#250 Holding it Together When Things Fall Apart I Pema Chodron

Ten Percent Happier
May 25, 2020
#250 Holding it Together When Things Fall Apart I Pema Chodron
Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

Pema Chödrön has seemingly been trying to prepare us for this pandemic for years, through a series of popular books, with titles as When Things Fall Apart, Welcoming the Unwelcome, and The Wisdom of No Escape. But as you will hear, she is anything but gloomy. Like all of the great meditation teachers I’ve met, she has a lightness and a sense of humor about her. Notwithstanding her chipper demeanor, she has worked hard to point out to her readers and students that groundlessness and uncertainty are fundamental facts of life -- which are becoming increasingly salient in our current crisis. Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield in Connecticut. She lived a conventional life, going to UC Berkeley, becoming a school teacher, and having a pair of kids. But after a rough divorce, she found herself adrift. During this time, she discovered Tibetan Buddhism, shaved her head, and became a nun. Now in her mid-eighties, she lives in rural Nova Scotia, where she is the director of Gampo Abbey. We connected with her on an old-school landline. We talked about: how to actually welcome the unwelcome. We also discussed how to befriend your demons, sympathize without being stupid, lighten up in the face of fear, and embrace chaos as “extremely good news.”

Where to find Pema Chödrön online: 

Website: https://pemachodronfoundation.org/about/pema-chodron/

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Photo by Ivan Bercholz (2020)