Shantideva, Einstein & Mindfulness

“All joy in this world comes from wanting others to be happy, and all suffering in this world comes from wanting only oneself to be happy.” -Shantideva (8th century Indian Scholar)

“A human being is part of the whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” -Albert Einstein (New York Post,  1972)

from A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook:

“Human beings are social animals, and the sweetness of relationships with others and the larger world—indeed, the universe—can nourish our lives. As you deepen your connections, you’ll find increasing delight in this interplay of giving and receiving. It may even become mysterious as to who is actually giving and who is receiving.

There are many things you can do to foster connection. Try sincerely asking a family member, friend, or anyone at all how he or she is doing, and listen deeply to what the other person says. Everyone loves to be heard and understood—to “feel felt.” Or practice random acts of kindness toward anyone, including strangers. You might volunteer to help a child, an elderly person, or anyone in need. You can offer time and energy to an organization that’s helping make the world a better place, or simply enjoy a pet, grow a garden, or pick up litter. Feel the sweetness of connecting with the world and its beings without wanting or expecting anything from them.”

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