readings


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Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal.

A few years later, he started his first website to share his love of quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, husband, and INFJ.

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, bananas, SEO, human potential, and education.

You can find him on X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Last update

September 18, 2023

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