1 " Status quo is not very helpful for spiritual growth, for using this short interval between birth and death. On the other hand, expanding our ability to feel comfortable in our own skin and in the world, so that we can be there as much as possible for other people, is a very worthy way to spend a human life. "
3 " We are at a time when old systems and ideas are being questioned and falling apart, and there is a great opportunity for something fresh to emerge. I have no idea what that will look like and no preconceptions about how things should turn out, but I do have a strong sense that the time we live in is a fertile ground for training in being open-minded and open-hearted. If we can learn to hold this falling apart–ness without polarizing and without becoming fundamentalist, then whatever we do today will have a positive effect on the future. Working with polarization and dehumanization won’t put an immediate end to the ignorance, violence, and hatred that plague this world. But every time we catch ourselves polarizing with our thoughts, words, or actions, and every time we do something to close that gap, we’re injecting a little bodhichitta into our usual patterns. We’re deepening our appreciation for our interconnectedness with all others. We’re empowering healing, rather than standing in its way. And because of this interconnectedness, when we change our own patterns, we help change the patterns of our culture as a whole. "
5 " We are at a time when old systems and ideas are being questioned and falling apart, and there is a great opportunity for something fresh to emerge. I have no idea what that will look like and no preconceptions about how things should turn out, but I do have a strong sense that the time we live in is a fertile ground for training in being open-minded and open-hearted. If we can learn to hold this falling apart–ness without polarizing and without becoming fundamentalist, then whatever we do today will have a positive effect on the future. "
6 " Is this feeling permanent?” “Is it transient?” “Is it solid?” “Is it fluid?” “Is it fixed?” “Is it dynamic?” “Is it finite or infinite?” You can also ask: “Is this feeling me?” “Is it not me?” “Is it an obstacle?” “Is it a portal?” Or you can touch the feeling, completely free of storyline, and say, “When experienced directly, this very feeling is basic goodness,” or “Basic goodness is found right here.” In other words, you don’t have to wait until the feeling is gone to find basic goodness. "
7 " The ego wants resolution, wants to control impermanence, wants something secure and certain to hold on to. It freezes what is actually fluid, it grasps at what is in motion, it tries to escape the beautiful truth of the fully alive nature of everything. As a result, we feel dissatisfied, haunted, threatened. We spend much of our time in a cage created by our own fear of discomfort. "
8 " In this very brief time that we have on earth, we have to ask ourselves how we’re going to spend our time. Will we keep increasing and strengthening our neurotic habits in our vain quest for some kind of lasting comfort and pleasure? Or will we make it a practice to step out into the learning zone? "
9 " We all have tremendous potential and yet we stay closed in a very small, fearful world, based on wanting to avoid the unpleasant, the painful, the insecure, the unpredictable. There is vast, limitless richness and wonder we could experience if we fully accustomed our nervous systems to the open-ended, uncertain reality of how things are. "
10 " Protecting ourselves from pain—our own and that of others—has never worked. Everybody wants to be free from their suffering, but the majority of us go about it in ways that only make things worse. "
12 " When we start to ask ourselves, “Does it matter?” we realize how many aspects there are to every situation. We begin to appreciate how interconnected we are to the rest of the world, and how even our thought patterns can lead to a whole series of consequences "
13 " if we understand how growth happens and are inspired to pursue the path of awakening, we develop an appetite for the things that challenge us. We become increasingly drawn to the places where learning and deepening can happen. "
14 " Ego struggles against reality, against the open-endedness and natural movement of life. It is very uncomfortable with vulnerability and ambiguity, with not being quite sure how to pin things down. "
15 " Consciously or unconsciously, we carry around concepts of “us” and “them,” “right” and “wrong,” “worthy” and “unworthy.” In this framework, there’s not much room for a middle ground; everything is at one pole or another. When groups of people or whole nations get together around these concepts, they can become hugely magnified, which may result in large-scale suffering: discrimination, oppression, war. "
19 " Just like me, this person doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable. Just like me, this person loses it sometimes. Just like me, this person doesn’t want to be disliked. Just like me, this person wants to have friends and intimacy. "