“Equanimity is not indifference, and compassion is not pity. True spirituality requires us to be fully present for life. For us to begin to look directly at the world situation is not a question of ceremony or of religion. Meditation helps us to look deeply at the sorrow that exists now in our world, and to look at our individual and collective relationship to it, to bear witness to it, to acknowledge it instead of running away. Without mindfulness and compassion the suffering is too great to bear. We close our minds. We close our eyes and our hearts.
“Opening ourselves to all aspects of experience is necessary if we want to make a difference. To look at the world honestly, unflinchingly, and directly requires us to also look at ourselves. We discover that sorrow and pain are not just out there, external, but are also within ourselves. We have our own fear, prejudice, hatred, desire, neurosis, and anxiety. It is our own sorrow. In opening ourselves to suffering, we discover the great heart of compassion.”
—Jack Kornfield, from Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are