‘When we first come to Zen practice, many of us think that is is only about us individually. We think it’s about “me” getting better at “something.” We might want to be a better student or parent or runner – or just a better person. Personally I wanted to be free of my fear: fear of others, of being seen in a negative light, of not being good enough, of not being accepted. I thought meditation practice would give me courage, and it did, but not in the way I anticipated. I had put the emphasis on myself, not recognizing that this self is… made up of everyone I encounter and especially of those people in my daily life… Through the quiet awareness of meditation, I began to realize the freedom of experiencing myself as relationship rather than as an entity, a separate being. The courage meditation gave me is the courage of my wholeness.’ (Most Intimate)
Picking up this book again, I found several quotes to use in my class, and which speak to everyone’s experience. I have been trying to stress the role of the brahmaviharas in connecting us to others, and I hope that some of it has stayed with the people who have attended.