Pema Chodron has spent a lifetime teaching others how tolive with peace in the present moment. Here are three insights from Pema on whymeditation may be the most effective way we can help ourselves find that peace.
1. “Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throwourselves away and become something better, it’s about befriending who we are.”
We all want to become better people- but that doesn’t meanrejecting who we already are. As Pema explains in her guidebook, “5 Reasons toMeditate,” meditation is not a “magic makeover” but rather a slowtransformation that allows us to grow in peace with our whole selves- not justthe “bad” or the “good” parts!
2. “What’s encouraging about meditation is that even if weshut down, we can no longer shut down in ignorance. We see very clearly thatwe’re closing off. That in itself begins to illuminate the darkness ofignorance.”
In addition to helping us grow as humans and spiritualbeings, meditation can help us better understand our thought patterns. As Pemapoints out, meditation allows us to participate alongside our minds asimpartial spectators, naming our thoughts for what they are, withoutnecessarily trying to alter or cancel them out.
3. “It’s helpful to remind yourself that meditation is aboutopening and relaxing with whatever arises, without picking and choosing.”
Meditation can also help us in our struggle againstuncertainty about the past or the future by focusing on our attention on theexact present and accepting all thoughts as they come. As Pema states in hermeditation guidebook, “We learn to just be here… and we have a lot ofresistance to just being here!”
Finally, it is important to remember that anyone can benefitfrom meditation, regardless of personal background or experience… in fact; PemaChodron was a schoolteacher and mother of two before becoming a Buddhist nun!
Read more about meditation benefits and techniques:
Read more about Pema Chodron and her meditation teachings: