52 Powerful Quotes of Sharon Salzberg

” Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world. “
” If you go deeper and deeper into your own heart, you’ll be living in a world with less fear, isolation and loneliness. “
” Voting is like alchemy – taking an abstract value and breathing life into it. “
” Things don’t just happen in this world of arising and passing away. We don’t live in some kind of crazy, accidental universe. Things happen according to certain laws, laws of nature. Laws such as the law of karma, which teaches us that as a certain seed gets planted, so will that fruit be. “
” Meditation is not the construction of something foreign, it is not an effort to attain and then hold on to a particular experience. We may have a secret desire that through meditation we will accumulate a stockpile of magical experiences, or at least a mystical trophy or two, and then we will be able to proudly display them for others to see. “
” Patience doesn’t mean making a pact with the devil of denial, ignoring our emotions and aspirations. It means being wholeheartedly engaged in the process that’s unfolding, rather than ripping open a budding flower or demanding a caterpillar hurry up and get that chrysalis stage over with. “
” Some people have a mistaken idea that all thoughts disappear through meditation and we enter a state of blankness. There certainly are times of great tranquility when concentration is strong and we have few, if any, thoughts. But other times, we can be flooded with memories, plans or random thinking. It’s important not to blame yourself. “
” Someone who has experienced trauma also has gifts to offer all of us – in their depth, their knowledge of our universal vulnerability, and their experience of the power of compassion. “
” Faith is not a commodity that you either have or don’t have enough of, or the right kind of. It’s an ongoing process. The opposite of faith is despair. “
” To cherish others is to cherish ourselves. To cherish ourselves is to cherish others. And in that same way, we relate to the truth. If we support it, if we embrace it, if we uphold it, we will be embraced by it, we will be supported and upheld by it. “
” I think the associations people have with kindness are often things like meekness and sweetness and maybe sickly sweetness; whereas I do think of kindness as a force, as a power. “
” Sometimes people don’t trust the force of kindness. They think love or compassion or kindness will make you weak and kind of stupid and people will take advantage of you; you won’t stand up for other people. “
” We need the compassion and the courage to change the conditions that support our suffering. Those conditions are things like ignorance, bitterness, negligence, clinging, and holding on. “
” We need to redefine community and find a variety of ways of coming together and helping each other. “
” We can learn the art of fierce compassion – redefining strength, deconstructing isolation and renewing a sense of community, practicing letting go of rigid us-vs.-them thinking – while cultivating power and clarity in response to difficult situations. “
” Love and compassion don’t at all have to make us weak, or lead us to losing discernment and vision. We just have to learn how to find them. And see, in truth, what they bring us. “
” It’s interesting that people bring different things to oppressive and difficult situations, when they’re reduced to the barest terms of survival. That’s what provides tension in a lot of films. “
” The middle way is a view of life that avoids the extreme of misguided grasping born of believing there is something we can find, or buy, or cling to that will not change. And it avoids the despair and nihilism born from the mistaken belief that nothing matters, that all is meaningless. “
” We like things to manifest right away, and they may not. Many times, we’re just planting a seed and we don’t know exactly how it is going to come to fruition. It’s hard for us to realize that what we see in front of us might not be the end of the story. “
” As we look around, it’s very clear that in this world people do outrageous things to one another all of the time. It’s not that these qualities or actions make us bad people, but they bring tremendous suffering if we don’t know how to work with them. “
” When you’re wide open, the world is a good place. “
” I think we spend so much of our lives trying to pretend that we know what’s going to happen next. In fact we don’t. To recognize that we don’t know even what will happen this afternoon and yet having the courage to move forward – that’s one meaning of faith. “
” Chanting is a simple practice. When you notice you are thinking about something else during the chant, let go of the thought and come back home, to the chant, to that place where we are expressing our inner purity. “
” It is sometimes difficult to view compassion and loving kindness as the strengths they are. “
” Develop a mind so filled with love that it resembles space. “
” Everyone’s mind wanders, without doubt, and we always have to start over. Everyone resists or dislikes the thought of or is too tired to meditate at times, and we have to be able to begin again. “
” In our usual mind state, we are continually activating the process that in Buddhist terminology is known as ‘bhava,’ which literally means ‘becoming.’ In this space of becoming, we are subtly leaning forward into the future, trying to have security based on feeling that we can hold on, we can try to keep things from changing. “
” We can’t give the truth to someone as an object, we can only point to it, inviting inspection. It is in that spirit that we can hear or read a teaching and then look at our own lives, at our own experiences to see whether anything might have been revealed about them. “
” When we see the relatedness of ourselves to the universe, that we do not live as isolated entities, untouched by what is going on around us, not affecting what is going on around us, when we see through that, that we are interrelated, then we can see that to protect others is to protect ourselves, and to protect ourselves is to protect others. “
” Doing nothing means unplugging from the compulsion to always keep ourselves busy, the habit of shielding ourselves from certain feelings, the tension of trying to manipulate our experience before we even fully acknowledge what that experience is. “
” From the Buddhist point of view, it is true that emptiness is a characteristic of all of life – if we look carefully at any experience we will find transparency, insubstantiality, with no solid, unchanging core to our experience. But that does not mean that nothing matters. “
” Dedicating some time to meditation is a meaningful expression of caring for yourself that can help you move through the mire of feeling unworthy of recovery. As your mind grows quieter and more spacious, you can begin to see self-defeating thought patterns for what they are, and open up to other, more positive options. “
” I call myself a meditation teacher rather than a spiritual teacher. “
” I had a very turbulent and painful childhood, like many people. I left for college when I was 16 years old and up until that point I’d lived in five different family configurations. Each one ended or changed through a death or some terrible loss. “
” The first of the four noble truths of Buddhism, that there is suffering in life, was enormously important to me. No one had ever said it out loud. That had been my experience, of course, but no one had ever talked about it. I didn’t know what to do with all the fear and emotions within, and here was the Buddha saying this truth right out loud. “
” Even on the spiritual path, we have things we’ll tend to cover up or be in denial about. “
” Compassion isn’t morose; it’s something replenishing and opening; that’s why it makes us happy. “
” It’s a rare and precious thing to be close to suffering because our society – in many ways – tells us that suffering is wrong. If it’s our own suffering, we try to hide it or isolate ourselves. If others are suffering, we’re taught to put them away somewhere so we don’t have to see it. “
” We all want to be happy. We need to expand the notion of what that means, to make it bigger and wiser. “
” It’s difficult to admit to ourselves that we suffer. We feel humiliated, like we should have been able to control our pain. If someone else is suffering, we like to tuck them away, out of sight. It’s a cruel, cruel conditioning. There is no controlling the unfolding of life. “
” It is so powerful when we can leave behind our ordinary identities, no longer think of ourselves primarily as a conductor, or writer, or salesclerk, and go to a supportive environment to deeply immerse in meditation practice. “
” You don’t have to believe anything, adopt a dogma in order to learn how to meditate. “
” The meditation traditions I started and have continued practicing have all emphasized inclusivity: anyone can do this who is interested. “
” My earliest experiences in meditation were in a context of intensive retreats. “
” We are taught that revenge is strong and compassion is weak. We are taught that power is more important than love. “
” In Buddhist teaching, ignorance is considered the fundamental cause of violence – ignorance… about the separation of self and other… about the consequences of our actions. “
” In our own lives and in our communities, we need to find a way to include others rather than exclude them. We need to find a way to allow our pain and suffering, individually and collectively. “
” The moment that we realize our attention has wandered is the magic moment of the practice, because that’s the moment we have the chance to be really different. Instead of judging ourselves, and berating ourselves, and condemning ourselves, we can be gentle with ourselves. “
” My ideal registration system would be an opt-out one, where every single person is registered once they turn 18. In Australia, I’m told, everyone is registered to vote and you pay a fine if you don’t vote. “
” I’ve spent quite a bit of my life as a meditation teacher and writer commending the strengths of love and compassion. “
” While you are meditating, if your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the present moment. “
” I’ve always said that lovingkindness and compassion are inevitably woven throughout meditation practice even if the words are never used or implied, no matter what technique or method we are using. “