“So each of us has a choice. You have a choice. Your thoughts can make you and the world around you suffer more or suffer less. If you want to create a more collegial, harmonious atmosphere in your… community, don’t start by trying to change other people. Your first priority should be to find your own quiet space inside so you can learn more about yourself. This includes getting to know and understand your own suffering. When your practice is solid and you’ve already harvested some of the sweet fruits of getting to know yourself, you can consider ways you can make more room to bring silence, deep looking, understanding, and compassion into your… community.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“Learning how to be kind to ourselves, learning how to respect ourselves, is important. The reason it’s important is that, fundamentally, when we look into our hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering. We are discovering the universe.” Pema Chodron
Years ago, when I first started speaking, I addressed auditoriums full of people, who would come to me afterwards and tell me what a great talk I gave. I found myself depressed. I did not want to be the entertainment. I wanted what I said to be a tool that caused people to find within themselves a course of action that changed them, changed the way things were. I wanted to empower them.
I gave way the auditoriums for a more intimate one on one setting with smaller groups. I wanted to be sure each person was getting what they needed, but still I had people showing up who had a toolbox full of manuals and books and ticket stubs from all their classes and workshops. Tucked in their wallets were the tickets to the next one already booked after my class. These people go through life collecting tools that they never use. They think they win by having the most tools at the end of it all and never seem to understand that they are meant to put them to use, to test them, to make them their own unique tools. Continue reading