“To live in the present demands on ongoing and unwavering commitment. As we follow a spiritual path, we are required to stop the war not once but many times. Over and over we feel the familiar tug of thoughts and reactions that take us away from the present moment. When we stop and listen, we can feel how each thing that we fear or crave (really two sides of the same dissatisfaction) propels us out of our hearts into a false idea of how we would like life to be. If we listen even more closely, we can feel how we have learned to sense ourselves as limited by that fear and identified with that craving. From this “small” sense of ourselves, we often believe that our own happiness can come only from possessing something or can be only at someone else’s expense.
To stop the war and come into the present is to discover a greatness of our own heart that can include the happiness of all beings as inseparable from our own. When we let ourselves feel the fear, the discontent, the difficulties we have always avoided, our heart softens. Just as it is a courageous act to face all the difficulties from which we have always run, it is also an act of compassion. According to Buddhist scriptures, compassion is the “quivering of a pure heart” when we have allowed ourselves to be touched by the pain of life. The knowledge that we can do this and survive helps us to awaken the greatness of our heart. With greatness of heart, we can sustain a presence in the midst of life’s suffering, in the midst of life’s fleeting impermanence. We can open to the world — its ten thousand joys and ten thousand sorrows.”
Jack Kornfield, in “A Path With Heart”
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Jeff Maziarek, author of Spirituality Simplified and Codi’s Journey, launched Pondercentral.com in April 2007 as a Web-based forum for “PONDER on THIS,” a series of weekday inspirational email messages he began sending to subscribers in March 1999. A FREE service since its inception, “PONDER on THIS” provides subscribers with meaningful content to assist them on their individual paths of spiritual growth. In addition, it benefits subscribers, authors, and publishers by including links to Amazon.com where subscribers can learn more about the book being quoted, and also purchase it.