Maintain a beginner’s mind

A mind that is really humble has an immense capacity for inquiry, whereas the mind that is under the burden of knowledge, with its own conditioning, can never really inquire. A man who says he knows is already dead. But the man who thinks, “I don’t know,” who is discovering, who is not seeking an end, not thinking in terms of arriving or becoming — such a man is living, and that living is truth.

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

The world is full of half-enlightened masters

The world is full of half-enlightened masters. Overly clever, too “sensitive” to live in the real world, they surround themselves with selfish pleasures and bestow their grandiose teachings upon the unwary. Prematurely publicizing themselves, intent upon reaching some spiritual climax, they constantly sacrifice the truth and deviate from the Tao.

What they really offer the world is their own confusion. The true master understands that enlightenment is not the end, but the means. Realizing that virtue is his goal, he accepts the long and often arduous cultivation that is necessary to attain it. He doesn’t scheme to become a leader, but quietly shoulders whatever responsibilities fall to him.

Unattached to his accomplishments, taking credit for nothing at all, he guides the whole world by guiding the individuals who come to him. He shares his divine energy with his students, encouraging them, creating trials to strengthen them, scolding them to awaken them, directing the streams of their lives toward the infinite ocean of the Tao.

– Lao Tzu

Tough Love

Boundaries play an interesting and sometimes complicated role in developing compassion. They are like the stake and wires that are used to help keep young trees rooted and growing straight. Early on in our practice or when we’re faced with difficult, new challenges, a lack of healthy boundaries can lead to our compassion being blown away before it’s had a chance to take root. As we develop, though, boundaries held too tightly can stifle our compassion and keep it from reaching maturity. In the process of developing compassion, we need to become skillful at knowing when to apply boundaries and when to relax or release them.

– Lorne Ladner, “Taking a Stand”