60 Top Quotes From When Things Fall Apart

What is When Things Fall Apart About?

In "When Things Fall Apart," Buddhist nun and renowned teacher Pema Chödrön provides profound insights on how to navigate the inevitable challenges and uncertainties of life. Chödrön presents the concept of "groundlessness," the idea that life is inherently unpredictable and impermanent. Instead of seeking security and stability, she encourages readers to embrace the uncertainty and chaos that arises when things don't go as planned. Through the teachings of Buddhism, she illustrates the power of mindfulness and meditation as tools to face fear, pain, and discomfort with an open heart and mind.

Chödrön's compassionate and gentle wisdom offers solace to those facing difficult times, urging them to lean into their vulnerabilities and transform pain into an opportunity for growth and awakening. Her teachings remind us that embracing imperfections and impermanence is an essential part of the human experience, leading to a profound sense of resilience, compassion, and true inner peace. "When Things Fall Apart" is a timeless and empathetic guide for anyone seeking to find strength and wisdom amidst life's inevitable challenges. (When Things Fall Apart Summary)

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When Things Fall Apart Quotes

[Favorite Quote]: “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth” (Meaning)

2. "To live fully is to be always in no-man's-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. ”

3. "Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.."

4. "Nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion."

5. "Perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched. maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. "

6. "The most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”

7. “When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something."

8. “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”

9. “Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. "

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10. “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know"

11. “We can spend our whole lives escaping from the monsters of our minds."

12. "We use all kinds of ways to escape -- all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can't stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.”

13. “We think that if we just meditated enough or jogged enough or ate perfect food, everything would be perfect. But from the point of view of someone who is awake, that’s death. "

14. "If we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. it just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us.."

15. “When we protect ourselves so we won't feel pain, that protection becomes like armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of of the heart.”

16. "Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there's a big disappointment, we don't know if that's the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure. "

17. "We don't know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don't know.”

18. “We don't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts.”

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19. “So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds we sit with that restlessness when yesterday we couldn't sit for even one, that's the journey of the warrior. "

20. “As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution."

21. “Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. "

22. “Without giving up hope—that there’s somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be—we will never relax with where we are or who we are.”

23. “Honesty without kindness, humor, and goodheartedness can be just mean.”

24. "Seeking security or perfection, rejoicing in feeling confirmed and whole, self contained and comfortable, is some kind of death. It doesn’t have any fresh air. There’s no room for something to come in and interrupt all that.”

25. “Scrambling for security has never brought anything but momentary joy.”

26. "When we feel suffering, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong."

27. “Maybe the most important teaching is to lighten up and relax. It’s such a huge help in working with our crazy mixed-up minds to remember that what we’re doing is unlocking a softness that is in us and letting it spread. "

28. “Trying to run away is never the answer to being a fully human."

29. "Never give up on yourself. Then you will never give up on others.”

30. "Suffering is inevitable for human beings as long as we believe that things last—that they don’t disintegrate, that they can be counted on to satisfy our hunger for security.”

31. “Birth is painful and delightful. Death is painful and delightful. Everything that ends is also the beginning of something else. Pain is not a punishment; pleasure is not a reward.”

32. “Relaxing with the present moment, relaxing with hopelessness, relaxing with death, not resisting the fact that things end, that things pass, that things have no lasting substance, that everything is changing all the time—that is the basic message.”

33. "Lighten up and relax. Offer chaos a cup of tea.”

34. "Trying to tie up all the loose ends and finally get it together is death, because it involves rejecting a lot of your basic experience. "

35. "Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.”

36. “Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom, available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary everyday lives.”

37. "We do the big escape: we act out, say something, slam a door, hit someone, or throw a pot as a way of not facing what’s happening in our hearts. Or we shove the feelings under and somehow deaden the pain. "

38. “It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up the space. By waiting, we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness.”

39. "Mindfulness doesn’t stop with formal meditation. It helps us relate with all the details of our lives. It helps us see and hear and smell, without closing our eyes or our ears or our noses. "

40. “Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at. "

41. “To live is to be willing to die over and over again. From the awakened point of view, that’s life. Death is wanting to hold on to what you have and to have every experience confirm you and congratulate you and make you feel completely together.”

42. “Usually we feel that there’s a large problem and we have to fix it. The instruction is to stop. Do something unfamiliar. Do anything besides rushing off in the same old direction, up to the same old tricks.”

43. “Each day, we’re given many opportunities to open up or shut down. The most precious opportunity presents itself when we come to the place where we think we can’t handle whatever is happening."

44. "What we reject out there is what we reject in ourselves, and what we reject in ourselves is what we are going to reject out there.”

45. "The word desire encompasses that addiction quality, the way we grab for something because we want to find a way to make things okay"

46. "Having a relationship with death in everyday life means that we begin to be able to wait, to relax with insecurity, with panic, with embarrassment, with things not working out.”

47. "Not wandering in the world of desire is about relating directly with how things are. Loneliness is not a problem. Loneliness is nothing to be solved. "

48. "Lean toward the discomfort of life and see it clearly rather than to protect ourselves from it."

49. “Cutting our expectations for a cure is a gift we can give ourselves. There is no cure for hot and cold. They will go on forever.”

50. "Refraining—not habitually acting out impulsively—has something to do with giving up entertainment mentality. Through refraining, we see that there’s something between the arising of the craving"

51. "Felings 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."

52. "When we’ve seen ourselves completely, there’s a stillness of body that is like a mountain. We no longer get jumpy and have to scratch our noses, pull our ears, punch somebody, go running from the room, or drink ourselves into oblivion.”

53. “Now is the only time. How we relate to it creates the future."

54. “Sometimes you just have to let everything fall apart.”

55. "Let go of ‘us and them.’ Don’t turn away. Everything you do and think affects everyone else on the planet."

56. "Let the pain of the world touch you and cause your compassion to blossom."

57. “The most heartbreaking thing of all is how we cheat ourselves of the present moment.”

58. “Whether we’re eating or working or meditating or listening or talking, the reason that we’re here in this world at all is to study ourselves."

59. “We think we’d be delighted to have an unconditional relationship, but that’s only as long as it’s on our own terms.”

60. “Chaos is part of our home ground. Instead of looking for something higher or purer, work with it just as it is.”

― Quotes from the book When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön

Who is the Author of When Things Fall Apart?

Pema Chödrön, a revered Buddhist nun and author, is renowned for her wisdom on mindfulness, compassion, and resilience. Her writings, including "When Things Fall Apart" and "The Places that Scare You," offer profound insights into coping with life's challenges and finding inner peace amidst chaos. Chödrön's teachings draw from Tibetan Buddhism and emphasize the importance of embracing impermanence, uncertainty, and vulnerability as pathways to personal growth and spiritual awakening. Through her gentle yet powerful guidance, she encourages individuals to cultivate a loving and non-judgmental relationship with themselves and others, fostering emotional healing and a deeper connection to the present moment. Chödrön's timeless wisdom provides a source of solace and inspiration for those seeking a more meaningful and compassionate existence.

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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