Friday, August 18, 2006

with a boundless mind

"As the Maitri Sutra says, 'With a boundless mind one could cherish all living beings, radiating friendliness over the entire world, above, below, and all around without limit.' In practicing equanimity, we train in widening our circle of understanding and compassion to include the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.

"However, limitless equanimity, free of any prejudice at all, is not the same as an ultimate harmony where everything is finally smooth. It is more a matter of being fully engaged with whatever comes to our door.

"We could call it being completely alive.

"Training in equanimity requires that we leave behind some baggage: the comfort of rejecting whole parts of our experience, for example, and the security of welcoming only what is pleasant. The courage to continue with this unfolding process comes from self-compassion and from giving ourselves plenty of time. If we continue to practice this way over the months and years, we will feel our hearts and minds grow bigger.

"When people ask me how long this will take, I say, 'At least until you die.'"
Ani Pema Chodron, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

educate yourself for gratitude

Two quotes from Albert Schweitzer:

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."


"To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kindness that stands behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

the door of your life

"When a great moment knocks on the door of your life,
it is often no louder than the beating of your heart,
and it is very easy to miss it."

Boris Pasternak