~Thich Nhat Hanh
The Dharma which I teach is totally pure and makes no distinctions between race or caste, between rich or poor, between good and bad. It is like washing in pure water. The water washes all races and castes, rich and poor, good and bad, without distinction. It is like a fire which burns all substances without exception: mountains, rocks, sky and earth. My teaching is like the sky under which all find a place: men, women, boys, girls, rich and poor, all without exception.
Sutra of the Wise and Foolish
After you have practiced for a while, you will realize that it is not possible to make rapid, extraordinary progress. Even though you try very hard, the progress you make is always little by little. It is not like going out in a shower in which you know when you get wet. In a fog, you do not know you are getting wet, but as you keep walking you get wet little by little. If your mind has ideas of progress, you may say, “Oh, this pace is terrible!” But actually it is not. When you get wet in a fog it is very difficult to dry yourself. So there is no need to worry about progress.
– Shunryu Suzuki
from the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”
With thanks to Gems of Wisdom – Zen Tradition
“Practice until you see yourself in the cruelest person on Earth, in the child starving, in the political prisoner. Continue until you recognize yourself in everyone in the supermarket, on the street corner, in a concentration camp, on a leaf, in a dewdrop. Meditate until you see yourself in a speck of dust in a distant galaxy. See and listen with the whole of your being.
If you are fully present, the rain of Dharma will water the deepest seeds in your consciousness, and tomorrow, while you are washing the dishes or looking at the blue sky, that seed will spring forth, and love and understanding will appear as a beautiful flower. “
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~
You build inner strength through embracing the totality of your experience, both the delightful parts and the difficult parts. Embracing the totality of your experience is one definition of having loving-kindness for yourself. Loving-kindness does not mean making sure you’re feeling good all the time – trying to set up your life so that you’re comfortable every moment. Rather, it means setting up your life so that you have time for meditation and self-reflection, for kindhearted, compassionate self-honesty. In this way, you become more attuned to seeing when you’re biting the hook, when you’re getting caught in the undertow of emotions, when you’re grasping and when you’re letting go. This is the way you become a true friend to yourself just as you are, with both your laziness and your bravery. There is no step more important than this.
– Pema Chödron
from the book “Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes
When someone insults us, we usually dwell on it, asking ourselves, ‘Why did he say that to me?’ and on and on. It’s as if someone shoots an arrow at us, but it falls short. Focusing on the problem is like picking up the arrow and repeatedly stabbing ourselves with it, saying, ‘He hurt me so much. I can’t believe he did that.’ Instead, we can use the method of contemplation to think things through differently, to change our habit of reacting with anger. Imagine that someone insults you. Say to yourself, ‘This person makes me angry. But what is this anger?’ It is one of the poisons of the mind that creates negative karma, leading to intense suffering. Meeting anger with anger is like following a lunatic who jumps off a cliff. Do I have to go likewise? While it’s crazy for him to act the way he does, it’s even crazier for me to do the same.
– Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
quoted in the book “Portraits of Tibetan Buddhist Masters”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes
Calm and self-control are signs of listening to the Dharma;
Few passions, signs of meditation;
Harmony with everyone is the sign of a practitioner;
Your mind at ease, the sign of accomplishment.
Shikantaza is to practice or actualize emptiness. Although you can have a tentative understanding of it through your thinking, you should understand emptiness through your experience. You have an idea of emptiness and an idea of being, and you think that being and emptiness are opposites. But in Buddhism, both of these are ideas of being. The emptiness we mean is not like the idea you may have. You cannot reach a full understanding of emptiness with your thinking mind or with your feeling. That is why we practice zazen.
– Shunryu Suzuki
from the book “Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen”
Just as the grammarian makes one study grammar,
A Buddha teaches according to the tolerance of his students;
Some he urges to refrain from sins, others to do good,
Some to rely on dualism, other on non-dualism;
And to some, he teaches the profound,
The terrifying, the practice of enlightenment,
Whose essence is emptiness that is compassion.
quoted in the book “The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience”