Pema Chödrön

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Our birthright

When we cling to thoughts and memories, we are clinging to what cannot be grasped. When we touch these phantoms and let them go, we may discover a space, a break in the chatter, a glimpse of open sky. This is our birthright — the wisdom with which we were born, the vast unfolding display of primordial richness, primordial openness, primordial wisdom itself. All that is necessary then is to rest undistractedly in the immediate present, in this very instant in time. And if we become drawn away by thoughts, by longings, by hopes and fears, again and again we can return to this present moment. We are here. We are carried off as if by the wind, and as if by the wind, we are brought back. When one thought has ended and another has not begun, we can rest in that space. We train in returning to the unchanging heart of this very moment. All compassion and all inspiration come from that.

The Pocket Pema Chödrön by Pema Chödrön, page 14

Waking Up

As uncertainty and groundlessness increase, as we lose control of external circumstances, we find ourselves with our backs to the wall. One response is to cower in the corner, hoping that chaos and suffering will just go away. But in our heart of hearts we know that will never happen. The alternative is to use this opportunity to start waking up. Which is the more sane approach to our life? If we do decide to start surrendering to our uncontrollable situation and letting go of resistance and resentment, we will have no shortage of opportunities to learn and grow. Our world, no matter how crazy and unreasonable it gets, will become our greatest teacher and ally.

When Things Fall Apart Heart Advice for Difficult Time by Pema Chödrön, page 147


“As we practice moving into the present moment this way, we become more familiar with groundlessness, a fresh state of being that is available to us on an ongoing basis. This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted, and shaky—that’s called liberation.”

Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chödrön============

Standing at the Center of the World

When we talk about mindfulness and awareness, we’re not talking about something stern, a discipline that we impose on ourselves so that we can clean up our act and be better and stand up straighter and smell nicer. It’s more that we practice some sense of loving-kindness toward microphones and oryoki bowls and our hands and each other and this room and all the doors we go in and out of. Mindfulness is loving all the details of our lives, and awareness is the natural thing that happens: life begins to open up, and you realize that you’re always standing at the center of the world.

Excerpted from:

The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness by Pema Chödrön, page 29–30

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