The power of solitude

Beside the Dalai Lama, Pema Chödrön is probably the most widely known practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. Born in New York City, she was ordained as a nun in 1974 and has written several popular books on Buddhist practice, including When Things Fall Apart (1996), The Places That Scare You (2001), and Start Where You Are (2004).

In 2006, Bill Moyers talked with Pema Chödrön as part of his Faith and Reason series. Here is the full interview, and below is segment, lasting just under five minutes. Chödrön, who spent a year in silent retreat, says everyone needs periods of solitude in life, even if just a brief time every day. Distraction, she says, is not just our phones and gadgets, but the distracted state of our ordinary minds. Just a little time out from this allows us to re-engage our lives with a “more spacious” awareness, and this makes it profoundly valuable.

5 thoughts on “The power of solitude

  1. My apologies to readers – I managed to delete the last 20 comments through an error of inattention, and it is irreversible. Another first for this blog and not one I’m happy about!


  2. That’s a shame, Morgan. Sometimes I go back and look at comments. They remind me I’m doing something worthwhile. I really appreciate this post, as I do most of yours. I definitely agree, and I could sure use a little more solitude!


      • Hm. Know the feeling. I have so many ‘lost’ things I think I need a more zen approach and, instead of searching, trust that they will surface in their own good time, and when I need them. It’s one excuse for tidying my office or doing my tax return in good time.


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