Sylvia Boorstein quotes

  • When the mind is clear, behavior is always impeccable.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Mind #Behavior #Clear

  • Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn't more complicated that that. It is opening to or recieving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Buddhist #Acceptance #Mindfulness

  • Imagine how our lives might be if everyone had even a bit more of the Wisdom that comes from seeing clearly. Suppose people everywhere, simultaneously, stopped what they were doing and paid attention for only as long as it took to recognize their shared humanity. Surely the heartbreak of the world's pain, visible to all, would convert everyone to kindness. What a gift that would be.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Pain #Kindness #Heart

  • Spirituality doesn't look like sitting down and meditating. Spirituality looks like folding the towels in a sweet way and talking kindly to the people in the family eve though you've had a rough day.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Spiritual #Sweet #Talking

  • Life is painful, suffering is optional.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Suffering #Life Is #Painful

  • If we can keep at least a bit of the mind clear about temporality, we can mange complicated, even difficult, times with grace.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Grace #Mind #Difficult Times

  • What if someone hurts you with a weapon? Wait. Think it over. You probably feel angry. That's normal. But wasn't it the stick striking your body that hurt you? Can you be angry at the stick? Of course not. Should you be angry at the wielder of the stick? Wouldn't it make more sense to be angry at the hatred in the mind of the stick wielder? If you think about it, isn't the end of hatred in the world what you want most of all? Why, then, would you add to it by giving energy to your anger? After all, it will pass on its own if left alone, especially if you respond to it with compassion.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Hurt #Thinking #Compassion

  • Steadfast benevolence, sustained by the wisdom that anything other than benevolence is painful, protects the mind from all afflictions.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Compassion #Mind #Affliction

  • Mindfulness 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.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Life Changing #Heart #Meditation

  • The path of compassion leads to the development of insight. But it doesn't work to say, "Ready, set, go! Be compassionate!" Beginning any practice depends on intention. Intention depends on intuiting-at least a little bit-the suffering inherent in the human condition and the pain we feel, and cause, when we act out of confusion. It also depends on trusting-at least a little bit-in the possibility of a contented, satisfied mind.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Pain #Compassion #Practice

  • Surrender means wisely accommodating ourselves to what is beyond our control.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Mean #Surrender

  • Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of present experience. It isn't more complicated than that.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Acceptance #Mindfulness #Complicated

  • The mind is like tofu. It tastes like whatever you marinate it in.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Mind #Taste #Tofu

  • If you take a deep breath and look around, 'Look what's happening to me!' can become 'Look what's happening!' And what's happening? The incredible drama of life is happening. And we're in it!
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Drama #Looks #Life Is

  • Concentration and mindfulness are the internal ways in which the mind restores itself from being out of balance and lost in confusion to a condition of ease, clarity, and wisdom. No external action needs to happen.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Confusion #Mind #Balance

  • May I meet each moment fully and meet it as a friend.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #May #Moments

  • My father . . . used to say, 'I need my anger. It obliges me to take action.' I think my father was partly right. Anger arises, naturally, to signal disturbing situations that might require action. But actions initiated in anger perpetuate suffering. The most effective actions are those conceived in the wisdom of clarity.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Father #Thinking #Suffering

  • Suffering is the demand that experience be different from what it is.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Suffering #Different #Demand

  • My redeemer is always the person next to me.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Gratitude #Next #Persons

  • I think a lot about Big Mind-Small Mind, expansive, wide-lens consciousness and contracted, introverted consciousness. I have moments-we all do-when just being alive is a pleasure and a miracle. They feel like moments when the shutters of the mind are open so I can look out. It also feels as if those same shutters have no hooks to fix them in an open position. One small wind and bang-they slam shut.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Thinking #Wind #Miracle

  • The Buddha taught complete honesty, with the extra instruction that everything a person says should be truthful and helpful.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Honesty #Taught #Helpful

  • All losses are sad. The end of an important relationship is also a death. When people fall out of love with each other, or when what seemed like a solid friendship falls into ruin, the hope for a shared future--a hope that provided a context and a purpose to life--is gone. [p. 149]
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Falling In Love #Loss #People

  • I want to feel deeply, and whenever I am brokenhearted I emerge more compassionate. I think I allow myself to be brokenhearted more easily, knowing I won't be irrevocably shattered [p. 59]
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Thinking #Knowing #Want

  • Heir to your own karma doesn't mean 'You get what you deserve.' I think it means 'You get what you get.' Bad things happen to good people. My happiness depending on my action means, to me, that it depends on my action of choosing compassion--for myself as well as for everyone else--rather than contention. [p.61]
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Karma #Mean #Thinking

  • I know whether or not I am confused most readily by noticing--being mindful of--my capacity for feeling caring concern. ... when I feel myself in caring connection--encouraging, consoling, or appreciating--I feel the twin pleasures of clarity and goodness. It doesn't matter if the connection I feel is to myself or a person I know or people I don't know or even the whole world. The lively impulse of caring is what counts. [p. 20]
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Confused #Caring #Appreciate

  • The Buhha was a monastic, but the practice of mindfulness in the context of any lifestyle is one of renunciation. Every moment of mindfulness renounces the reflexive, self-protecting response of the mind in favor of clear and balanced understanding. In the light of the wisdom that comes from balanced undertanding, attachment to having things be other than what they ar falls away.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Truth #Fall #Light

  • We have moments of such clarity, of such appreciation of the incredible web of interconnected events that carry us from breath to breath, day to day, as long as we live-and the next moment we fret about how much we weigh. Or who we didn't send a Valentine. Or who forgot to compliment the dinner. Or whatever.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Appreciation #Valentine #Perspective

  • Mindfulness is attentiveness, moment to moment. What's happening right now and what's coming up in me in response to what's happening right now. Importantly, this is in the service of being able to choose wisely so that I avoid complicating my own life and the lives of others.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Able #Mindfulness #Moments

  • Buddha also said that the Dharma, like a bird, needs two wings to fly, and that the wing that balances Wisdom is compassion.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Compassion #Wings #Two

  • The responses of friendliness, compassion, and appreciation that I felt ...--all situational permutations of basic goodwill--depended on my mind's being relaxed and alert enough to notice both what was happening around me and what was happening as my internal response. [p.50]
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Appreciation #Compassion #Mind

  • People are realizing that what seemed important to them in their lives-materialism and consumerism-doesn't work at all to make a happy heart. It actually makes an unhappy heart. And an unhappy world.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Heart #People #Important

  • When we are relaxed and reasonable content, we are naturally wise. We accept that life is unpredictable, unreliable. We say jokingly or philosophically, "Nothing is sure except death and taxes," or "God willing and the creek don't rise," reminding each other that, notwithstanding the level of planning, we are continually dealing with being surprised. We get startled. We recover. We are disappointed. We adjust. Mostly-with Wisdom intact-we manage.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Wise #Wisdom #Levels

  • The Buddha taught that suffering is the extra pain in the mind that happens when we feel an anguished imperative to have things be different from how they are. We see it most clearly when our personal situation is painful and we want very much for it to change. It's the wanting very much that hurts so badly, the feeling of "I need this desperately," that paralyzes the mind. The "I" who wants so much feels isolated. Alone.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Hurt #Pain #Feelings

  • When people ask the Dalai Lama, "Is Buddhism a religion?" he answers, "Yes, it is." Then they ask, "What kind of religion is it?" He responds, "My religion is kindness." You might think, "Everyone's is." Everyone's is. That's true. It's not complicated to describe the goal of a spiritual life. It's easier than you think to explain it. It's more difficult than you can imagine to do it.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Spiritual #Kindness #Buddhism

  • It is our own pain, and our own desire to be free of it, that alerts us to the suffering of the world. It is our personal discovery that pain can be acknowledged, even held lovingly, that enables us to look at the pain around us unflinchingly and feel compassion being born in us. We need to start with ourselves.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Pain #Compassion #Discovery

  • We are all dangling in mid-process between what already happened (which is just a memory) and what might happen (which is just an idea). Now is the only time anything happens. When we are awake in our lives, we know what's happening. When we're asleep, we don't see what's right in front of us.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Memories #Ideas #Might

  • Dedication to goodness-dedication in response to an inner moral mandate rather than external restraint-was both the antidote to the pain and the source of great happiness.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Pain #Dedication #Moral

  • If I want to free myself from endless cycles of struggling with temptation, I need to keep rediscovering that the pain of the struggle is greater than the pain of the desire. If I develop the habit of restraining myself, I'll enjoy the relief of feeling the desires pass, and I'll remember that desires are not the problem. Feeling pushed around by them is. I'll continue to have desires, of course, because I'm alive, but they'll be more modest in their demands.
    -- Sylvia Boorstein

    #Pain #Struggle #Feelings