85 Pema Chödrön Quotes On Life, Peace, & Gratitude

Pema Chödrön is one of the most beloved American Buddhist teachers, author, and nun. She is best known for inspiring people through her profound teachings on love, compassion, and healing. Here are the best Pema Chodron quotes about inner peace, gratitude, and the art of letting go that will help you sail through difficult times.

She is often referred to as a “Bodhisattva Warrior,” and led an ordinary life before becoming the first American woman to become a fully ordained Buddhist nun.

After going through the struggles of her 2 failed marriages, she started her spiritual journey by studying various Buddhist teachings. Her true awakening began after being the disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation master.

Pema’s enlightenment marked the beginning of her mission to spread the message of peace and compassion regardless of the circumstances in our lives.

In this quest, she has also authored books such as “The Wisdom of No Escape,” “Start Where You Are,” “When Things Fall Apart,” and “Practicing Peace in Times of War.”

Through her books, Pema Chodron serves as a guiding light, leading people on a journey through the art of meditation and the transformative power of the mind.

Her teachings offer practical insights on how to live with less fear, less anxiety, and an open heart.

These inspirational Pema Chodron quotes will help you to live a more meaningful and mindful life filled with gratitude and happiness.

Top 10 Pema Chodron Quotes

  1. “You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” – Pema Chödrön                                             

    pema chodron quotes
    Pema Chodron quotes
  2. “The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.” – Pema Chödrön     

    Best Pema Chodron Quotes
    Best Pema Chodron Quotes
  3. “You must face annihilation over and over again to find what is indestructible in yourself.” – Pema Chödrön
  4. “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” – Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart)                                                                                  

    When Things Fall Apart
    When Things Fall Apart
  5. “Let difficulty transform you. In my experience, we just need help in learning how not to run away.” – Pema Chödrön                                                                                                           

    Quotes by Pema Chödrön
    Quotes by Pema Chödrön
  6. “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” – Pema Chödrön                                                                                                         

    Famous Pema Chödrön Quotes
    Famous Pema Chödrön Quotes
  7. “We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same.” – Pema Chödrön                                                                                                      

    Pema Chodron Sayings
    Pema Chodron Sayings
  8. “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                                                                                                          

    Pema Chödrön Quotes
    Pema Chödrön Quotes
  9. “One can appreciate and celebrate each moment — there’s nothing more sacred. There’s nothing more vast or absolute. In fact, there’s nothing more!” – Pema Chödrön
  10. “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.” – Pema Chödrön

Best Pema Chödrön Quotes

Her words of wisdom have provided solace to many in moments of grief, loss, and fear.

  1. “This very moment is the perfect teacher.” – Pema Chödrön
  2. “Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.” – Pema Chödrön
  3. Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different from the way they are.” – Pema Chödrön
  4. “What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck.” – Pema Chödrön
  5. “The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” – Pema Chödrön
  6. “It isn’t the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it’s how we relate to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer.” – Pema Chödrön
  7. “Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth, it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.” – Pema Chödrön
  8. “No matter whom you are or what you do, the ground is always shaky. And, the really good news is that shaky ground is fertile ground for spiritual growth and awakening.” – Pema Chödrön
  9. “Rather than being disheartened by the uncertainty of life, what if we accepted it and relaxed into it? What if we said, yes, this is the way it is; this is what it means to be human, and decided to sit down and enjoy the ride.” – Pema Chödrön
  10. “Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.” – Pema Chödrön

Pema Chödrön Quotes On Peace & Compassion

  1. “Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace.” – Pema Chödrön
  2. “Feeling irritated, restless, afraid, and hopeless is a reminder to listen more carefully.” ― Pema Chodron
  3. “Clarity and decisiveness come from the willingness to slow down, to listen and look at what’s happening.” – Pema Chödrön
  4. “Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.” – Pema Chödrön
  5. “The happiness we seek is already here and it will be found through letting go rather than through struggle.” – Pema Chödrön
  6. “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
  7. “The Buddha taught that we’re not actually in control, which is a pretty scary idea. But when you let things be as they are, you will be a much happier, more balanced, compassionate person.” – Pema Chödrön
  8. “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.” – Pema Chödrön
  9. “Every day we think about the aggression in the world. Everybody always strikes out at the enemy, and the pain escalates forever. We could reflect on this and ask ourselves, ‘Am I going to add to the aggression in the world?’ Everyday we can ask ourselves, ‘Am I going to practice peace, or am I going to war?” – Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart
  10. “We have a choice. We can spend our whole life suffering because we can’t relax with how things really are, or we can relax and embrace the open-endedness of the human situation, which is fresh, unfixated, unbiased.” – Pema Chödrön
  11. “Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth, it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.” – Pema Chödrön

Inspirational Quotes By Pema Chödrön

  1. “Live your life as an experiment.” – Pema Chödrön
  2. “The more you try to get it your way, the less you feel at home.” – Pema Chödrön
  3. “None of us is ever ok, but we all get through everything just fine.” – Pema Chödrön
  4. “Our neurosis and our wisdom are made out of the same material.” – Pema Chödrön
  5. “Nobody but yourself can tell you what to accept and what to reject.” – Pema Chödrön
  6. “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” – Pema Chödrön
  7. “Look ahead to the rest of your life and ask yourself what you want it to add up to.” – Pema Chödrön
  8. Patience is the antidote to anger, a way to learn to love and care for whatever we meet on the path.” – Pema Chödrön
  9. Resentment, bitterness, and holding a grudge prevent us from seeing and hearing, and tasting and delighting.” – Pema Chödrön
  10. “When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure.” – Pema Chödrön
  11. “When we protect ourselves so we won’t feel pain, that protection becomes armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of the heart.” – Pema Chödrön
  12. “The experiences of your life are trying to tell you something about yourself. Don’t cop out on that. Don’t run away and hide under your cover. Lean into it.” – Pema Chödrön
  13. “The only reason 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.” – Pema Chödrön
  14. “To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out to our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is.” – Pema Chödrön

Pema Chödrön Quotes About Meditation

  1. “Just where you are – that’s the place to start.” – Pema Chödrön
  2. “Meditation is a totally nonviolent, nonaggressive occupation.” – Pema Chödrön
  3. “Meditation practice is not about later, when you get it all together and you’re this person you really respect.” – Pema Chödrön
  4. “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
  5. “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
  6. “Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” – Pema Chödrön
  7. “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
  8. “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
  9. “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
  10. “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. That attitude spreads into the rest of our lives.” – Pema Chödrön

Pema Chödrön Quotes On Change

  1. “If you’re invested in security and certainty, you are on the wrong planet.” – Pema Chödrön
  2. “Sometimes when things fall apart, well, that’s the big opportunity to change.” – Pema Chödrön
  3. “Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.” – Pema Chödrön
  4. “That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence.” – Pema Chödrön
  5. “When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something.” – Pema Chödrön
  6. “Precision, gentleness, and the ability to let go are not something that we have to gain, but something that we could bring out, cultivate, rediscover in ourselves.” – Pema Chödrön
  7. “Being open and receptive to whatever is happening is always more important than getting worked up and adding further aggression to the planet, adding further pollution to the atmosphere.” – Pema Chödrön
  8. “When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity not to be afraid.” – Pema Chödrön
  9. “Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequency rather than absorbing the frequencies around you. When you start imprinting your intent on the universe rather than receiving an imprint from existence.” – Pema Chödrön
  10. “When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment.” – Pema Chödrön

Quotes By Pema Chödrön On Fear And Difficulties

  1. “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” – Pema Chödrön
  2. “We can use our difficulties and problems to awaken our hearts.” – Pema Chödrön
  3. “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.” – Pema Chödrön
  4. “Running from the immediacy of our experience is like preferring death to life.” – Pema Chödrön
  5. “The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” – Pema Chödrön
  6. “The root of resisting the certainty that no matter what the circumstance, uncertainty is all we truly have.” – Pema Chödrön
  7. “When we are willing to stay even a moment with uncomfortable energy, we gradually learn not to fear it.” – Pema Chödrön
  8. “Resistance to unwanted circumstances has the power to keep those circumstances alive and well for a very long time.” – Pema Chödrön
  9. “The central question of a warrior’s training is not how we avoid uncertainty and fear but how we relate to discomfort.” – Pema Chödrön
  10. “Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s waiting out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.” – Pema Chödrön
  11. “This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted, and shaky – that’s called liberation.” – Pema Chödrön
  12. “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.” – Pema Chödrön
  13. “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, distract ourselves, but by all means make it go away.” – Pema Chödrön
  14. “Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just… start.” – Pema Chödrön

Famous Pema Chödrön Quotes on Heartbreak

  1. “Don’t let life harden your heart.” – Pema Chödrön
  2. “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.” – Pema Chödrön
  3. “When things fall apart and we’re on the verge of we know not what, the test for each of us is to stay on that brink and not concretize.” – Pema Chödrön
  4. “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.” – Pema Chödrön
  5. “If someone comes along and shoots and arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart.” – Pema Chödrön
  6. “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.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart

More About Pema Chödrön

Born in Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in New York City in 1936, Pema studied at the University of California at Berkeley, and became an elementary school teacher.

After the end of her second marriage, Pema struggled with depression and emotional trauma. To fill the scars that she got because of her failed relationships, she tried various forms of therapy, but none of them worked.

She then moved to spirituality and became a disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Her journey, from a life of ordinary struggles to becoming a beacon of wisdom, serves as an inspiration to many.

The above insightful and thought-provoking quotes by Pema Chödrön will inspire you to embrace your inner warrior and let go of the ego that often stands in the way of your happiness.


What are your favorite quotes by Pema Chödrön listed above? If there is a quote that we’ve missed then let us know in the comments section what your thoughts are.

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