Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist nun in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa. She is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. She is the author of many books and audiobooks, including the best-selling When Things Fall Apart and Don't Bite the Hook. Learn more about her and her work here.
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Books & Audio
A Retreat with Sakyong Mipham and Pema Chodron
There is unconquerable courage within you. The key to awakening it is to tap into the boundless reserve of strength at the very core of your being—your intrinsic human goodness. This audio retreat will teach you how to do it,… Read More
A Retreat with Pema Chodron on Practicing the Way of the Bodhisattva
Compassion is a skill. You can learn it here and now, and the benefits are vast. In this recorded retreat, Pema Chödrön shows you how—using a text that is very close to her heart: the Buddhist classic known as The… Read More
A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva
The great Buddhist classic known as The Way of the Bodhisattva has long been treasured as an indispensable guide to enlightened living. Written in the eighth century by the scholar and saint Shantideva, it has inspired many of the… Read More
A Retreat with Pema Chodron on Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change
We live in difficult times. Life sometimes seems like a roiling and turbulent river threatening to drown us. Why, in the face of that, shouldn’t we cling for safety to the certainty of the shore—to our comfortably familiar patterns… Read More
A Retreat with Pema Chodron on Discovering Your Radiant Self-Confidence
We all have fears, but when we look closely at them, we discover that behind each fear resides a basic fear of ourselves. We’re afraid to look at our habitual styles of thinking and behaving because we might not always… Read More
The Practice of Living with Courage and Compassion
Fear and guilt are two of the greatest challenges we face on the spiritual path—but there is a way to transform these painful feelings into courageous self-acceptance. Here Pema Chödrön presents the five aphorisms for developing fearlessness that were given… Read More
Buddhist Practices on the Four Limitless Ones: Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity
Spiritual practice, Pema Chödrön teaches, has nothing to do with self-improvement, since, as the course’s title claims, you’re already perfect right now. The limitless qualities of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity are your deep-down, ultimate reality, and those are qualities… Read More
Heart Advice for Difficult Times
How can we go on living when things fall apart—when we are overcome by pain, fear, and anxiety? Pema Chödrön’s answer to that question contains some spectacularly good news: there is a fundamental happiness readily available to each one of… Read More
Finding Freedom from Anger, Resentment, and Other Destructive Emotions
Life has a way of provoking us with traffic jams and computer malfunctions, with emotionally distant partners and crying children—and before we know it, we're upset. We feel terrible, and then we end up saying and doing things that only… Read More
About the Author
Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa. She is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. She is the author of many books and audiobooks, including the best-selling When Things Fall Apart and Don't Bite the Hook.
Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City. She attended Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three grandchildren.
While in her mid-thirties, Pema traveled to the French Alps and encountered Lama Chime Rinpoche, with whom she studied for several years. She became a novice nun in 1974 while studying with Lama Chime in London. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa came to England at that time, and Pema received her ordination from him.
Pema first met her root teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972. Lama Chime encouraged her to work with Rinpoche, and it was with him that she ultimately made her most profound connection, studying with him from 1974 until his death in 1987. At the request of the Sixteenth Karmapa, she received the full monastic ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong.
Pema served as the director of Karma Dzong, in Boulder, until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche asked her to work towards the establishment of a monastery for western monks and nuns.
Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada and plans for an increased amount of time in solitary retreat under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche.
Videos & More
Pema Chodron with Bill Moyers (Part 2)
Pema Chodron with Bill Moyers (Part 3)
Pema Chodron with Bill Moyers (Part 4)
Pema Chodron with Bill Moyers (Part 5)
Pema Chodron with Bill Moyers (Part 6)