Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Tag: Compassion (Page 1 of 4)

How to Stay Strong When Life Is Hard: 48 Pema Chödrön Quotes

Whenever I face challenges, obstacles, or difficulties in life, I return to one book, time and again:  When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön.

Chödrön knows how to distill the wisdom of the Buddhist teachings for the Western mind and heart, making them universally applicable to everyone, whatever their background, faith, or absence of faith.  She has a knack for drilling right to the core, putting her finger on exactly what we need to know to transcend unhappy and unhealthy patterns, once and for all.

2018 seems to be a repeat of what turned out to be a tumultuous 2017 for so many of us. I’m on my own emotional roller coast at the moment, which is why I turned once again to Chödrön’s book.  To help us stay strong in hard times, I’ve gathered together a collection of potentially life-changing quotes from When Things Fall Apart.

These quotes aren’t just quick memes, at least not most of them. They ask you to look deeply both within and also without, at the true nature of reality not the dream you’ve conjured up.

Find the ones that resonate for you. Then take one—the one that speaks to you in that moment or for that particular day—and sit with it for a while.  Soak it in. Let its truth permeate your being.  This will help you to begin to live from greater clarity and a kinder heart, if only for a few moments at time at first.

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What Does It Mean to Be a Spiritual Warrior?

What does it mean to be a spiritual warrior?

My last article on how to accept yourself, no matter what struck a chord for many people, even those who’ve been working on themselves for years.

Why is that?  I believe we live in a wounding culture, in which a child’s basic needs for love, connection, and affirmation often go unmet leading.  This can lead to a lack of self-acceptance that remains even as an adult.

As a young girl, I remember picking the petals off a flower one-by-one while saying to myself, “They love me. They love me not.”  I fantasized about being kidnapped or falling ill, hoping a catastropic event would make my parents take notice of me.  Most of the time, I felt isolated, in my own little world.

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Is It Time to Create a Culture of Care?

What if love, compassion + care ruled society? With examples.

Did you know, in some countries:

  • Prison cells aren’t locked, there’s very little if any prison violence, and homicide rates have declined (Norway)?
  • There are no drug crimes and correspondingly less drug use (Portugal)?
  • Employees are given almost 2 months paid vacation and holidays per year as well as 5 months of paid maternity leave when needed (Italy)?

These represent some of the positive ideas that Michael Moore suggests importing to America in his recent movie, “Where To Invade Next.”  The title misleads as this exploration only “invades” in a whimsical way to “steal” methods aligned with love, care, and respect for human dignity.

I love the way Godfrey Cheshire described this film at RogerEbert.com:

Michael Moore’s surprising and extraordinarily winning ‘Where to Invade Next’ will almost surely cast his detractors at Fox News and similar sinkholes into consternation. They get lots of mileage out of painting Moore as a far-left provocateur who’s all about ‘running America down.’ But his new film is all about building America up, in some amazingly novel and thought-provoking ways. In my view, it’s one of the most genuinely, and valuably, patriotic films any American has ever made.

If you’re American, it might be embarrassing at first to see how the countries featured in this movie operate from a more compassionate model of society instead of the “me first” approach to getting all that you can for yourself characteristic of the modern America ethos.  But the film is irresistibly inspiring.

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How to Set Your Love Free 365 Days a Year

Tiny Buddha's 365 Tiny Love Challenges

As you might remember, my guiding word for the year is “love.”  I sure wish I had access to Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges from day one of this year!

Lori Deschene’s brand new book provides the perfect antidote to the digital age, when so many people leave their time on social media feeling empty, inadequate, disconnected, and depressed.

What’s the answer?  Love!  Love for yourself.  Love for others.

That might sound frivolous, but love is not an unnecessary luxury. Giving and receiving love is essential to your well-being.  In fact, research shows a sense of connection can benefit your health, happiness, and ability to respond to stress effectively.

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How to Gather Your Mind and Heart and Find Peace

To Be At Peace, Gather Your Heart and Mind

Would you like to be at peace?  Pause then to gather your mind and your heart.

Usually, mind is all over the place:  pondering the past, anticipating the future, or gripped by a crippling emotion born from desire, aversion, or confusion.  The gamut runs from self-recrimination and fear to competitiveness, anger and greed.

Take a moment to pause and gather your scattered mind from everywhere it’s gone – from yesterday, tomorrow, your to-do list, a problematic encounter, worries about work, the French Riviera or whatever pulls on you.  Bring your mind back home into your self.

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The Secret to Equanimity: Everyone Is Another You

People in Hot Springs

“After all, all human beings are the same – made of human flesh, bones and blood.  We all want happiness and want to avoid suffering. Further, we have an equal right to be happy.  In other words, it is important to realize our sameness as human beings.” – The Dalai Lama

What would happen if you started to see people as another “you?”

  • Like you, they just want to be happy and they don’t want to suffer.  But they don’t necessarily know how to be happy so they engage in behaviors that bring the opposite of what they desire for themselves and others. Addiction, overeating, obsessive ambition, perfectionism – the list of confused behaviors is endless and they all stem from wanting happiness, but going about it the wrong way.
  • Like you, they have unconscious, deeply rooted patterns that govern much of their behavior.  Half the time, they don’t know why they do what they do or can’t control the storm of emotions that dominates their life.
  • Like you, their true nature is divine.  But they don’t realize it.  So they take their thoughts and emotions to be  real and as their entire identity.  Instead they could find spaciousness and ease by recognizing thoughts as ever-changing, refusing to hold onto them, and aligning with their true essence.

Deep down, everyone is really just like you with the similar confusions and the same incredible potential for good.

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