Pema Chödrön on courage

Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.
Pema Chödrön, in When Things Fall Apart: Heart advice for difficult times, (Boston: Shambhala, 2005), p. 9. Originally published 1997. Cited by Francesco di Santis in his unpublished manuscript “The Wanderings of Turtle Island”, p. 80.

Pema Chödrön Posted on behalf of on Monday, March 8th, 2010 under Quotations.


  1. Amina Wolfe says:

    I’ve always thought that Eastern religions’ use of the word “annihilation” is scary for a lot of people. Fraught with destruction and obliteration of the self with a small s or the false ego, I gather. While I realize this is a quote without further information, in the context of “When Things Fall Apart: Heart advice…” it doesn’t attract me as a way to get through difficult times. I am familiar with Pema Chodra and certainly respect her Work. I’m just more of the breathe in breathe out type of person. Thanks for another interesting quotation, Gregory.

  2. I think you’re right: there are things we should not foolishly expose to annihilation. It doesn’t make sense. Not all the time. Maybe as a practice in courage (and fear). But not in terms of sacrificing oneself (though that cannot be an absolute either).

    Perhaps that’s a kind of game holy fools play? Too bad some believe they should do so with the Earth.

    Thanks for your help steering entersection’s course.

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