Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Start Where You Are

Start Where You Are
A Guide to Compassionate Living
by Pema Chodron


With our minds we make a big deal out ourselves, out of our pain, and out of our problems.

I'd like to encourage us all to lighten up, to practice with a lot of gentleness.
"Well, my life has taught me to be more curious than afraid." Ishi
There's nothing really wrong with passion or aggression or ignorance, except we take it so personally...

How can we help? The way we can help is by making friends with our own feelings of hatred, bewilderment and so forth. Then we can accept them in others.

Underneath all that craving or aversion or jealousy or feeling wretched about yourself, underneath all that hopelessness and despair and depression, there's something extremely soft, which is called bodhichitta.

...compassion starts with making friends with ourselves, and particularly with our poisons - the messy areas.

If we really want to communicate, we have to give up knowing what to do. When we come in with our agendas, they only block us from seeing the person in front of us.

...so this is very important, this making friends with ourselves. It's the key to a more sane, compassionate planet.

What you do for yourself - any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honesty and clear seeing toward yourself - will affect how you experience the world.

The happiness we seek is our birthright. To discover it we need to be more gentle with ourselves, more compassionate toward ourselves and our universe. The happiness we seek cannot be found through grasping, trying to hold on to things. It cannot be found through getting serious and uptight about wanting things to go in the direction we think will bring happiness. We are always taking hold of the wrong end of the stick. The point is that the happiness we seek is already here and it will be found through relaxation and letting go rather than through struggle.

By acting out or repressing we invite suffering, bewilderment, or confusion to intensify.

The only way to effect real reform is without hatred.

You begin to realize that all the (Buddhist) teachings are about yourself; you're here to study yourself.
"You should never have expectations for other people. Just be kind to them." Trungpa Rinpoche
...other people trigger the karma that we haven't worked out.

Searching for happiness prevents us from ever finding it.

Dharma is basically a good recipe for how to cook yourself, how to soften the hardest, toughest piece of meat. Dharma is good instruction on how to stop cheating yourself, how to stop robbing yourself, how to find out who you really are...

The key to feeling at home with your body, mind, and emotions, to feeling worthy to live on this planet, comes from being able to lighten up.

The key to compassionate action is this: Everybody needs someone to be there for them, simply to be there.

Patience implies willingness to be alive rather than trying to seek harmony.

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