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. Learn more about her and her work here.
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Books & Audio
with Uncertainty and Change
We live in difficult times. Life sometimes seems like a turbulent river threatening to drown us and destroy the world. Why, then, shouldn’t we cling to the certainty of the shore—to our familiar patterns and habits? Because, Pema Chödrön teaches,… Read More
Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
In this pithy, inspiring book, Pema Chödrön presents the Buddhist concept of shenpa, which can be translated as "getting stuck" or "getting hooked." Shenpa arises in that moment when life suddenly becomes disappointing, difficult, or painful. Perhaps someone criticizes your… Read More
And the Path of Loving-Kindness
It’s possible to say yes to life in all its manifestations, Pema Chödrön teaches—by embracing all the happiness and suffering, all the intelligence and confusion that are a natural part of our existence. Doing so opens a wellspring of courage… Read More
108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
This book by the renowned American Buddhist nun offers short, stand-alone readings designed to help us cultivate compassion and awareness amid the challenges of daily living. More than a collection of thoughts for the day, Comfortable with Uncertainty offers a… Read More
A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
We always have a choice, Pema Chödrön teaches: We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder. Here, Pema provides tools… Read More
A Guide to Compassionate Living
This is a beautiful, gift book edition (with a ribbon marker) of a modern-day classic. Start Where You Are is an indispensable handbook for cultivating fearlessness and awakening a compassionate heart. With insight and humor, Pema Chödrön, author of… Read More
Heart Advice for Difficult Times
There is a fundamental opportunity for happiness right within our reach, yet we usually miss it—ironically while we are caught up in attempts to escape pain and suffering. Drawn from traditional Buddhist wisdom, Pema Chödrön's radical and compassionate advice for… 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)