Character is higher than intellect… A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Carelessness in your meditation practice is connected with both wildness and drowsiness. The antidote for carelessness is bringing yourself back into mindfulness. Whenever you feel bored in your practice or in the post-meditation practice, you rouse a quality of cheerfulness and an appreciation of your tremendous freedom. That sense of freedom and cheerfulness sparks an extreme awareness, which brings you back.
Stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence.
Ambiguity of language is philosophy’s main source of problems. That is why it is of the utmost importance to examine attentively the very words we use.
Suicidal feelings are not the same as giving up on life. Suicidal feelings often express a powerful and overwhelming need for a different life. Suicidal feelings can mean, in a desperate and unyielding way, a demand for something new. Listen to someone who is suicidal and you often hear a need for change so important, so indispensable, that they would rather die than go on living without the change. And when the person feels powerless to make that change happen, they become suicidal.
Help comes when the person identifies the change they want and starts to believe it can actually happen. Whether it is overcoming an impossible family situation, making a career or study change, standing up to an oppressor, gaining relief from chronic physical pain, igniting creative inspiration, feeling less alone, or beginning to value their self worth, at the root of suicidal feelings is often powerlessness to change your life – not giving up on life itself.
Survivors are not like regular people
We don’t get a vacation. We don’t get to completely lose ourselves in trivial things. Like sex with our soulmate. Or getting a promotion we’ve worked years for.
That’s why we are either the most broken people you know or Nobel prizewinners. We are the crazy homeless guy on the corner and the Olympic athlete. There is no in-between for us. We are like sharks. We swim or we die.
"Why can’t you just relax? Why do you have to structure your life so much?"
If I had a dollar for every stoner, thirty-year-old still living with their parents, or long-term Best Buy employee who said something like that to me, I wouldn’t have to work so hard. And I could hire someone just to slap the shit out of everyone who asks me that question.
Because, in truth, I envy the people that ask me that. I envy the people who only require some weed or the latest video game to be completely happy. Don’t get me wrong: I think they’re probably unevolved babymen with the emotional maturity of a toddler, but I still envy them. Every survivor does.
We envy the people who don’t have to live every day as though they’re on fire.
I am a survivor. This is my story: http://dharmasimulation.com/mystory.
The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo.
It was the first and most striking characteristic of Socrates never to become heated in discourse, never to utter an injurious or insulting word—on the contrary, he persistently bore insult from others and thus put an end to the fray.
'Immediately join whatever you meet with meditation.'
This slogan refers to the practice of transforming adverse circumstances and situations into the path of awakening. It is a reminder not to respond to things in a habitual way, but rather to respond with understanding, openness, and courage by maintaining a sense of awareness. We shouldn’t think of meditation as something we only do if we’re sitting on a cushion, but should treat everyday situations as meditations by focusing our mind on whatever arises. There’s nothing we can’t utilize for our own and others’ benefit if we use both fortunate and unfortunate circumstances to train the mind.