Gil Fronsdal

All meditation practices require that one relax self-preoccupation. Just like being too tense to ride a bike, when people are too concerned with themselves it can be very difficult for the mind to be soft enough to settle into meditation.

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Amaro Bhikkhu

Fear is not the enemy—it is nature’s protector; it only becomes troublesome when it oversteps its bounds. In order to deal with fear we must take a fundamentally noncontentious attitude toward it, so it’s not held as “My big fear problem” but rather “Here is fear that has come to visit.” Once we take this attitude, we can begin to work with fear.

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Chögyam Trungpa

Ego Views Awakened Heart as a Big Mistake.

Bodhichitta, or awakened heart, comes about purely by chance. In fact, we could say that the idea of having bodhichitta in us was a big mistake from ego’s point of view. But that mistake turned out to be good from the enlightened point of view.

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Pema Chödrön

Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity. 

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Rafe Martin

Greed, hatred, and ignorance arise in our minds, and if we build a self on them, we’re trapped. But if we don’t make our nest there, though self-centered thoughts come, they also go like the wind that shakes the branches and then disappears.

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Stephen Fulder

Pain and joy, love of life, and fear of death know no boundaries of us and them. We can all wake up to realize that our happiness depends on the happiness of our neighbors and vice versa, and our real safety is in togetherness, not intractable conflict.

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Jay Michaelson

Some thoughts feel deep, some shallow—but those are just sensations, nothing more. The feeling-tones are not reliable judges of value. For me, this was a radical rejection of a view of the self that seemed, to me at least, to be everywhere.

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Bernie Glassman

Everything in Zen is present perfect tense. There is no future, no past—it’s all now. There’s nowhere to go, nowhere to reach, it’s all here, all One Body, one thing. Since we are already here, we are already at the end of the path and we are also at the beginning. We don’t practice to become enlightened, we don’t practice to realize something; we practice because we are enlightened. We don’t eat to live; because we are alive, we eat. We usually think it’s the other way around, that we eat and breathe so we’ll be or remain alive. But no, because we’re alive, we breathe, we eat, we do.

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