When Our Hearts Break – Inspirational Quotations

the dark Iris

The Zen of an Aching Heart

“Your days pass like rainbows, like a flash of lightning, like a star at dawn. Your life is short. How can you quarrel?”

~The Buddha

~Buddha 

In the Jewish mystical tradition, one great Rabbi taught his disciples to memorize and contemplate the teachings and place the prayers and holy words on their heart. One day a student asked the Rabbi why he always used the phrase “on your heart” and not “in your heart,” and the master replied, “Only time and grace can put the essence of these stories in your heart. Here we recite and learn them and put them on our hearts hoping that some day when our heart breaks they will fall in.”

But when our heart breaks—in love, in friendship, in partnership—it is always a very difficult experience. Modern neuroscience has even discovered that the emotional suffering we experience registers in the same areas of the brain as physical pain. So when we’re feeling abandoned and rejected, we don’t want to eat, we can’t sleep, we have difficulty breathing, our bodies feel as if we have the flu or we’ve been run over by a truck.

So, what can we do when we have to accept the loss of a friend, a lover, or a loved one? What truth can we find beyond the stories we tell ourselves about how they’re wrong and we’re right, or that we’re wrong and they’re right? What can we do besides spending fruitless hours trying decipher everything they said or did? Can we do something more useful than justifying to ourselves what we said or did, or wishing that we had said or done something else? And what can we do when the story spreads to nearly drown us in despair over feelings that there’s something wrong with us, that we’re unlovable, that we’re the reason things didn’t work out?

Like a sandcastle, all is temporary.

Build it, tend it, enjoy it.

And when the time comes

let it go.

The first thing you need to do when you’ve suffered loss or betrayal is to find a way to regain your wise heart so that you can let it hold the aching of your heart. The Zen teacher Karlfried Von Durckheim speaks of the importance of the need to go through our difficulties in a conscious and clear way.

The person who, already being on the way, falls upon hard times in the world, will not as a consequence turn to those friends who offered them refuge and comfort and encourage their old self to survive. Rather, they will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help them to risk themselves, so they may endure the difficulty and pass courageously through it. Only to the extent that a person exposes themselves over and over again to annihilation and loss can that which is indestructible be found within them. In this daring lie dignity and the spirit of true awakening.

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Sometimes suffering the losses and the unexpected betrayals and break-ups that befall each of us becomes the places where we grow deepest in our capacity to lead an authentic and free life. Here is where the heart grows in dignity and care. By grieving honorably and tenderly and working our way through our difficulties, our ability to love and feel compassion for ourselves and others deepens, along with the trust that will help us through similar problems in the future.

Breathe. Remember, there are countless others who have suffered in this way and gotten through it. We are not alone. Learning how to survive our present difficulties is one of the few things that will help us to know the right things to say and do when others whom we love suffer as well.

This excerpt is taken from the book, “A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times“ Jack Kornfield

Magic Mirror – Sri Yogananda During His Last Days

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When I look at photos of Sri Yogananda during his last days on Earth, I do not see a weak older man. Indeed not!  I see only a serenely beautiful  being who has  lost all attachments to earthly life.. His expression in this photo is one of  utmost peace and bliss. His  half open eyes appear to be gazing at something  supremely wonderful and  beyond us. Perhaps he is gazing upon the realm that is calling him home to the highest light.  Here  is one of his gems on genius. 

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? Matt. 16 -Chapter 26.

“The twin aspects of genius, the passive and the active, are possessed by the fully realized artist; they also form the necessary equipment of the Adept. Yet in very few people are these twin aspects manifested. Nearly everyone has a capacity for the passive aspect, which involves some sort of appreciation of aesthetic values. There are few people totally unresponsive to the beauties of nature, and none at all that is not responsive to its ferocious manifestations. Fewer are able to respond profoundly to the beauty of natural phenomena, and fewer still to so-called works of art. It takes a degree of genius to respond to such manifestations the whole time. Artists in this category are among the saints, some of whom thrilled with rapture at the constant awareness of the total unity, harmony, and beauty of things.

Such were Boehme, Ramakrishna, etc. Some yogis are immersed in an unsullied and vibrant bliss derived from the incessant contemplation of this ‘world-bewitching maya’4-the breath-taking wonder of the great and glamorous illusion which surrounds us.


On the other side of the fence, on the side of active or creative genius, there are yet fewer. Active or creative genius means nothing less than the ability to translate the wonder or the terror of the great lfla (the great play of life) in terms of visual, tactile, audible, olfactory, or some other sensual presentation of phenomena.

But there is a third aspect of genius which is yet more rare. It is the ability to open the door of the theatre and admit the influences from outside, from the swarming gulfs beyond the grasp of the mind, and accessible only to the magical entity whose fantastic feelers can snare the most fugitive impulses as they flash through the holes in space, the kinks in time, to be reflected in the magic mirror of the artist’s mind.”


― Kenneth Grant, Outside The Circles Of Time

The Sathya Sai Prayer – Sai Memories

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O Lord, take my love and let it flow in fullness of devotion to Thee.


O Lord, take my hands and let them work incessantly for Thee.


O Lord, take my soul and let it be merged in  oneness with Thee.


O Lord take my mind and thoughts and let them be in tune with Thee.


O Lord, take my everything and let me be an instrument for Thy work.


The little prayer written above was the first one I learnt from the Sai Baba books. I remember reciting it often at  darshans way back when we could be close to Sai. It was as if I felt the love in my heart would spill over, such was the longing.  Yet, the love we feel for the spiritual guide is never ours. It is something that is created by him to help us speed up the process of longing for the divine.

We stay with the the spiritual guide because our hearts want to. The heart and the higher self knows better what is good for us. The spiritual guide will tell us that love is created. The devotee cannot love like this by himself. For it is not a  question of human love. It is something entirely different. And the relationship with the spiritual guide is a very difficult one.  So love is created and it goes on…. Sai Baba used the term “I manufacture Love! – that is my job.” During my time with him, this certainly held true.