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10 Best Pema Chödrön Books (2024)

Best Pema Chodron Books ReviewBio

Chödrön is the author you want to go to when trying to discover more about life, yourself, religion, peace, and more. She was born in 1936 and is now known as one of the greatest Tibetan Buddhists who has accomplished so much regarding helping others. 


Pema was the disciple of the great Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Buddhist master who also has many achievements to his name. You can learn much from and about her, her ways, and her thoughts on many things in life from some of the best Pema Chödrön books around. That’s what we will be discussing here as you get to find out which are the best ones by her and what you can expect to discover inside.

Best Pema Chödrön Books


She has written several dozen books in her life. Topics that Pema discusses in her books include spirituality, religion, self-help, philosophy, and much more. So, here are some of the best books by Pema Chödrön you must read.

When Things Fall Apart


Impeccable Advice

This is a must-read book by Pema and is the perfect choice for getting to know her if she is a new author for you. Inside, she discusses a few topics regarding how to cope with everything life might throw at you. What’s really exciting is the fact that she tries to teach others through her own experiences, through real difficult times that she has lived through, and shares how she coped with them and how everyone can as well. 

The book is filled with advice on how to deal with tough situations, unpredictable outcomes that are hard to handle, and heartbreaking moments that have the power to destroy you. Her experiences throughout life have taught her a lot because Pema was wise enough to take the hard times as lessons and learn from every single one of them.

Topics Discussed Inside

If you are someone who is currently in the middle of a difficult situation that seems inescapable, Pema is the person to help you out realize a few important things that might have the power to change your opinion on many points of life. This book might be the best from our list of Chödrön’s books to help you with this matter.

A few topics that you will find helpful hidden inside are ways to use these painful emotions for good and turn them into wisdom, knowledge, and positive thoughts. 


You also get to discover how to use communication as a tool to heal and help others around you instead of letting them shut down and inflict more pain on themselves and others. All of Pema Chödrön’s quotes and information gathered inside is a huge step to making the most out of life and helping you cope with simply anything it has prepared for you.

Welcoming the Unwelcome


Own Experience

If Chödrön can do anything for you, it has to be the ability to always leave you with more hope than before you start reading her books. Her teachings always bring so much insight to people which is why many of the books by Chödrön speak to everyone who reads them, bringing knowledge and changing lives for the better. 

This is the case with Welcoming the Unwelcome as Pema shares never-before-heard stories from her own life again. This is always the most exciting part of her books as you get to hear real-life stories from someone who has gone through what you are probably experiencing now. Many new doors will be opened by reading this book, many things will be learned, and the life-changing advice she has to offer is not to be overlooked. 

Calming the Heart and Mind

Pema’s ability to influence others has always been a huge wonder. Her words are always able to touch the heart and mind of her readers, showing them new feelings and realizations that have the potential of changing their lives.

The reason that this one is on our Pema Chödrön books list is that you can get so much out of it. What you will be left with after reading it is going to be a whole new mindset, one filled with positive thoughts.

The Places That Scare You


Helping You Out

Seven years after Chödrön published her book called When Things Fall Apart, she comes back with another book that is supposed to help you out through more difficult times. To be more precise, this book will focus on how to deal with fears, how to overcome them, and how to use them to your advantage. This is a powerful tool that, once mastered, will leave you a totally changed person. 


It’s very unlikely that your entire life will go on without one single difficulty, problem, or unwanted situation. Pema tries to prepare everyone for this type of event so that you get out stronger than before by learning how to deal with it properly. Like in many of the top Chödrön books out there, she tries to stress how important it is that we show kindness and connect with others constantly. Pema believes that this leads to realizations about ourselves that we never knew anything about before. 

Accept Yourself

This is something that Pema has been trying to make everyone understand ever since her first book, The Wisdom of No Escape. It might sound easy, but accepting yourself with every single detail, every imperfection, every annoying habit will probably be the hardest thing you have done in your life.

The Places That Scare You is going to be the best Pema Chödrön book for beginners to accomplish all this and start leading a better, more fulfilled life.

Comfortable with Uncertainty


Short Teachings

By now you should be familiar with the fact that Pema is an amazing person to teach you all about Buddhism and its practices that can lead you to a better life. This one of the best-rated Chödrön books to read first on Buddhism as this book is the perfect way to learn how to apply her teachings and understandings of this religion to your life. 

In Comfortable with Uncertainty, you can expect to read a collection of 108 short teachings that Pema wants you to not only read but fully understand and realize their full potential of changing your life for the better. 

What She Teaches

Inside this 200+ page book, you can expect to find priceless information on things that Pema has learned from studying the Buddhist belief system for years and years. Pema aims to lead people to better their lives by eliminating bad features like our ego and hatred and focus on more productive and greater things like love, selflessness, compassion, and more. 

By following the teachings and instructions in this amazing Pema Chödrön book, you allow yourself to begin a new journey in life, one that is going to be totally new to you and way more exciting than anything you have done before. Hear what her teachings have to offer and try applying them to your lifestyle and daily habits.

Start Where You Are


Necessities for Happiness

What you are about to discover in this best Pema Chödrön book for people new to Buddhism is more insights about your own life, more helpful tips on how to find more happiness and fulfillment, and more content on Pema herself as you get to know this wonderful person more and more. 

Everything inside is designed so that you can learn from Pema’s own experiences and realize many important necessities for happiness. What you are probably going to find most exciting, as discussed in many Pema Chödrön book reviews, is the collection of 59 Tibetan Buddhist slogans that will have you thinking for quite a while. 

Chödrön’s Tips

Many of the words inside will be nothing if not insightful and eye-opening. Some of the slogans or maxims that we mentioned are going to be things like “Always apply only a joyful state of mind”, “Don’t seek others’ pain as the limbs of your own happiness”, and 57 more. 

The book’s title describes it perfectly. It is a guide before all else, a guide to how you can become a more compassionate person, help others, and in doing so, become a better, happier person yourself. You are also going to like that Pema uses her amazing sense of humor to always make you feel better about yourself and have an easier time understanding everything inside.

Living Beautifully


Three Commitments

Have you ever wondered if it was possible to have a peaceful and happy life even when everything around you was saying otherwise? We all know that things can’t always be perfect. It can’t always be peaceful and something is bound to throw things off balance once in a while. 

Despite all of this, Pema wants you to know, through this book, that a beautiful, happy, and joyful life is still possible, no matter if the ground is shaky or not. So, how can we achieve this? Pema uses something called the Three Commitments to make everyone realize that they are all it takes to achieve this state of life.

Pratimoksha Vow

This is the First Commitment that she discusses in the book. This topic talks about personal liberation, how to achieve it, and what to do with it. Basically, you get to learn how to be good to everyone else, and in doing so, you get quite a lot in return. Focus on not hurting everyone and doing as much good as you can and liberation will come.

Bodhisattva Vow

This is the Second Commitment. This vow also has something to do with being a good person and it mainly focuses on maintaining an open heart and accepting anything and anyone that life has to offer you. Your goal is to relieve some of the suffering in the world and magical feelings will come in return. 

Samaya Vow

And the last of the Commitments discusses how you should embrace the world exactly like it is without any opinions whatsoever. Everything you see, discover, face, and encounter, you have to see it exactly as it is, don’t judge, and embrace it all. 

Everything is discussed in great detail inside the book and all of this is what makes this one of the best Pema Chödrön books to start with. Expect lots of helpful information and eye-opening realization from Pema’s words inside.

Taking the Leap



Self-help is the main topic discussed in Taking the Leap as it is with most of the best-selling Pema Chödrön books out there. Using her intense knowledge of the ways of Buddhis and drawing from the Buddhist concept known as shenpa, Pema is back again with more ways to help us live better lives.

What you get to learn most in this book is how to control certain emotions and states of mind that are self-destructive and always tend to lead only to more bad. These emotions are anger, self-hatred, blame, and addiction. Eliminating one of these, not to mention all of them, is probably going to be the hardest obstacle you’ve had to face in your life.

Why This Is Essential

No one is forcing anyone to practice her teachings and learn the ways that Pema used to get her life together. However, once in control, you are going to see life-changing results such as Pema did in her life. It might seem too simple, but all it takes to achieve this is the will to begin and put into action the knowledge that she gives out in this book. 

Inside, you are going to learn a few crucial human qualities that determine a lot in our lives. These qualities are natural intelligence, natural warmth, and natural openness. There isn’t one person without these qualities and understanding them is crucial for understanding life.

The Wisdom of No Escape


How-To Guide

This is the first book Pema Chödrön ever wrote and it immediately became a hit and a best-seller. The words inside, Pema’s wisdom, and everything she talks about was something people are crazy about and eager to learn from. If you feel like reading Pema Chödrön’s books in order, then this is the one to start with. 

The main benefit that you will be getting from the contents of this book is the knowledge of how to say yes to life and every good or bad it has to offer. 

First Step

Facing and dealing with the fact that it’s not always good is the first step to happiness and a great life. This means that you have to understand our situation and the fact that there is no escaping death, and that we have nothing to lose at the end. In fact, this is one of Pema Chödrön’s recommended books on dying and the realizations you get from what’s inside will be priceless.

No Time to Lose


Diving Deep

If you remember one of the Three Commitments from her book titled Living Beautifully, the Bodhisattva is one of the things she talked about and you get a more detailed version of this in No Time to Lose.  Here, you will get to dive deep into your own heart and unlock the Bodhisattva Warrior, as Pema states herself in the book.

Open Your Heart

What this means is that by opening your heart, you can then develop the confidence you need to live life more happily and to cope with the everyday challenges that life has to offer. Such knowledge will be priceless once you realize that this is something that has the power to completely transform your life for the better.

The Pocket Pema Chödrön



This book is the last we have to offer you from our top choices of some of the most popular Pema Chödrön books out there. The book is a collection of 108 short summaries of everything she has taught people in her books over the years. It’s sort of an on-the-go version of her most important teachings. 

Perfect Opportunity

This is actually the perfect opportunity to get to know Pema if you are a new reader and admirer of her work. Many of Pema Chödrön’s best books offer detailed content about herself and her life but here, you get a shorter version and see if her content is to your liking before you dive into her more complex work. 

Adored Teachings

Inside, is a collection of her most popular and adored teachings such as how to become fearless and take everything life throws at you head-on, how to stop and quit self-destructive patterns and change your life, how to become more patient, loving, and kind, how to unlock your natural warmth, intelligence, and goodness, and much more.

Alissa Wynn

Alissa is an avid reader, blogger, and wannabe writer. (She's a much better cook than a writer actually). Alissa is married, has one human, one feline, and two canine kids. She always looks a mess and never meets a deadline.