Comfortable with Uncertainty is a short and sweet book. Its 108 teachings on cultivating fearlessness and compassion are simple but full of significance and impact. They are nuggets of wisdom that spike our days and life.

Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist teacher who spreads peace worldwide through her messages, books, and actions.

Though this is my first book from her, I know it will not be my last. Her writing style is simple and accurate. She goes straight to the point. It’s easy to understand the text’s structure and organization.

I’m a mindfulness practitioner and a lover of Buddhist teaching, so this book tickled my fancy when I read the title and reviews on Goodreads. I didn’t regret to pick this up.

This mindfulness book teaches the importance of understanding that uncertainty is inevitable and we shouldn’t avoid it, but learn how to relate to discomfort. It also highlights the relevance of self-compassion and loving-kindness.

Sticking to uncertainty is how we learn to relax in the midst of chaos.

As we read this book, we learn about how life plays a role and how we can live a meaningful and smooth life. Some teachings seem obvious, but we tend to overlook them when we live on autopilot and don’t stop to see reality as it unfolds in front of us each day.

This book exceeded my expectations, taught me a lot, and jogged my memory about other things that I had forgotten.

Some Takeaways

1. Loving kindness and meditation

As soon as we begin meditating, we tend to think that we will stop feeling strong emotions, that we’ll understand and accept warts and all of life easily, and that everything will fall into place without a hitch. Wrong.

As meditators, we’re still humans. The difference is that we’ll notice when powerful emotions and thoughts come and we’ll give ourselves time to pause before reacting to them. Another benefit is that we tend to be more compassionate with others because we notice similarities between us. In other words, we see similarities between our flaws and theirs. As a result, we tend to be less judgmental.

2. The weather

I loved the analogy that our lives are like the weather. We should understand that we change over time, just as our moods do throughout the day. So, such is life. When we resist it, we suffer.

“We also change like the weather. We ebb and flow like the tides, we wax and wane like the moon. We fail to see that like the weather, we are fluid, not solid. And so we suffer.”

3. Abandon any hope of fruition

Fruition implies that we’ll feel better at some point in the future. So, we should avoid it and we should rejoice in the present moment the way it is.

Daydreaming comes to mind when I hear that. Once, I read that we should avoid daydreaming because this habit takes us away from the present moment (which I totally agree with).

“As long as you are oriented toward the future, you can never relax into what you already have and are”

4. See clearly. No more no less.

“Things are as bad and as good as they seem. There’s no need to add anything extra.”

5. Generosity

Having a generous spirit is inherently part of our human nature. We want to make good for others, we want people to like and accept us. We want to be part of a group and socialize as a species.

Throughout this book, the concept of generosity was emphasized in a way that goes beyond giving money, attention, words of advice, kind gestures, etc. In addition, there is the art of letting go as well. I’ve never thought of generosity from this perspective. It blew my mind.

It is in generosity that we let go. By offering whatever we can, we train ourselves to let go.

When we experience pain, it’s a sign that we’re getting hold of something.

The point isn’t what we give, but to unlock the habit of clinging.

Some Reminders

1. Nothing to hold on to

When we remember the impermanence of life, we find wisdom and peace of mind. Things are always in transition. To get a grip on this belief is the root of happiness.

2. The facts of life

These are two inevitable facts of life: Impermanence and suffering. We can learn a lot about cheering up by remembering that life might end in the next minute. Resisting the impermanence of life causes us to experience suffering.

3. Always maintain a joyful mind

“Always” is a long time, you might think. And you’re right. The point here is to disengage from the nasty habit of nurturing dissatisfaction. We should learn to appreciate what we have.

4. Awakening our hearts is the work of a lifetime

There isn’t such a thing as “Now, I have mastered the skill to be present”. Working on our mindfulness skills and awakening hearts is like exercising and eating healthy, it’s work for a lifetime. By stopping the practice, we’ll miss out on its benefits and suffer the consequences.

That’s it guys.

If you decide to read this book, I hope this article will provide you with a good overview of what to expect.

I’d love to hear from you, which one of these takeaways and reminders stood out to you?

Thank you for reading, and see you next time.


Shirley is an avid learner, interested in self-development, healthcare, and mindfulness. As an English learner, she spreads the word about her process of learning English, that it might help someone in their process.

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