Sylvia Boorstein

A Quote by Sylvia Boorstein on surrender, mad, anger, and the heart

I've discovered there are only two modes of the heart. We can struggle, or we can surrender. Surrender is a frightening word for some people, because it might be interpreted as passivity, or timidity. Surrender means wisely accommodating ourselves to what is beyond our control. Getting old, getting sick, dying, losing what is dear to us, what the Buddha taught as the first Noble Truth or life's unsatisfactoriness-- is beyond our control. I can either be frightened of life and mad at life-- or not. I can be disappointed and still not be mad. Stopping being and-- when I can,-- translates, for me as being compassionate-- to myself as well as to other people.

Sylvia Boorstein

Source: That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist, Pages: 38

Contributed by: jess

A Quote by Sylvia Boorstein on luzzato, mitzvot, judaism, and joyfulness

Clearly the path of mitzvot is a form of meditation. The intention to act impeccably requires complete dedication and unwavering attention. I was also impressed with LUzzato's insistence that mitzvot practice is joyful.

Sylvia Boorstein

Source: That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist, Pages: 69

Contributed by: jess

A Quote by Sylvia Boorstein on right speech and lshon hara

The prohibition of L'shon Hara is the Jewish equivalent of the Buddhist practice of Right Speech.

Sylvia Boorstein

Source: That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist, Pages: 70

Contributed by: jess

A Quote by Sylvia Boorstein on criticism, hearing criticsm, and suffering

Shantideva, a sixth-century Buddhist commentator, addressed the challenge of hearing criticism in Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life. He asks, "Suppose someone disparages your 'good name'?" What I had inferred from my friend's relayed message about the overheard conversation was that "Sylvia isn't doing the right thing" or "Sylvia is making a mistake." If I had followed Shantideva's advice, I would have reflectied, "Is that person correct? If her criticism isn't valid, there is a problem."

Either way it need not have been a problem and need not have caused suffering. What that person said was, after all, just an idea, something to think about. I should have remembered the second Noble Turth of the Buddha, the explanation of suffering as the extra tension in the mind in response to challenge, the tension of greed or aversion rathe rthat the simplicity of clear, wise response. If my mind had not reacted with flurry to what it perceived as a challenge, the remark would have been a nonevent.

Sylvia Boorstein

Source: That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist, Pages: 25-26

Contributed by: jess

A Quote by Sylvia Boorstein

I understood that the teacher was not eing dismissive, that the problem would be addressed. But, without extra upset. A noncombative response, the Buddha taught, assures that pain does not become suffering. And, unclouded by the tension of struggle, the mind is able to assess clearly and respond wisely.

Sylvia Boorstein

Source: That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist, Pages: 35

Contributed by: jess

A Quote by Sylvia Boorstein on silence, quietude, and quietness

Being silent for me doesn't require being in a quiet place and it doesnt mean not saying words. It means, "receiving in a balanced, noncombative way what is happening." With or without words, the hope of my heart is that it will be able to relax and acknowledge the truth of my situation with compassion.

Sylvia Boorstein

Source: That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist, Pages: 38

Contributed by: jess

A Quote by Sylvia Boorstein on anger, right action, activism, mediation, buddhism, and tikkun olam

A concern of some new meditators is that a peaceful heart doesn't allow for taking a stand, or acting decisively against injustice. This is particularly true for Jews, for whom the prophetic vision of social justice is a corner stone of religious practice. My father, for instance, thought that a peaceful heart preculded forceful action. he used to say, " I nned my anger. It obliges me to take action."

I thin kmy father was partly right. Anger arises, naturally, to signal disturbing situations that might require action. But actions initiated in anger perpetuate suffering. The most effective actions are thoase conceived in the wisdom of clarity.

Sylvia Boorstein

Source: That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist, Pages: 23

Contributed by: jess

A Quote by Sylvia Boorstein on dalai lama, peace, benevolence, right thingking, clear mind, and meditation

The Dalai Lama, responding to a question about what he thought he would be doing when he was old, said, "Maybe I'll live in a monastery in China. They have some lovely old Buddhis monasteries there." This seems, at first hearing, amazing. The Chinese have invaded Tibet, tortured and killed millions of Tbetans, and seem intent on erasing Tbetan culture and religion. ON the other hand, boyvotting the monasteries will not restore Tibet, so the Dalai Lama's response is sensible.

His response is more than sensible. It reflects his understanding that evens unfold as a refelction of precise karmic order and that a benevolent response in all circumstances will be the most healing one. I think he is so universally admired becuase he exemplifies by his behavior the truth that the essence of natural mind, unclouded by greed or anger or delusion, is that of peace.

Sylvia Boorstein

Source: That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist, Pages: 23-24

Contributed by: jess

A Quote by Sylvia Boorstein on monasticism, renunciation, mindfulness, attachment, truth, and clarity

The Buhha was a monastic, but the practice of mindfulness in the context of any lifestyle is one of renunciation. Every moment of mindfulness renounces the reflexive, self-protecting response of the mind in favor of clear and balanced understanding. In the light of the wisdom that comes from balanced undertanding, attachment to having things be other than what they ar falls away.

Sylvia Boorstein

Source: That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist, Pages: 23

Contributed by: jess

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