Daily Wisdom / Pema Chödrön

Taking Responsibility Makes the Moment Fresh

Book coverTaking responsibility for your own actions is another way of talking about awakening bodhichitta (or, an open heart/mind), because part of taking responsibility is the quality of being able to see things very clearly.

Another part of taking responsibility is gentleness, which goes along with not judging, not calling things right or wrong, good or bad, but looking gently and honestly at yourself.

Finally there is also the ability to keep going forward. It’s been described before as letting go, but in some sense at a personal level it’s that you can just keep on going; you don’t get completely overwhelmed by this identity as a loser or a winner, the abuser or the abused, the good guy or the bad guy. You just see what you do as clearly and compassionately as you can and then go on. The next moment is always fresh and open. You don’t have to get frozen in an identity of any kind.

From Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chödrön, page 98

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