If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.
“As my prayers became more attentive and inward
I had less and less to say. I finally became completely silent.
I started to listen—which is even further removed from speaking. I first thought that prayer entailed speaking.
I then learnt that prayer is hearing, not merely being silent. That is how it is. To pray does not mean to listen to oneself speaking. Prayer involves becoing silent, and being silent,
and waiting until God is heard.”