Saturday, January 18, 2014

Everyday Mind

Everyday Mind
edited by Jean Smith


"By closing ourselves away from suffering, we also close ourselves to our own wellspring of compassion. We don't need to be particularly saintly in order to be compassionate. Compassion is the natural response of an open heart, but that wellspring of compassion remains capped as long as we turn away from or deny or resist the truth of what it is. When we deny our experience of suffering, we move away from what is genuine to what is fabricated, deceptive, and confusing." Joseph Goldstein

"(Spiritual) Practice cannot be measured in time, so let go the whole notion of when and how long. The practice is a process unfolding, and it unfolds in its own time. We do not need any particular length of time for this process of letting things be." Joseph Goldstein

"...Buddha-nature requires no additions. One does not have to memorize sutras, recite prayers, or accumulate virtues to create it. All one needs to do is unveil it." B. Alan Wallace

"Whenever we have the desire to blame others, speak harshly or cause disruption we should practice this technique of non-reaction." Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

"Some people practice throughout their entire lives just by paying attention to breathing. Everything that is true about anything is true about breath: it's impermanent; it arises and it passes away." Sylvia Boorstein

"Sometimes we think that to develop an open heart, to be truly loving and compassionate, means that we need to be passive, to allow others to abuse us, to smile and let anyone do what they want with us. Yet this is not what is meant by compassion. Quite the contrary. Compassion is not at all weak. It is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows us to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal. To develop this mind state of compassion...is to learn to live, as the Buddha put it, with sympathy for all living beings, without exception." Sharon Salzberg

"The suffering itself is not so bad, it's the resentment against suffering that is the real pain." Allen Ginsberg
Health is the greatest gain.
Contentment is the greatest wealth.
A trustworthy friend is the best of kin.
Unconditional freedom is the highest bliss.

from the Dhammapada
"In spiritual life there is no room for compromise. Awakening is not negotiable; we cannot bargain to hold on to things that please us while relinquishing things that do not matter to us. A lukewarm yearning for awakening is not enough to sustain us through the difficulties involved in letting go. It is important to understand that anything that can be lost was never truly ours, anything that we deeply cling to only imprisons us." Christina Feldman & Jack Kornfield

"Here's how mindfulness changes karma. When you sit, you are not allowing your impulses to translate into action. For the time being, at least, you are just watching them. Looking at them, you quickly see that all impulses in the mind arise and pass away, that they have a life of their own, that they are not you but just thinking, and that you do not have to be ruled by them. Not feeding or reacting to impulses, you come to understand their nature as thoughts directly. This process actually burns up destructive impulses in the fires of concentration and equanimity and non-doing. At the same time, creative insights and creative impulses are no longer squeezed out so much by the more turbulent, destructive ones. They are nourished as they are perceived and held in awareness." Jon Kabat-Zinn

"There is another word for self-discipline. It is patience." Henepola Gunaratana
"Mindfulness challenges us to stay with things as they are and to change our lives through action that harms no one. Working together, mindfully and compassionately, we can create a community in which all our livelihoods are 'right'." Claude Whitmyer

"Spirituality based on self-hatred can never sustain itself. Generosity coming from self-hatred becomes martyrdom. Morality born of self-hatred becomes rigid repression. Love for others without the foundation of love for ourselves becomes a loss of boundaries, codependency, and a painful and fruitless search for intimacy. But when we contact, through meditation, our true nature, we can allow others to also find theirs." Sharon Salzberg

"A single act of giving has a value beyond what we can imagine. So much of the spiritual path is expressed and realized in giving: love, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity; letting go of grasping, aversion, and delusion. To give is powerful. That is why the Buddha said that if we knew, as he did, the power of giving, we would not let a single meal pass without sharing some of it." Sharon Salzberg

"In the long run causing others misery and infringing on their rights to peace and happiness results in anxiety, fear and suspicion within oneself." The Dalai Lama

"The fact that it's in the nature of minds for storms to arise and pass away is not a problem. It helps in keeping the spirits up to remember that the weather is going to change. Our difficult mind states become a problem only if we believe they are going to go on forever." Sylvia Boorstein

"The basic precepts are not passive. They can actively express a compassionate heart in our life. Not killing can grow into a reverence for life, a protective caring for all sentient beings who share life with us. Not stealing can become the basis for a wise ecology, honoring the limited resources of the earth and actively seeking ways to live and work that share our blessings worldwide. From this spirit can come a life of natural and healing simplicity. Our of not lying we can develop our voice to speak for compassion, understanding, and justice. Out of nonharming sexuality, our most intimate relations can also become expressions of love, joy, and tenderness. Out of not abusing intoxicants or becoming heedless, we can develop a spirit that seeks to live in the most awake and conscious manner in all circumstances." Jack Kornfield

"Life never stops. The torment of men will be eternal, unless the function of creating and acting and changing, living intensely through each day, be considered an eternal joy." Le Corbusier

"Morality as taught by way of rules is extremely powerful and valuable in the development of practice. It must be remembered first that it, like all the techniques in meditation, is merely a tool to enable one to eventually get to that place of unselfishness where morality and wisdom flow naturally." Jack Kornfield

"(Self-discipline) is the skill at seeing through the hollow shouting of your own impulses and piercing their secret. They have no power over you. Your urges scream and bluster at you; they cajole; they coax; they threaten; but they really carry no stick at all. You give in out of habit." Henepola Gunaratana

"How to make our lives an embodiment of wisdom and compassion is the greatest challenge spiritual seekers face. The truths we have come to understand need to find their visible expression in our lives. Our every thought, word, or action holds the possibility of being a living expression of clarity and love. It is not enough to be a possessor of wisdom. Wisdom is alive only as long as it is lived, understanding is liberating only as long as it is applied. Knowledge and achievements matter little if we do not yet know how to touch the heart of another and be touched." Christina Feldman & Jack Kornfield

"Renunciation is not giving up the things of this world, but accepting that they go away." Suzuki

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