Meditation doesn’t change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever. Meditation changes the heart’s capacity to accept life as it is. It teaches the heart to be more accommodating, not by beating it into submission, but by making it clear that accommodation is a gratifying choice.
Sylvia Boorstein, Don’t Just do something, Sit There
He said not “Thou shalt not be troubled, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be distressed,” but he said, “Thou shalt not be overcome.”
Julian of Norwich
All conditioned phenomena are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow, Like dew or a flash of lightning; This is how you should observe and reflect.
Same message, different traditions, same time period
If people seek peace in outward things, whether in places or in methods or in people or in deeds … however great or of whatever kind all this may be, this is all in vain and brings them no peace. Those who seek thus seek wrongly; the further they go the less they find what they are seeking. They are like one who has taken a wrong turning: the further he goes, the more he goes astray. But what should he do? In truth, if one gave up a kingdom or the whole world and did not give up self, he or she would have given up nothing. But if one gives up oneself, then whatever one keeps, wealth, honour or whatever it may be, still they have given up everything.
Meister Eckhart, German theologian, philosopher and mystic, 1260 – 1328
To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things
Dogen, Buddhist monk and philosopher, founder of the Soto school of Zen, 1200 – 1253,
Living in a world focused on what is outside us, and not looking within, we are taught from a young age that we need to become something more than we are right now. We are encouraged to always be doing: we must learn; we must buy; we must acquire and achieve. And for absolute certain we must become better than we are right now just sitting here doing nothing. The Buddha taught the opposite. He said that by learning to let the mind be, just as it is right now, all our good qualities can unfold from within.