Making Friends with Yourself (Group Study Version)

Exploring Self, Selflessness, and the Roots of Attachment

Taught by Pema Chodron
 - Online Course

Every winter Pema Chödrön leads a retreat for the thirty residents of Gampo Abbey, her home in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This group course package offers a special opportunity to bring Pema’s in-depth teachings from one of these retreats to your own community, giving you tools and materials to facilitate a powerful learning experience.

Join Pema as she explores, in her usual down-to-earth and practical way, the Buddhist teachings that get to the heart of how our sense of self develops and functions. We’ll learn about the five skandhas—the elements that come together to form our experience of the self—as well as the twelve nidanas—the links of dependent origination that describe how the sense of self cycles from birth to death in every moment, creating habits of reactivity that hook us and cause us pain.

Presenting long-established teachings in a way that is fresh and accessible, Pema shows how we can transcend the negative patterns and attachments that are at the root of our suffering. Having seen through the self, we can live with limitless joy, wisdom, and compassion toward ourselves and all beings.

Any questions about this group course package? E-mail

Course Materials

This group study version of the course contains everything you need to share these teachings with your community, including:

Six two-hour video talks by Pema recorded at Gampo Abbey

Instructional videos on shamatha meditation and open-presence meditation, taught by two of Pema’s senior students

Guides for both facilitators and participants to support you in offering this course in a group setting

Recommended reading list, practices, and contemplations to help participants make the teachings a part of their everyday lives

Unlimited access to all course materials for facilitators

And more

Any questions about this group study version of the course? E-mail


In this course, participants will learn how to:

  • Disentangle themselves from negative patterns
  • Glimpse their true nature, which is naturally open and relaxed
  • Put the brakes on their unhelpful reactions to difficult situations
  • Reduce their attachment to harmful behaviors
  • Lean into and fully experience every aspect of their lives
  • Increase their ability to feel joy and accommodate pain
  • Connect with their inherent wakefulness
What You Will Learn in Each Lesson

Lesson 1
Permanent, Solid, and Separate: An Overview of the "Self"

What are we talking about when we talk about the “self”? In this first lesson, Pema shows us how the illusions of ego trick us into thinking we are singular and unchanging. When we start to understand the way this illusion is constructed, we can glimpse selflessness.

Lesson 2
How to Get Unstuck: Working with the Skandhas

It’s important and necessary to explore how it is that we get hooked, but the real joy comes from learning how we can break the cycle. In this lesson, Pema gives us real life examples of how the skandhas work, and offers time-tested advice on how to interrupt the cycle of suffering.

Lesson 3
Resting in Open Space: The Eight Kinds of Consciousness

Sometimes life feels like a roiling river, and we’re trapped in the current. What would happen if, even in the midst of the most stressful situation, we could put the brakes on our interpretation and judgment? In this lesson we’ll practice doing just that: pausing. We’ll also explore the eight kinds of consciousness and the six realms—traditional Buddhist teachings that will give context to why the practice of pausing is so important.

Lesson 4
Understanding Ignorance: Where Suffering Begins

What keeps us from being fully present in our lives? In this lesson we’ll take a closer look at the mechanisms we use to put a barrier between ourselves and the world around us. And we’ll start to see what exists beyond that barrier as the starting ground for everything: basic goodness.

Lesson 5
Samsara is a Cycle: The Twelve Nidanas

If we begin in a state of timeless awareness, in connection with the dynamic nature of reality, how do we get stuck in the view that reality is fixed and static? This week we’ll go deeper into the twelve nidanas.

Lesson 6
Nowness Gives Rise to Bodhichitta: Connecting to Sacred World

We’ve spent much of this course analyzing what gets in our way of being present. In this lesson, we get to take in the view of what happens when we are able to rest in groundlessness and experience reality fully. This is what it means to discover sacred world.

What Participants Are Saying

"This course—how it was put together and executed—was the best online course I've ever taken!"

"Truly, this course was an embarrassment of riches...I have taken other courses but this has truly been life altering. The only way I could be more satisfied is if I knew there would be another course! Thank you…thank you...thank you."

"Thank you so much for this opportunity! It was a joy to experience."

“Pema Chödrön is one of those spiritual teachers who brings ancient wisdom to bear upon our daily triumphs and tragedies. . . . Incredibly wise and poignantly practical.”—Spirituality & Health

“Perhaps what makes Pema’s message resonate so strongly with people, no matter what their religion or spiritual path, is its universality. Each of us has experienced heartache; how we interact with that feeling, Pema says, can create the possibility of a more joyful life.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

“Chödrön's strength is her ability to communicate to a general audience that people are essentially good, that they can be free from fear, and that they can always try again when they fail.”—Publishers Weekly

About the Instructor

Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun in the lineage of the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa. She is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery for Westerners in North America. She is the author of many books and audiobooks, including the best-selling When Things Fall Apart and The Places That Scare You.

30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee

If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, please e-mail us within 30 days of registering for the course, and we will promptly refund your purchase price.

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Making Friends with Yourself
Exploring Self, Selflessness, and the Roots of Attachment

Regular Price: $390.00

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 - Online Course
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