“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. Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know.”
Pema Chödrön (1936 – )
Born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in New York City, Chödrön attended the elite Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. After two marriages and a career as an elementary school teacher she began studying Buddhism with Lama Chime Rinpoche, becoming a nun in 1974 and a bhiksuni in 1981. She is thought to be the first American woman so ordained. A prolific writer, her books include When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times from which the above quote is taken, as well as the recent How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind. She is the director of the Gampo Abbey on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia and spends seven months of the year in solitary retreat.