Start Where You Are Quotes

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Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chödrön
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Start Where You Are Quotes (showing 1-12 of 12)
“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness--life's painful aspect--softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose--you're just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“If someone comes along and shoots an 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, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“WE ALREADY HAVE everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it's bottomless, that it doesn't have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“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, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“None of us is ever OK, but we all get through everything just fine.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“One evening Milarepa returned to his cave after gathering firewood, only to find it filled with demons. They were cooking his food, reading his books, sleeping in his bed. They had taken over the joint. He knew about nonduality of self and other, but he still didn’t quite know how to get these guys out of his cave. Even though he had the sense that they were just a projection of his own mind—all the unwanted parts of himself—he didn’t know how to get rid of them. So first he taught them the dharma. He sat on this seat that was higher than they were and said things to them about how we are all one. He talked about compassion and shunyata and how poison is medicine. Nothing happened. The demons were still there. Then he lost his patience and got angry and ran at them. They just laughed at him. Finally, he gave up and just sat down on the floor, saying, “I’m not going away and it looks like you’re not either, so let’s just live here together.” At that point, all of them left except one. Milarepa said, “Oh, this one is particularly vicious.” (We all know that one. Sometimes we have lots of them like that. Sometimes we feel that’s all we’ve got.) He didn’t know what to do, so he surrendered himself even further. He walked over and put himself right into the mouth of the demon and said, “Just eat me up if you want to.” Then that demon left too.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“In truth, there is enormous space in which to live our everyday lives.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“When one of the emperors of China asked Bodhidharma (the Zen master who brought Zen from India to China) what enlightenment was, his answer was, “Lots of space, nothing holy.” Meditation is nothing holy. Therefore there’s nothing that you think or feel that somehow gets put in the category of “sin.” There’s nothing that you can think or feel that gets put in the category of “bad.” There’s nothing that you can think or feel that gets put in the category of “wrong.” It’s all good juicy stuff—the manure of waking up, the manure of achieving enlightenment, the art of living in the present moment.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“Buddha is our inherent nature—our buddha nature—and what that means is that if you’re going to grow up fully, the way that it happens is that you begin to connect with the intelligence that you already have. It’s not like some intelligence that’s going to be transplanted into you. If you’re going to be fully mature, you will no longer be imprisoned in the childhood feeling that you always need to protect yourself or shield yourself because things are too harsh. If you’re going to be a grown-up—which I would define as being completely at home in your world no matter how difficult the situation—it’s because you will allow something that’s already in you to be nurtured. You allow it to grow, you allow it to come out, instead of all the time shielding it and protecting it and keeping it buried. Someone once told me, “When you feel afraid, that’s ‘fearful buddha.’” That could be applied to whatever you feel. Maybe anger is your thing. You just go out of control and you see red, and the next thing you know you’re yelling or throwing something or hitting someone. At that time, begin to accept the fact that that’s “enraged buddha.” If you feel jealous, that’s “jealous buddha.” If you have indigestion, that’s “buddha with heartburn.” If you’re happy, “happy buddha”; if bored, “bored buddha.” In other words, anything that you can experience or think is worthy of compassion; anything you could think or feel is worthy of appreciation.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“Affirmations are like screaming that you're okay in order to overcome this whisper that you're not... maybe you're not okay. Well, no big deal. None of us is okay and all of us are fine.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“It's as if you were in a spaceship going to the moon, and you looked back at this tiny planet Earth and realized that things were vaster than any mind could conceive and you just couldn't handle it, so you started worrying about what you were going to have for lunch. There you are in outer space with this sense of the world being so vast, and then you bring it all down into this very tiny world of worrying about what's for lunch... We do this all the time.”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

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