Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life,I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself,to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.
must look at ourselves over and over again in order to learn to love,
to discover what has kept our hearts closed, and what it means to allow
our hearts to open.
unawakened mind tends to make war against the way things are. To follow
a path with heart, we must understand the whole process of making war
within ourselves and without, how it begins and how it ends. War’s roots
are in ignorance. Without understanding we can easily become frightened
by life’s fleeting changes, the inevitable losses, disappointments, the
insecurity of our aging and death. Misunderstanding leads us to fight
against life, running from pain or grasping at security and pleasures
that by their nature can never be satisfying.”
bow to the fact of our life's sorrows and betrayals is to accept them;
and from this deep gesture we discover that all life is workable. As we
learn to bow, we discover that the heart holds more freedom and
compassion than we could imagine.
“As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, “What about Vietnam?” They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice,
you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu
In our time, when high technology guided by values such as
conquest, exploitation, and domination threaten our very survival,
we need economics driven by an ethos of caring.
We need a caring revolution.
~ Riane Eisler
War and peace start in the human heart - and whether that heart is open or whether that heart closes has global implications. ~ Pema Chodron
With recognition we step out of denial. Denial undermines our freedom. The diabetic who denies his body's illness if not free. Neither is the driven, stressed-out executive who denies the cost of her lifestyle or the self-critical would-be painter who denies his love of making art. The society that denies its poverty and injustice has lost part of its freedom as well. If we deny our dissatisfaction, our anger, our pain, our ambition, we will suffer. If we deny our values, our beliefs, our longings, or our goodness, we will suffer.
There is a powerful opening that comes whenever we truly recognize what is so. "The emergence and blossoming of understanding, love, and intelligence has nothing to do with any outer tradition," observes Zen teacher Toni Packer. "It happens completely on its own when a human being questions, wonders, listens, and looks without getting stuck in fear. When self-concern is quiet, in abeyance, heaven and earth are open."
With recognition our awareness becomes like the dignified host. We name and inwardly bow to our experience: "Ah, sorrow; now pain, yes, and now, ah, the judging mind." Recognition moves us from delusion and ignorance toward freedom. "We can light a lamp in the darkness," says the Buddha. We can see what is so...
As individuals, we have to start with the reality of our own suffering. As a society, we have to start with the reality of collective suffering, of injustice, racism, greed, and hate. We can only transform the world as we learn to transform ourselves. As Carl Jung once remarked, "Perhaps I myself am the enemy who must be loved."
~ Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings
of Buddhist Psychology
Spiritual practice involves, on the one hand, acting out of concern for others' well-being. On the other, it entails transforming ourselves so that we become more readily disposed to do so. ~ Dalai Lama