7 Life Lessons from Pema Chödrön

1. “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” Emotions, catastrophes, fights, tragedy and all the daily fluctuations of life are only temporary. What makes us an individual is separate from these things that seem to make up the consistency of life.

2. “Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.”

When one meditates they observe the thought patterns that go through their mind as they try to clear their thoughts. Learning to just sit and observe these thoughts re-acquaints individuals with the essence of who they really are, but it also shows them how to let go of these things to get in touch with a more contentment version of themselves.

3. “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”

Everyone judges themselves harshly, and these judgments inhibit all forms of growth. Learning to love one’s self in the end allows one to have the time, energy and attitude to pursue things that make them more worthy of unconditional love.

4. “Let difficulty transform you. And it will. In my experience, we just need help in learning how not to run away.”

Every problem is a life lesson in disguise when one faces the problem head on. When one denies or avoid their problems they rob themselves of the opportunity to grow from a difficult experience.

5. “One of my favorite subjects of contemplation is this question: Since death is certain, but the time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing? You know you will die, but you really don’t know how long you have to wake up from the cocoon of your habitual patterns. You don’t know how much time you have left to fulfill the potential of your precious human birth. Given this, what is the most important thing?”

This contemplation is something that everyone should consider to prioritize things in their lives. Since life is constantly evolving, priorities changes as time progresses. Only when one takes the time to assess change can they create goals that match their priorities.

**6. "Whenever you ask yourself why you’re having a cigarette or why you’re saying a mean word, the answer is usually that in your guts you feel it will bring some satisfaction

. Yet, if you ask yourself if what you are doing has ever given you satisfaction, your honest answer would have to be no. Nevertheless, we keep right on doing it. This kind of stupidity seems to run very deep in human beings.”**

Despite all of humans’ advanced faculties, they still do stupid things that are arbitrary to their goals. A big part of achieving excess is removing habits, people and other aspects of life that do not line up with your goals.

7. “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.”

Pushing the limits of one’s capabilities is what it means to be truly alive. When a person starts droning through life, they cannot really experience what it means to be full alive.