I want to live like that:
To gather the losses of my life,
the crashes …
bitter medicine in fragile bottles …
Then spin them into soft tender thread,
weave that thread into love,
to give away again.
— Rita Bresnahan
The Art of Making Mistakes Wakefully
Every spiritual life entails a succession of difficulties because every ordinary life also involves a succession of difficulties, what the Buddha described as the inevitable sufferings of existence. In a spiritually informed life, however, these inevitable difficulties can be the source of our awakening, of deepening wisdom, patience, balance, and compassion. Without this perspective, we simply bear our sufferings like an ox or a foot soldier under a heavy load.
Like the young maiden in the fairy tale ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ who is locked in a room full of straw, we often do not realize that the straw all around us is gold in disguise. The basic principle of spiritual life is that our problems become the very place to discover wisdom and love.
With even a little spiritual practice we have already discovered the need for healing, for stopping the war, for training ourselves to be present. Now as we become more conscious, we can see yet more clearly the inevitable contradictions of life, the pain and the struggles, the joys and the beauty, the inevitable suffering, the longing, the everchanging play of joys and sorrows that make up human experience.
As we follow a genuine path of practice, our sufferings may seem to increase because we no longer hide from them or from ourselves. When we do not follow the old habits of fantasy and escape, we are left facing the actual problems and contradictions of life.
A genuine spiritual path does not avoid difficulties or mistakes but leads us to the art of making mistakes wakefully, bringing them to the transformative power of our heart.
— Jack Kornfield from A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life
True peace comes with the discovery that we can respect the seasons of life with a spacious and undefended heart. In it we learn to trust, to rest in the truth of the way things are, to willingly accept the measure of joy and sorrow we are given.
— Jack Kornfield from The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace