Joseph Goldstein


American Vipassana Teachers, Co-Founder of The Insight Meditation Society with Jack Kornfield And Sharon Salzberg, Contemporary Author

Author Quotes

As an experiment, the next time you are doing an errand, stuck in traffic, or standing on line at the supermarket, instead of being preoccupied with where you're going or what needs to be done, take a moment to simply send loving wishes to all those around you. Often, there is an immediate and very remarkable shift inside as we feel more connected and more present.

Hatred never ceases by hatred; it only ceases by love.

Is enlightenment gradual or is it sudden? Whole schools of Buddhism have grown up around this issue. But it has always seemed to me that liberation is both sudden and gradual, that there is no polarity between the two.

No deed is good that one regrets having done.

The commitment to morality, or non-harming, is a source of tremendous strength, because it helps free the mind from the remorse of having done unwholesome actions. Freedom from remorse leads to happiness. Happiness leads to concentration. Concentration brings wisdom. And wisdom is the source of peace and freedom in our lives.

There are some classical Buddhist teachings about hindrances, one of which is called sloth and torpor. This hindrance is not simply sleepiness, dullness, or tiredness. It is a deep tendency to retreat from difficulties rather than advancing into them. We can use our sense of unworthiness as an excuse to retreat from life, from advancing in human maturity and spiritual progress. At one point in my practice, I reminded myself to 'Choose the difficult.' This mantra helped me to work with this particular hindrance of sloth or laziness.

We see that each experience is simply just what it is, and that the I and mine are extra.

Ask yourself how many of the billions of inhabitants of this planet have any idea of how rare it is to have been born as a human being. How many of those who understand the rarity of human birth ever think of using that chance to practice the Dharma? How many of those who think of practice actually do? How many of those who start continue? . . . But once you see the unique opportunity that human life can bring, you will definitely direct all your energy into reaping its true worth by putting the Dharma into practice.

Having been through both of those other stages, our mind matures to a place where it is no longer moved: it does not grasp at pleasant things; it is not repelled by unpleasant things. Our mind attains deep, deep balance, like a calm, deep-flowing river. Out of this mature place of equanimity, the conditions arise that open our mind suddenly to the unconditioned, to what is beyond body and mind, to freedom.

It feels to me like we're in such a privileged time in terms of the availability of the dharma and the availability of practice. We never know when conditions might change.

Not Seeing Dukkha Is Dukkha.

The emphasis in meditation is very much on undistracted awareness: not thinking about things, not analyzing, not getting lost in the story, but just seeing the nature of what is happening in the mind. Careful, accurate observation of the moment?s reality is the key to the whole process.

This attachment to the body also deeply conditions our fear of death. The more we cling, the harder it is to let go.

What you are looking for is what is looking.

Aspirations inspire us, while expectations simply lead us into cycles of hope and fear: hope that what we want will happen; fear that it won?t.

I genuinely feel that I know a lot less now than I did twenty years ago. It feels wonderful! It feels like a letting go of mental constructs.

It is the truth that liberates, not your efforts to be free.

Nothing at all can prevent the universal process of birth, growth, decay, and death.

The great discovery in our practice is that, on one level, birth and death, existence and nonexistence, self and other are the great defining themes of our lives. And on another level, it?s all just a dance of insubstantial appearances, what the Buddha called the magic show of consciousness.

This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, for the attainment of the true way, for the realization of nibb?na?namely the four foundations of mindfulness.

Whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to cease.

Awareness of motivation plays a central role in the path of liberation.

I have no parents I make the heavens and earth my parents I have no home I make awareness my home I have no life or death I make the tides of breathing my life and death I have no divine power I make honesty my divine power I have no friends I make my mind my friend I have no enemy I make carelessness my enemy I have no armor I make benevolence my armor I have no castle I make immovable-mind my castle I have no sword I make absence of self my sword.

It?s always helpful to have a sense of humor about one?s own mental foibles. By

On a boat in the middle of a great storm, one wise, calm person can bring everyone to safety. The

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American Vipassana Teachers, Co-Founder of The Insight Meditation Society with Jack Kornfield And Sharon Salzberg, Contemporary Author