Quotes of Wisdom, Love, and Compassion
from Jack Kornfield
The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?
If we are engaged in actions that cause pain and conflict to ourselves and others, it is impossible for the mind to become settled, collected, and focused in meditation; it is impossible for the heart to open.
We do not have to improve ourselves; we just have to let go of what blocks our heart.
If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.
Finding a way to extend forgiveness to ourselves is one of our most essential tasks. Just as others have been caught in suffering, so have we. If we look honestly at our life, we can see the sorrows and pain that have led to our own wrongdoing. In this we can finally extend forgiveness to ourselves; we can hold the pain we have caused in compassion. Without such mercy, we will live our own life in exile.
Acceptance does not mean inaction. We may need to respond, strongly at times...From a peaceful center we can respond instead of react. Unconscious reactions create problems. Considered responses bring peace. With a peaceful heart whatever happens can be met with wisdom...Peace is not weak; it is unshakable.
Whatever your difficulties - a devastated heart, financial loss, feeling assaulted by the conflicts around you, or a seemingly hopeless illness - you can always remember that you are free in every moment to set the compass of your heart to your highest intentions. In fact, the two things that you are always free to do - despite your circumstances - are to be present and to be willing to love.
Part of spiritual and emotional maturity is recognizing that it's not like you're going to try to fix yourself and become a different person. You remain the same person, but you become awakened.
The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are the moments when we touch one another.
To undertake a genuine spiritual path is not to avoid difficulties but to learn the art of making mistakes wakefully, to bring them to the transformative power of our heart.
Compassion for ourselves gives rise to the power to transform resentment into forgiveness, hatred into friendliness, and fear into respect for all beings.
Do not doubt your own basic goodness. In spite of all confusion and fear, you are born with a heart that knows what is just, loving, and beautiful.