1. The two things that you are always free to do—despite your circumstances—are to be present and to be willing to love.
    Jack Kornfield, “Set the Compass of Your Heart
  2. It is possible to take a friendly relationship to our ego natures, it is possible to appreciate the aesthetic play of forms in emptiness, and to exist in this place like majestic kings of our own consciousness. But to do that, we would have to give up grasping to make everything come out the way we daydream it should. So, suffering is caused by ignorance, or suffering exaggerated by ignorance or ignorant grasping and clinging to our notion of what we think should be, is what causes the “suffering of suffering.” The suffering itself is not so bad, it’s the resentment against suffering that is the real pain.
  3. There is no permanent Hell, there is no permanent Heaven. Therefore, the suffering that we sense during this transition of life is not a permanent condition that we need to be afraid of. It’s not where we’re going to end up. We end liberated from the suffering either by death, or in life, by waking up to the nature of our situation and not clinging and grasping, screaming and being angry, resentful, irritable or insulted by our existence.
  4. Happiness is not happiness unless it is shared. For happiness is the one thing in all the world that comes to us only at the moment we give it, and is likewise increased by being given away.
    Clark Strand, “The Wisdom of Frogs
  5. Before we can understand impermanence, we have to understand permanence. We think we’re permanent, that we’ll always be who we are. This deep-rooted notion of permanence, is like being in a dream. When we’re in a dream, if feels like it’s going to last forever, yet the self we’re imagining is simply a conglomeration of skandhas or “heaps” – blood, bones, memories, emotions, thoughts, and perceptions. Ignorance says, “I think I’ll call this ‘me.’” When we believe the self is permanent, we believe the world and its phenomena are also permanent. We see that things change, but our sense of permanence is pervasive.
    Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, “Lost” Shambhala Sun, November 2010
  6. Buddhist training isn’t a method for transcending our basic nature—our nature isn’t the trap. Aversion and grasping together are the trap, and nondiscrimination the way out.
    Sallie Tisdale
  7. Don’t feel like you have to go it alone. Meditation does not preclude or diminish the power of therapeutic methods. They are powerful in their own right. There are trained people out there who can work with you to navigate your suffering. Do not be scared to seek help.
  8. Liberation does not come when you conquer your ego, silence it, or through repression and denial get it to behave ‘properly.’ Liberation comes when we release our attachment to the habitual conditioned nature and structure of our temporary egos.
    Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi, “Liberation
  9. Another universal version of living out of stories is holding onto our beliefs, many of which are illusions. For example, most of us have the belief, the illusion, that we are in control or that we can be in control. We cling to this illusion because the fear of loss of control is one of our strongest fears. Even when we see all the evidence to the contrary, we still live our day-to-day life with the illusion that we’re in the driver’s seat. In fact, many of our personality strategies are based on this illusion. For instance, we think that following the control strategy of trying to please others will keep us safe from disapproval. Or we may think that if we follow the control strategy of trying harder, we can make life go as we would like. The point is, each closely held belief, such as the illusion of control, defines us and limits us in many ways that we can’t even see.
    Ezra Bayda, “No One Special to Be
  10. When we bring awareness to our cherished self-images, such as our need to be special, they begin to lose their power over us. No longer puffing ourselves up or trying to stand out means we’re coming closer to living like a white bird in the snow. That is, we no longer feel the inner compulsion to see ourselves or be seen in a particular way—there is no ulterior agenda.
    Ezra Bayda, “No One Special to Be

Sleeping Buddha

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