Buddhism, Compassion, Emotions, Honesty, Kindness, Quotes, Religion, Spirituality

On Opening Our Hearts and Minds

“The only reason that we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes.”

“Then this experience of opening to the world begins to benefit ourselves and others simultaneously. The more we relate with others, the more quickly we discover where we are blocked, where we are unkind, afraid, shut down. Seeing this is helpful, but it is also painful. Often the only way we know how to react is to use it as ammunition against ourselves. We aren’t kind. We aren’t honest. We aren’t brave, and we might as well give up right now.”

“That’s the beginning of growing up. As long as we don’t want to be honest and kind with ourselves, then we are always going to be infants. When we begin just to try to accept ourselves, the ancient burden of self-importance lightens up considerably. Finally there’s room for genuine inquisitiveness, and we find we have an appetite for what’s out there.”

Pema Chodron

6 thoughts on “On Opening Our Hearts and Minds”

  1. Also..Sometimes an openened heart..or an opening heart is subtle..

    I think sometimes we “expect” or have an idea(like in your other blog on loving someone and lovign an idea)…of what an open heart exactly is..

    And that is looking at it of course..from a birds eye view of others…

    Anyway..Just a thought..




  2. “When we begin just to try to accept ourselves, the ancient burden of self-importance lightens up considerably.”

    I take from this, in my own context and possibly far from original intent, that this compulsive self-depreciation is not far matured from the selfishness of youth that largely inspired it, and that self-obsession of any form takes away from the (more important) roles we play in others’ lives. This has occurred to me before in fleeting flashes of insight; thank you for putting it out there (even in someone else’s words) for us to read.


  3. I’ll admit..I want to be important..I want to be important to others…

    If I was not…exactly what am I???

    In fact I would be nothing..to me…

    Just another thought..




  4. @ Dallas: “I’ll admit..I want to be important..I want to be important to others…”

    Yeah, I’ll admit to being… pleased… when I discover that somethng I’ve done or said has a positive effect on someone else.

    Maybe some men are islands – I need to be a peninsula, at least.

    – M. \”/


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