The Heart of the Matter

Registration has CLOSED for this immersive online retreat. But we're glad you're here! We invite you to watch an extraordinary 11-minute video of Pema teaching the practice of compassion. 

Watch Pema's Video
Please join us at the time of Pema Chödrön’s 80th birthday—and just before she embarks on a yearlong retreat—to experience her generous heart and deep wisdom in a very special online course. Featuring seven new talks filmed this spring in the intimate setting of Gampo Abbey, Pema’s home, and offering interactive forums and two opportunities for live Q&A with Pema, this is a rare opportunity to study closely with this extraordinary teacher.
© Copyright 2016

How to Live With Compassion and Courage

Watch Pema's Video

Registration has CLOSED for this immersive online retreat. But we're glad you're here! We invite you to watch an extraordinary 11-minute video of Pema teaching the practice of compassion.

Shambhala Publications

As her theme for the course, Pema uses a short Buddhist text especially close to her heart, Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva.

This classic text, which could be said to summarize the major themes of Pema’s teachings over the years, presents ways that we can work with our own hearts and minds. Starting wherever you find yourself now, you can unravel your personal preoccupations and discover your innate potential for compassion, love, and wisdom. Using this text as a lens, in her usual down-to-earth and practical language, Pema offers new teachings that help you:

As a special extra in this course, Pema will teach tonglen, a compassion practice based on the understanding that the very thing that triggers suffering can become the foundation of happiness. Keep scrolling to get a sneak peek video of this extraordinary teaching. 

Extraordinary 11-Minute Video from the Course 

Seven Video Talks
(most around 2 hours in length) given in the intimate setting of Pema’s home, Gampo Abbey

Two Live Q&A Calls
with Pema on June 14, 2016 and July 6, 2016, both at 4 p.m. (EST)

Facilitated Discussion forums where you can engage with Pema’s senior students and the community of fellow learners

Guided Reading
assignments from selections chosen by Pema

Home Practices
designed specifically to support your integration of the teachings into your daily life

Downloadable Access to all course materials for six months

Watch Pema's Video

Three Ways to Practice

Watch Pema's Video

Our Gift to You


Discover the joy found in embracing—rather than running away from—the impermanent and groundless nature of being alive

Examine the nature of cause and effect, or karma, and consider how it plays out in your life

Work with overwhelming emotions on the spot in your everyday circumstances

Understand how your habitual attachments, or shenpas, lead to unhappiness, and explore how to untangle yourself from them

Learn how to use the difficulties of your life, such as loss and shame, as a means to awaken

Embody the six transcendent actions—generosity, discipline, patience, exertion, meditation, and wisdom—that can support your movement toward a more open-hearted life

Cultivate the attitudes of mind that incline you toward compassionate engagement with the world

Note on Browser Requirements: We are partnering with’s online learning platform, Canvas, to offer this course. If you are accessing this course through a computer or Chromebook, Canvas supports the two latest versions of every browser release.
As of April 23, 2016, Canvas supports the following versions of Flash and popular web browsers:
  • Internet Explorer 11 and Edge
  • Chrome 49 and 50
  • Safari 8 and 9
  • Firefox 44 and 45 (Extended Releases are not supported)
  • Flash 20 and 21 (used for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)  
We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plugin. If you cannot update your browser to one of the above versions, you will not be able to access this course. Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating, “Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas.” If you have upgraded your browser but are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies.

Experience The Heart of the Matter