I have come a long way in my 50 years in on this planet. I've lived through many crises, including cancer, divorce, a horrific car accident, and so on.
I have survived and thrived through the many ups and downs of life because of my yoga and meditation practice. It has become essential for me to create space to be still, and connect with that part of myself that exists beyond whatever storyline is currently playing out in my external world.
This can be challenging in our fast-paced, over-stimulating, 140-character-status-update way of life, when we are typically focused on "doing" rather than "being." I have come to rely on the wisdom of those who have come before me, to remind me to connect with my heart and my spirit — to navigate the natural cycles of life with grace, compassion, and equanimity.
Cultivating Grace and Transforming Suffering, the new film that features the wisdom of Ram Dass, recently landed on my radar. I've already watched it four times! The third film in the Cultivating Series, includes curated dharma talks by Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield, Krishna Das, Trudy Goodman, Mirabai Bush and Rameshwar Das.
This easy-to-digest film is so chock-full of "aha" moments and inspiration. I've selected 10 of my favorite pearls of wisdom to share with you:
1. "Suffering brings me so close to God." - Ram Dass
2. "To become mindful … present … is really the invitation to work with the joys and the sorrows of the world, and to do so with this gift, this capacity of loving awareness, of attention that actually can be present for the whole dance." - Jack Kornfield
3. "No amount of outer technology, no amount of computers and biotechnology and nanotechnology is going to stop the continuation of warfare and racism and environmental destruction. What's called for on the Earth at this time is really a change of heart … the question is really not the future of humanity, but the presence of eternity." - Jack Kornfield
4. "Grant that I have enough suffering that my heart really opens to the great compassion of this world, that I be given enough so that I don't wall myself off from the world, that it breaks down the heart and the separation and the ego and the fear, and it lets me touch the nectar, the milk of kindness itself, of something greater." - Jack Kornfield
5. "Faith is in the soul. Belief is thought. Faith is so rich. Faith gives me my spiritual self." - Ram Dass
6. It is innate to you, it as close to you as your own breath — compassion born into your own true nature. It's in you. It's not that you have to go seeking for love or compassion. It was born in you … And so when you meditate, it's no so much to have a special experience as it is to remember … just to remember." - Jack Kornfield
7. "We can easily become loyal to our suffering … but it's not the end of the path." - Jack Kornfield
8. "Live in joy and love, even among those who hate." - Buddhist instruction via Jack Kornfield
9. "I'm ensconced in the soul … and I look around and everything is love." - Ram Dass
10. "Grace surrounds us and holds us like the sky holds everything in it … and as soon as I find a way to let go of my story, I keep seeing over and over again that grace is always here and it includes the forgetting and the remembering. The practice is the opening of the hand to catch the raindrops, which are always falling. If you don't open your hand, you get wet, but you don't get much to drink." - Krishna Das
Here's a sneak-peek at the trailer for the film!