Thursday, December 4, 2008

More Dharma

High personal standards can be a double-edged sword -a few dharma thoughts:

"It is essential that our [standards] be translated into practice, not with an idealistic vision that we suddenly will become totally loving and compassionate, but with a willingness to be just who we are and to start from there. Then our practice is grounded in the reality of our experience, rather than based on some expectation of how we should be.

"But we must begin. We work with the precepts as guidelines for harmonizing our actions with the world; we live with contentment and simplicity that does not exploit other people or the planet; we work with restraint in the mind, seeing that it's possible to say no to certain conditioned impulses, or to expand when we feel bound by inhibitions and fear; we reflect on karma and the direction of our lives, where it is leading and what is being developed; we cultivate generosity and love, compassion and service.

All of this together becomes our path of practice."

-- From Joseph Goldstein, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom