A Personal Letter from Pema Chödrön
“You can only go into the unknown when you
have made friends with yourself.”
We are, by our very nature, vulnerable beings. We resist that which makes us uncomfortable, and when faced with feelings of vulnerability—whether from loss, fear, or self-criticism—we automatically put up barriers. But we cannot ever truly avoid feeling vulnerable—it’s part of the human experience.
By getting comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, however, we can work toward taming the one thing that causes the most suffering—the mind.
In the Buddhist Contemplative Tradition, we are taught that our fundamental state of being is one where we are wide open, awake, and possessing an immense capacity for love.
What if you could learn to embrace the full spectrum of your experience with unconditional warmth, openness, and kindness?
What if you no longer “hated” being vulnerable and, instead of overwhelming you, your emotions became your teachers?
What if you chose gentle acceptance of yourself and others over harsh judgment?
By staying present to whatever arises in your mind, you can begin to make just such a shift in thinking.
My deepest hope is that you will learn how to treat your own life experience with the same love and support you offer your truest friends.
And that as you begin to unravel your habitual patterns—fear of vulnerability, aversion to discomfort, nagging self-criticism—you will open yourself up and experience your true nature filled with limitless potential.