The Gift

“The intention to open the heart and mind is what’s essential. If we do good deeds with an attitude of superiority or outrage, we simply add more aggression to the planet. …When we practice generosity we become intimate with our grasping. When we practice the discipline of not causing harm we see our rigidity and self-righteousness. Our practice is to work with guidelines of compassionate conduct with the flexible mind…seeing things without “shoulds” or “should nots.” We aren’t drawing upon a code of conduct and condemning everyone who doesn’t comply. If we draw a line down the center of a room and tell those in it to put themselves in the category of “virtuous” or “nonvirtuous,” are we truly more liberated because we choose “virtuous”? More likely we’re just more arrogant and proud. Bodhisattvas are to be found among thieves and prostitutes and murderers.”

Pema Chodron, from her book: The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

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