The solution does not lie in returning to nature. We cannot return to nature, because we have never left it.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
The quick fixes and immediate gratification I think will make me happy never do in the long run, leaving me empty-hearted. Mindfulness digs the truth out from under the excuses and confusion, lighting the way to true satisfaction.Read more
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.Read more
The ego says, “It’s always something.”
The spirit says, “It’s never anything.”
The moment is the sole realityRead more
Though it is born
though it dies
The essence of
And the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.
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.Read more
We don’t meditate to get better at meditating, we meditate to get better at lifeRead more
When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.Read more
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.Read more
We have our mind and our thoughts, and they can rev up emotions. But if we use our emotions as the object of meditation, as our friend and support, it’s like standing on the bank of the river and observing.Read more
The grace of impermanence is that we belong to everything, that we are not separated from anything, that we are not isolated. We may be waves on an ocean, but we are waves that know we are waves.Read more
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.Read more
Do not cling to good,
Do not reject evil!
Purity and defilement—
If you depend on neither,
You will grasp the empty nature of sin.
Problems, possibilities, joys and sorrows come and go like clouds in the clear sky of the mind.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more