Filed in Vajrayana, Tibetan

Unconditionally Steadfast

PEMA CHÖDRÖN, dharma teacher and author of When Things Fall Apart, speaks about roles and responsibilities within the teacher/student relationship.

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Pema Chodron is the resident teacher at Gampo Abbey, a Buddhist monastery in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. A student of the late Kagyu master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, she received the novice ordination in 1974 and was fully ordained in 1981. Pema Chodron is the author of The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, and When Things Fall Apart, all from Shambhala Publications. This interview was conducted in April at Gampo Abbey; photographs by Christine Alicino.

Pema Chodron Fall 1999 Tricycle

You’ve described the teacher-student relationship as one based on unconditional commitments: The teacher will never give up on the student and the student will never leave the teacher, no matter what. How did you come to that understanding?

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