There are certain great people in this life who inspire a feeling of calm and ease.
My four favourite spiritual teachers are such individuals. These are the wisdom holders that I turn to in times of distress. With their learned insights, they become the ground and the anchor beneath me when the world feels too chaotic to handle.
We all need reminders to remain tender despite adversity, to stay gentle in the the face of aggression, and to continue to open our hearts in times of struggle, loss, and war. We wouldn’t be human if we did not become affected by our world and have reactions to the current state of it or each other.
However, there is a way to come back to a place of compassion once more.
Allow a meditation master, a world renowned Buddhist nun, a Zen peace activist, and the Dalai Lama to remind us again that peace can be spread right here and now:
- “Helping others is a question of being genuine and projecting that genuineness to others. This way of being doesn’t have to have a title or a name particularly. It is just being ultimately decent.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa
- “You cannot really eliminate pain through aggression. The more you kill, the more you strengthen the killer who will create new things to be killed. ~ Chogyam Trungpa
- “We can change the world, definitely. The problem is that we don’t smile when chaos occurs to us. When chaos occurs, even within that chaos, we can smile which cures confusion and resentment.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa
- “A true warrior is never at war with the world.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa
- “What are you rushing toward? Your death?” ~ Chogyam Trungpa
- “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~ Pema Chodron
- “The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” ~ Pema Chodron
- “We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.” ~ Pema Chodron
- “At the root of all the harm we cause is ignorance.” ~ Pema Chodron
- “If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart…” ~ Pema Chodron
- “Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice…No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
- “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
- “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
- “When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
- “We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
- “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” ~ Dalai Lama
- “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” ~ Dalai Lama
- “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” ~ Dalai Lama
- “If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence
provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience, and understanding.” ~ Dalai Lama
- “The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.” ~ Dalai Lama
We can positively influence our world when we align with wisdom that grounds us in our own goodness.
May the quotes from these teachers spread equanimity and the desire for us to create peace in our world, even in the face of fears, troubles, and wars.
And, as the Dalai Lama says, when all else fails, “Silence is sometimes the best answer.”
Author: Sarah Norrad
Image: Eddie Kopp/Unsplash
Editor: Leah Sugerman
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