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Pema Chodron: Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion

The Beloved Buddhist teacher, author, nun, and mother, Pema Chodron, has inspired millions of people from around the world who have been touched by her example and message of practicing peace in these turbulent times. Pema Chodron: Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion Ani Pema Chodron was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City. Pema Chodron grew up on a New Jersey farm. She has said that she had a pleasant childhood with her Catholic family, but that her spiritual life didn’t begin until she attended boarding school, where her intellectual curiosity was cultivated, She attended Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut. At age twenty-one, Pema got married. Over the next few years, the couple had two children, and the young family moved to California. She began studying at the University of California at Berkeley, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s in elementary education. After graduating from UC Berkeley, she spent years as an elementary school teacher, wife, and mother of two children for many years in between both New Mexico and California. In her mid-twenties, Pema Chodron’s marriage dissolved, and she remarried. Then, eight years later, that relationship also fell apart. “When my husband told me, he was having an affair and wanted a divorce,” she said in an interview with Bill Moyers, “that was a big groundless moment. Reality as we knew it wasn’t holding together.” To cope with her loss, she explored different therapies and spiritual traditions, but nothing helped. Then she read an article by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche that suggested working with emotions rather than trying to get rid of them, and this struck a chord. She has said, however, that at the time she didn’t know anything about Buddhism and wasn’t aware that a Buddhist even wrote the article. “We think...

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Pema Chodron: Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion

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