One of the key aspects of the Buddhist meditation practice is the Sangha, community.
Meditation is both a solo practice and communal activity. We may feel alone, our eyes closed looking within. But many have practices before us and many are practicing all around the world in this moment and all moments.
But sometimes we are home alone, by ourselves, and it can be hard to remember that other people are struggling with their minds and we wonder why we ever wanted to engage in the practice of meditation in the first place.
That is why teachers and the teaching they are offer are such an important part of our meditation community. They can remind us why we are meditating in the first place and their words inspire us to continue down our personal path.
Here are eight quotes from great meditation teachers to inspire our practice, helping us to remember community is always there even when we’re physically sitting alone.
1.How to be at peace now? By making peace with the present moment. The present moment is the field on which the game of life happens. It cannot happen anywhere else.—Eckhart Tolle
2. Primary feelings are simply feelings, and every day consists of pleasant, painful and neutral moments. Our painful experience does not represent failure.—Jack Kornfield
3. As long as our habit patterns are hidden backstage, they will remain unchanged. As soon as we bring them up onto the stage of our mind and shine the spotlight of awareness on them, they will inevitably change.—Jan Chozen Bays
4. This is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth. I have discovered, just as my teachers always told me, that we already have what we need. The wisdom, the strength, the confidence, the awakened heart and mind are always accessible, here, now, always.—Pema Chodron
5. Much of the meditator’s art lies in knowing how to work with thoughts and ultimately how to let them dissolve into the subtle fabric of the mind. This much should be obvious: you can’t deal with thoughts by taking them out and shooting them. The delicate, intelligent energy we call the “mind” does not respond well to harshness.—Sally Kempton
6. So, the role of mindfulness is touching, recognizing, greeting, and embracing. It does not fight or suppress. The role of mindfulness is like the role is a mother, embracing and soothing the suffering child.—Thich Nhat Hanh
7. When we are mindful of our breathing, it helps us to calm the body and the mind. Then we are able to be aware of our thoughts and feelings with a greater degree of calmness and with a more discerning eye. We are able to see things more clearly and with a larger perspective, all because we are a little more awake, a little more aware.—Jon Kabat-Zinn
8. Your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still. This is the happiness of the Buddha.—Ajahn Chah
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