Cheerful Birthday, Pema Chödron! {leave a message for her, here}

Via on Jul 14, 2012

Leave an aspiration for Pema’s healthy happy long life, or a thank you message, in the comments section below. If we get enough, we might put a(n even bigger) smile on her face.  ~ Waylon, ed.

Cheerful Birthday, Pema. With deep thanks for your good humor, sad compassion and integrity and NBD attitude toward groundlessness & neurosis.

Cheerful Birthday, Pema.

 

Tonglen meditation (click here for more, necessary & helpful context):

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So many spot-on quotes:

“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.”
~ Pema Chödron

On meeting her teacher, Chögyam Trungpa:

…It was the early 1970s, the height of the hippie times and we were surrounded by the communes and all of that. So there was no way to not be interested in spirituality, but it was very superficial, really, and I didn’t distinguish Buddhism from Sufism from anything else; it was just a lot of stuff. When the marriage broke up it had the effect of throwing me into a totally groundless state, which these days might be called a severe depression. I was scared and I was angry and I couldn’t get anything to come back together.

In retrospect, it was one of these everyday experiences that people have of emptiness, really, but with no reference point to dharma. The only thing for me that was significant was that I felt it had something to teach me. So I started searching for answers. I looked everywhere, from Primal Scream for one day, and that didn’t suit me, and all kinds of things that were offered at that time. Then on the front seat of someone’s pickup I saw a magazine called Garuda. I opened it up and there was an article called Working With Negativity. When I read it, it was like a bell going off. It was the only thing that I came across that acknowledged that this was something creative, that this crisis was pointing to some deeper meaning. I think the first line of the article was, There’s nothing wrong with negativity … that it’s actually creative and very direct and very really … and I’m reading this just nodding and nodding. Then it talks about the only problem was the spin off, the negative negativity…

…[later] So I had my interview and what I remember is that I set the tone by just chatting, chatting, chatting and not asking him my real questions, which were: “My life is falling apart, I’m totally miserable, and what should I do?” After listening to my chatter for awhile, he indicated that the interview was over. He and Diana were going to go to a movie. He stood up and I stood up and then I just started blurting everything out like [makes blubbering sounds]. He was so patient with me and so kind and I remember his answer so well, he said — and of course this is from my memory, so it’s not word-for-word, but basically he said:

“Well, it’s like being in the ocean when the waves are really rough and high. They knock you over and you find yourself on the floor of the ocean with your face in the sand. The sand is getting in your nose and your mouth and your eyes and the waves are holding you down. But then the wave recedes and you stand back up and you walk until the next waves comes in and knocks you down and the same thing keeps happening. And each time you just stand back up and after awhile it seems to you that the waves are getting smaller and smaller.”

~ Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

 

Video, with Bill Moyers:

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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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13 Responses to “Cheerful Birthday, Pema Chödron! {leave a message for her, here}”

  1. Zoe says:

    Dear Pema,

    I heard this can bring a smile to your face, how to resist?! Sending you love and joy on your birthday…Love your teachings. It always seems to arrive just when it's needed, with a good dose of sensibility, self-deprecation, and wisdom. Thank you for the inspiration to live courageously and kindly towards ourselves and all. Happy Birthday and ROCK ON!!!

    Love, Zoe xxx

  2. Holly S. says:

    I'll never forget reading your book, "The Wisdom of No Escape", during a troubled time in my life. I found an entryway for compassion and acceptance in it. It really meant a lot to me and helped me survive those times and see beyond them. So thanks!
    All the best,
    Holly

  3. Michelle Margaret Fajkus yoga freedom says:

    Infinite thanks for your clear and compassionate teachings, Ani Pema. Your writings have shaped and enhanced my practice immeasurably, and I share them with as many people as I can.
    With love and metta,
    Michelle

  4. Sheila says:

    Happy Birthday, kind soul.

  5. Helen says:

    Happy birthday, Pema. Thank you for being you, and for sharing your wisdom and compassion, and for your "The Wisdom of No Escape" book.

    With highest respect (and love and hugs!),
    Helen

  6. Monika Edgar says:

    Happy Birthday, Pema. Your name comes into my life from all directions. Thank you. -Monika

  7. elephantjournal says:

    Here's hoping Ani Pema has an enjoyable celebration of her singularly precious birthday.

    Sabrina Nixon happy birthday, I love you.

    elephantjournal.com http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/07/cheerful-b… Leave an aspiration for Pema’s healthy happy long life, or a thank you message, in the comments section on the link above. If we get enough, we might put a(n even bigger) smile on her face. ~ Waylon, ed.

    Agnès Perals Architecte Bon anniversaire Pema ☀✔☀

    Angela Hughes Robinson Just saw her face/eyes and thought what a beautiful soul — then saw another post on fb “…Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.”
    ― Pema Chödrön

    Angela Hughes Robinson Precious birthday celebration — thank you.

    Kaly Lodeiro FELICIDAD

    Vidura Barrios Much love to you beautiful soul

    Justfine Lee Start where you are

    Yada Santisukskul It takes a lot of courage to
    release the familiar and seemingly secure,
    to embrace the new.

    But there is no real security in

    David Dickens Happy rebirthday Pema!

    Darrell P Happy B-Day:)

    Joan Desmond Happy Birthday ♥

    Lemon Tree Yoga Happy Birthday!

    Mary Ellen Mayo ♥

    Iryna Stepanska happy Birthday!!!

    Raksha Elmer Happy Birthday Pema!

    Erika Kober Happy Birthday Pema! I hold you in great esteema!

    Steve Derrickson Happy Birthday from Sky Lake!

    Karen Wright Happy birthday Ani Pema, with deep gratitude for the practice which is your life.

    Madelaine Enochs-Epley Happy Birthday, Pema from Madelaine Enochs-Epley Ky! ♥

    Paulette Graf Happy and auspicious birthday, dear Pema!

    Rebecca Ramsey happy birthday:)

    Lisa Maria A wonderful blessing you are here with us in this time and space– just a few days after the Dalai Lama!

    Stacy R Curro Happy day!

    Rosie Good Pema Chodron is a life changer. Happy Birthday!

    David A Batan Love her books!

    Steve Terracciano Friendliness

    Summerose Alexander She is a wonderful and brilliant thinker. I am very grateful she writes books so she can share.

    Aaron Maynard ♥♥♥

    • Kathy McQueen says:

      I just finished watching my birthday retreat video. It and your books are such an inspiration to me. Happy Birthday Pema. I must get to meditating now.

  8. karlsaliter says:

    From one official rascal to another, Happy Birthday, Pema!

  9. Clementine says:

    Dear Pema,

    Happy Anniversary and thanks for your loving kindness, helpfull wisdom, your care.

    Clementine

  10. [...] relationship wasn’t on my mind at all. I had a few flings but once I got deeper into both Buddhism and writing, I just didn’t feel the need to be with anyone. I wasn’t being pretentious [...]

  11. Marissa says:

    Dear Pema,

    Happy Birthday!!

    Today (totally out of the blue) I picked up my copy of "When Things Fall Apart" and read for a couple hours. Later, this link was shared on my Facebook wall and I thought it auspicious that I happened to read your words and teachings on your very birthday.

    Thank you for all you share with the world.

    In love

    Marissa

  12. [...] to be a Buddhist, to benefit from this wonderful book on mindful living. In Start Where You Are, Pema Chodron discusses 59 traditional Tibetan Lojong or slogans on living in a way that is compassionate towards [...]

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