Quote Archives: Thubten Chodron

Clear Decisions ~ Thubten Chodron

In Buddhism we cultivate a wise concern regarding death. Because we know that one day we’ll separate from all that is loved and valuable in this life and that only the seeds of our actions and our mental habits will continue to the next life, we want to make this life meaningful. To do so, […]

Cause and effect ~ Thubten Chodron

There is a story about a monk who had an extremely ugly body but a beautiful voice. People loved to hear him chant but recoiled when they saw him. Someone who had clairvoyant powers saw that in a previous lifetime, while constructing a stupa — a monument representing the Buddha’s mind — he continually complained […]

Conceptual rubbish and not reality ~ Thubten Chodron

It can be difficult to accept others and to accept ourselves. “I should be better. I should be something different. I should have more.” All of this is conception; it’s all mental fabrication. It’s just the mind churning up “shoulds,” “ought tos,” and “supposed tos.” All this is conceptual rubbish, and yet we believe it. […]

Our mind Is like the open sky ~ Thubten Chodron

The sky is pure, open space, free from all obstructions. The nature of our mind is similar: the afflictions, self-centered attitude, and other obscurations are not in its essential nature. Just as clouds may temporarily obscure the open sky, anger, attachment, and confusion can temporarily obscure our mind. When they do, the pure, open nature […]

Becoming a Qualified Student ~ Thubten Chodron

How do we become a qualified disciple? One quality to develop is open-mindedness. In other words, we let go of our own hard and fast agenda, of our likes and dislikes, and of our erroneous opinions about the nature of reality or the stages of the path. If we attend a teaching yet still hold […]

No one is going to spoon-feed us ~ Thubten Chodron

We receive what we put into the Dharma. Our joyous effort brings good results over time. We are responsible for our spiritual practice, although we certainly depend on spiritual teachers to instruct us and a community of Dharma friends for support. However, no one is going to spoon-feed us. Our teachers and the Three Jewels […]

Forgiveness ~ Thubten Chodron

As long as we hold onto our resentment, we can never forgive others, and our lack of forgiveness hurts no one but ourselves. To heal from our pain, there’s no other alternative but to let go of our anger and forgive others. Forgiving simply means that we stop tying up our life’s energy in being […]

A Buddhas love ~ Thubten Chodron

We ordinary beings see love as a limited commodity; it’s a fixed pie and we feel we only have a limited amount. “If I give some to you, I can’t give as much to others. And if I give it to everybody else, I can’t give it to you.” That kind of love has strings […]