Making Friends with Yourself

Exploring Self, Selflessness, and the Roots of Attachment

Taught by Pema Chodron

Regular Price: $390.00

Special Price $195.00

 - Online Course

Every winter Pema Chödrön leads a retreat for the thirty residents of Gampo Abbey, her home in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This self-study course offers a special opportunity to be a part of one of these retreats, made available to you exclusively through Shambhala Publications.

Join Pema in this intimate setting 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.

Course Materials

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

Recommended reading list, practices, and contemplations to help you make the teachings a part of your everyday life

Unlimited access on your computer, mobile device, or tablet—learn at your own pace wherever and whenever works best for you

This course is also available in a Group Study Version, which includes a facilitator's guide and everything you need to bring this course to your community.

Bonus Materials

Your purchase of Making Friends with Yourself includes several bonus materials:

Bonus #1:
Recordings of Two Q&A Sessions
with Pema Chödrön

Bonus #2:
Shamatha Meditation Instructional Video
with Hope Martin

Bonus #3:
Open Presence Instructional Video
with Rebecca Eldridge

Bonus #4:
This Moment Is the Perfect Teacher
Ten Buddhist Teachings on Cultivating Inner Strength and Compassion
with Pema Chödrön
A 4-hour recorded retreat, normally $22.95


In this course, you'll learn how to:

  • Disentangle yourself from negative patterns
  • Glimpse your true nature, which is naturally open and relaxed
  • Put the brakes on your unhelpful reactions to difficult situations
  • Reduce your attachment to harmful behaviors
  • Increase your ability to accommodate pain and feel joy
  • Lean into and fully experience every aspect of your life
  • Connect with your 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!”—L.M.

“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.”—A.S.

“Thank you so much for this opportunity! It was a joy to experience.”—B.L.

Praise for Pema Chodron

“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 a well known and beloved American born Buddhist nun and author of many spiritual classics.  Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada and plans for an increased amount of time in solitary retreat.  She serves as the resident teacher at Gampo Abbey Monastery in Nova Scotia and is a student of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.  For more information including a list of her published works, visit

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.

Register Now!
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Making Friends with Yourself (Group Study Version)
Exploring Self, Selflessness, and the Roots of Attachment
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Course Sample