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The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön
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The Places That Scare You Quotes (showing 1-30 of 39)
“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. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“A further sign of health is that we don't become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it's time to stop struggling and look directly at what's threatening us. ”
Pema Chödrön, The Places that Scare You
“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, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“We insist on being Someone, with a capital S. We get security from defining ourselves as worthless or worthy, superior or inferior. We waste precious time exaggerating or romanticizing or belittling ourselves with a complacent surety that yes, that’s who we are. We mistake the openness of our being—the inherent wonder and surprise of each moment—for a solid, irrefutable self. Because of this misunderstanding, we suffer.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“When we touch the center of sorrow, when we sit with discomfort without trying to fix it, when we stay present to the pain of disapproval or betrayal and let it soften us, these are times that we connect with bohdichitta.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
In meditation we discover our inherent restlessness. Sometimes we get up and leave. Sometimes we sit there but our bodies wiggle and squirm and our minds go far away. This can be so uncomfortable that we feel’s it’s impossible to stay. Yet this feeling can teach us not just about ourselves but what it is to be human…we really don’t want to stay with the nakedness of our present experience. It goes against the grain to stay present. These are the times when only gentleness and a sense of humor can give us the strength to settle down…so whenever we wander off, we gently encourage ourselves to “stay” and settle down. Are we experiencing restlessness? Stay! Are fear and loathing out of control? Stay! Aching knees and throbbing back? Stay! What’s for lunch? Stay! I can’t stand this another minute! Stay!”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“It is possible to move through the drama of our lives without believing so earnestly in the character that we play. That we take ourselves so seriously, that we are so absurdly important in our own minds, is a problem for us. We feel justified in being annoyed with everything. We feel justified in denigrating ourselves or in feeling that we are more clever than other people. Self-importance hurts us, limiting us to the narrow world of our likes and dislikes. We end up bored to death with ourselves and our world. We end up never satisfied.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“The essence of bravery is being without self-deception.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“It's hard to know whether to laugh or to cry at the human predicament. Here we are with so much wisdom and tenderness, and—without even knowing it—we cover it over to protect ourselves from insecurity. Although we have the potential to experience the freedom of a butterfly, we mysteriously prefer the small and fearful cocoon of ego.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Patience is the training in abiding with the restlessness of our energy and letting things evolve at their own speed.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Things are as bad and as good as they seem. There's no need to add anything extra.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Rather than going after these walls and barriers with a sledgehammer, we pay attention to them. With gentleness and honesty, we move closer to those walls. We touch them, and smell them and get to know them well. We become familiar with the strategies and beliefs we use to build these walls: what are the stories we tell ourselves? What repels me and what attracts me? Without calling what we see right or wrong, we simply look as objectively as we can. We can observe ourselves with humor, not getting overly serious, moralistic or uptight about the investigation. Year after year, we train in remaining open and receptive to whatever arises. Slowly, very slowly, the cracks in the walls seem to widen and, as if by magic, bodhichitta is able to flow freely.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“I dedicate the merit of the occasion to all beings. This gesture of universal friendship has been likened to a drop of fresh spring water. If we put it on a rock in the sunshine, it will soon evaporate. If we put it in the ocean, however, it will never be lost. Thus the wish is made that we not keep the teachings to ourselves but to use them to benefit others.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Throughout my life, until this very moment, whatever virtue I have accomplished, including any benefit that may come from this book, I dedicate to the welfare of all beings.
May the roots of suffering diminish. May warfare, violence, neglect, indifference, and addiction also decrease.
May the wisdom and compassion of all beings increase, now and in the future.
May we clearly see all the barriers we erect between ourselves and others to be as insubstantial as our dreams.
May we appreciate the great perfection of all phenomena.
May we continue to open our hearts and minds, in order to work ceaselessly for the benefit of all beings.
May we go to the places that scare us.
May we lead the life of a warrior.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Acknowledging that we are all churned up is the first and most difficult step in any practice. Without compassionate recognition that we are stuck, it’s impossible to liberate ourselves from confusion. ‘Doing something different’ is anything that interrupts our ancient habit of indulging in our emotions. We do anything to cut the strong tendency to spin out… Anything that’s non-habitual will do—even sing and dance or run around the block. We do anything that doesn’t reinforce our crippling habits. The third most difficult practice is to then remember that this is not something we do just once or twice. Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“As the twelfth-century Tibetian yogi Milarepa said when he heard of his student Gampopa's peak experiences, 'They are neither good nor bad. Keep meditating.' ”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“The Buddha’s principal message that day was that holding on to anything blocks wisdom. Any conclusion that we draw must be let go. The only way to fully understand the bodhichitta teachings, the only way to practice them fully, is to abide in the unconditional openness of the prajna, patiently cutting through all our tendencies to hang on.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Laziness is not particularly terrible or wonderful. Rather it has a basic living quality that deserves to be experienced just as it is. Perhaps we’ll find an irritating, pulsating quality in laziness. We might feel it as dull and heavy or as vulnerable and raw. Whatever we discover, as we explore it further, we find nothing to hold on to, nothing solid, only groundless, wakeful energy.

This process of experiencing laziness directly and nonverbally is transformative. It unlocks a tremendous energy that is usually blocked by our habit of running away. This is because when we stop resisting laziness, our identity as the one who is lazy begins to fall apart completely. Without the blinders of ego, we connect with a fresh outlook, a greater vision. This is how laziness—or any other demon—introduces us to the compassionate life.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us “the universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. —ALBERT EINSTEIN”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion, to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“we can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have this choice.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Transformation occurs only when we remember, breath by breath, year after year, to move toward our emotional distress without condemning or justifying our experience.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Even though peak experiences might show us the truth and inform us about why we are training, they are essentially no big deal. If we can't integrate them into the ups and downs of our lives, if we cling to them, they will hinder us. We can trust our experiences as valid, but then we have to move on and learn how to get along with our neighbors. Then even the most remarkable insights can begin to permeate our lives. As the twelfth-century Tibetian yogi Milarepa said when he heard of his student Gampopa's peak experiences, 'They are neither good not bad. Keep meditation.' ”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Each moment is an opportunity to make a fresh start.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“equanimity.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Live your life as an experiment.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence. It is the ordinary state of affairs. Everything is in process. Everything—every tree, every blade of grass, all the animals, insects, human beings, buildings, the animate and the inanimate—is always changing, moment to moment. We don’t have to be mystics or physicists to know this. Yet at the level of personal experience, we resist this basic fact. It means that life isn’t always going to go our way. It means there’s loss as well as gain.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
“Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.”
Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

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