Meditations: Friday


What matters in life is simple. Are you free and loving? Are you bringing your gifts to the world that so badly needs them?

To recap: This is how Jack Kornfield opens his book, Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are. Kornfield is a Buddhist teacher and meditator from the US, and this week I’m writing a post each day relating to the content of the book. I’m calling them Meditations though they’re not necessarily about meditation or Buddhism per se. They’re about that opening statement.

Today, a thought on Mandela’s passing.


Nelson Mandela will be remembered for centuries to come for what he made possible in the world. For me, he made possible truth and he made possible reconciliation. He understood that one without the other doesn’t go anywhere. Truth without reconciliation is a mere concept; reconciliation without truth, a supperating wound.

In Kornfield’s book, there’s a quote from monk, Thich Nhat Hanh about the boat people who fled Vietnam in the 1970s. He’s also talking about Mandela:

When the crowded refugee boats met with storms and pirates, if everyone panicked, all would be lost. But if even one person stayed calm, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.


Dedicated to Edward.


6 thoughts on “Meditations: Friday

  1. He’s one of the most moral leaders ever to live; how lucky South Africa was to have him. I like this paragraph from the NY Times obit:

    When the question was put to Mr. Mandela in an interview for this obituary in 2007 — after such barbarous torment, how do you keep hatred in check? — his answer was almost dismissive: Hating clouds the mind. It gets in the way of strategy. Leaders cannot afford to hate.


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