Jack Kornfield: Our heart has the capacity to be present for it all

Instead of fearing painful experiences & running away from them, or grasping after pleasant experiences hoping that somehow by holding onto them they will last, with meditation we come to realize our heart has the capacity to be present for it all.

– Jack Kornfield, Meditation for Beginners

We are built open for the world, including painful experiences, to add to another quote from Douglas Harding.

Jack Kornfield: To let go means to let be

To let go doesn’t mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own.

When we let go of our battles and open our heart to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment. This is the beginning and the end of spiritual practice.

– Jack Kornfield

In this context, to let go means to let go of the struggle with our current experience, which means to notice and allow it and include struggle in the rest.

Jack Kornfield: This very difficulty will strengthen you

You may not see it now, but
this very difficulty will strengthen you.
Your heart will grow wiser, your spirit stronger.
You already know this.
You can even begin to see the ways this is true.

— Jack Kornfield in You Will Survive, an excerpt from A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times.

I realize this is taken out of context, and I haven’t read the book – yet. I assume he qualifies it by exploring how we can go through difficult things and grow from it.

Obviously, sometimes, difficult things happen and people (apparently) break without recovering very well. And other times, people go through difficult things and grow from it – as a person and in wisdom and love.

It depends partly on our previous history, and our social support. And even more so, it depends on how we relate to the situation and ourselves. If we are lucky enough to enter a path of love, we may indeed grow from it.